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Victory in First Certified Class Action Sees Teachers Appointed and Paid

Victory in First Certified Class Action Sees Teachers Appointed and Paid

A landmark settlement agreed on 20th March 2014 in Linkside v Department of Education has consolidated the law regarding class action in South Africa, and is a significant victory in the fight to ensure children’s right to an education. It is astounding to imagine that educators, who work so hard to ensure that children receive [...]

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill: Can It Live Up to Its Name?

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill: Can It Live Up to Its Name?

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (WEGE) is currently before Parliament in South Africa. One of its main aims is to ‘give effect to the letter and spirit of the Constitution’ by promoting gender equality. Such legislation might be considered a welcome step for a country infamously struggling to grant its women their constitutionally-guaranteed rights [...]

South African Judge Lays Down the Law on the Right to a Basic Education

South African Judge Lays Down the Law on the Right to a Basic Education

In previous posts, Chris McConnachie has documented the rise and the successes of South Africa’s emerging education adequacy movement.  In this post he analyses the movement’s most recent victory in the battle for adequate school furniture. One of the most visible manifestations of the ongoing crisis in South African education is the severe shortage of [...]

South African Informal Traders Forum and Others v The City of Johannesburg and Others: A Promising Start by the South African Constitutional Court

South African Informal Traders Forum and Others v The City of Johannesburg and Others: A Promising Start by the South African Constitutional Court

Departing sharply from its normal procedures, the South African Constitutional Court recently issued what we in the States would call an “interim injunction” in a case pending before the South Gauteng High Court called South African Informal Traders Forum and Others v The City of Johannesburg and Others (“SAITF”). The order prohibits municipal authorities in [...]

Grootboom and the right to housing: A (Virtual) Comparative Conversation between students at UNSW and Oxford

Grootboom and the right to housing: A (Virtual) Comparative Conversation between students at UNSW and Oxford

Students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Oxford recently demonstrated the potential of a virtual classroom as a medium for facilitating debate and comparative analysis of human rights issues. Students from UNSW created a short video entitled “An Australian Grootboom: What Would It Look Like, and How Would It [...]

Investigating crimes against humanity – South Africa’s embrace of universal jurisdiction

Investigating crimes against humanity – South Africa’s embrace of universal jurisdiction

“What business is it of the South African authorities when torture on a widespread scale is alleged to have been committed by Zimbabweans against Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe? It is that question that is at the heart of this appeal.” (Judge Navsa, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service v Southern African Human Rights Litigation [...]

The Mandela I Knew by Professor Bob Hepple QC, FBA

The Mandela I Knew by Professor Bob Hepple QC, FBA

I hesitated when asked to say something on the sad occasion of the death of Nelson Mandela, because so many carpetbagging celebrities who had only a slight connection with him in the last 23 years of his long life have done so. My connection with him, as one of his support team when he went [...]

Secret Executions in India: Another Reason to Rethink the Death Penalty

Secret Executions in India: Another Reason to Rethink the Death Penalty

Secret executions of death row prisoners are increasingly becoming the order of the day in India. At least three (two ‘successful’, one failed) have been attempted in the last few months. These incidents have been characterised by three kinds of secrecy. First, where the prisoner sentenced to death was not informed in advance about the [...]

Lessons from the South African Constitutional Court: a duty of care for police in England and Wales?

Lessons from the South African Constitutional Court: a duty of care for police in England and Wales?

Last month at the inquest of Rachael Slack, a 38 year-old woman stabbed to death by her ex-partner, the jury ruled that police failures had contributed ‘more than minimally’ towards her death. The ruling has prompted calls for a public inquiry into what the coroner described as an ‘epidemic’ of domestic violence towards women and [...]

Ready to Learn?

Ready to Learn?

South Africa’s Legal Resources Centre (LRC) launched a new book—Ready to Learn? A Legal Resource for Realising the Right to Education—on 25 October at the Open Society Foundations in New York City (see press release here). Chris McConnachie explains the significance of this publication. Followers of South Africa’s socio-economic rights case law will be familiar [...]

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A Quick Overview

Blog posts have been coming in thick and fast over the last month. To help you get up to speed, the editorial team has put together a quick summary of some of the major themes. Justice Verma Committee on Indian sexual violence laws The Justice Verma Committee submitted its report on the reform of India’s [...]