call for researchers

What has been the influence to date of the main United Nations human rights treaties, and the work of the committees that monitor compliance by States with these treaties, on the lives of people worldwide? A group of human rights researchers are currently engaged in a comprehensive ‘domestic impact study’ that will address this question in 20 countries. Researchers in other parts of the world are now also encouraged to undertake research on the same issue in their home countries.

prof christof heyns

20 November 2018

The (former) special rapporteur of the UN Christof Heyns through a statement urged the government of Enrique Peña Nieto to clarify the murders of 22 alleged criminals in the Mexican municipality of Tlatlaya that could be summary executions.


12 November 2018

About the publication

Given the centrality of Hague Law to the prosecution and impact of armed conflict, the relative paucity of dedicated works is surprising. The general formulation of Hague Law rules is largely uncontroversial, but this clarity stands in stark contrast to their interpretation and practical application. How precisely, for instance, the fundamental rules of distinction and proportionality in attack are to dictate and constrain the planning and practice of warfare continues to be highly uncertain. This important new publication fills the gap in the literature. Offering a comprehensive survey of the Hague Law, it explores general questions of definitions and accountability, to the substantive rules and their application to different types of warfare.


07 November 2018

The Organisers of the Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA) are pleased to announce the call for papers for the Seventh Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA 2019) which will be held in Stellenbosch (South Africa) from Wednesday 18 September to Friday 20 September 2019. As in the past, SASCA 2019 will be jointly organised by the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) of the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in partnership with the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy (SARChI) at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law Program for Sub-Saharan Africa.

pdf-icon xsmall Download the Call for Papers

Geneva Guidelines on less lethal Weapons Consultation in Geneva

11 October 2018

Go to original post - Geneva Academy

On 8 and 9 October, members of the Academic Working Group – a group of experts convened by the Geneva Academy and the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (University of Pretoria) – met at the Villa Moynier to consult states and to discuss revisions made to a proposed text of guidance on less-lethal weapons (LLWs) and related equipment in law enforcement.



The Faculty of Law recently hosted the latest in a series of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) lectures at the University of Pretoria. For this lecture, talks were dedicated to SDG 16, which reads as follows:

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.



“Change is already right here, and the youth, disadvantaged youth included, should be empowered and given the chance to lead by example.” Dagnachew Wakene - Alumnus of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

As a polio-survivor born and raised in Ethiopia, Stellenbosch University (SU) alumnus Dagnachew ‘Dag’ Wakene worked tirelessly to overcome prejudice and misconceptions about his capabilities. In doing so, he has become a voice for many disenfranchised people, not only in his home country, but also the broader continent.



13 September 2018

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On 11 September 2018, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the elaboration of a binding international treaty to prohibit lethal autonomous weapons systems. One of the main sources cited by the resolution is research done by Prof Christof Heyns, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.



12 September 2018

The Honourable Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of South Africa, and the Honourable David Maraga, Chief Justice of Kenya, were the keynote speakers at the Sixth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa.


chief justices2

Summary Report

The Sixth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA) 2018, jointly organised by the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) of the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in partnership with the South African Research Chair  (SARChI) on Multilevel Government, Law and Policy at Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape,  and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa, based in Kenya. from 4-6 September 2018. The theme for the seminar was Democracy, elections and constitutionalism in Africa.


geneva discussion

5 September 2018

The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and the Geneva Academy invite you to a discussion targeted at seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders on a set of draft guidelines on the lawful and responsible redesign, production, procurement, testing, training, transfer and use of non-lethal weapons and related equipment. 


sasca 2018

The sixth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA 2018) will take place in Stellenbosch (South Africa) from Tuesday 4 September to Thursday 6 September 2018.

pdf-icon xsmall Download the Programme
pdf-icon xsmall Download the Invitation to the Opening session



The protection of some of Africa’s most precious natural resources—its population of rare and endangered species—from exploitation at the hands of poachers, is a critical priority of law enforcement in many African countries. 


28 August 2018

You are cordially invited to a Lunch-time discussion by Prof Dire Tladi on ‘South Africa and Jordan’s Non-Cooperation Case: The Final Act?’

On 10 -14 September, Prof Dire Tladi from the Department of Public Law and the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, will appear as counsel on behalf of the African Union in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in a hearing concerning the question whether South Africa and Jordan were guilty of non- cooperation with the Court. Both States did not arrest the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he attended heads of State summits in their countries. Prof Tladi will provide an introduction to the case and field questions.


the outlaws 2018

27 August 2018

From 15 to 17 August 2018 the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria hosted its annual Faculty Festival themed ‘Year of the Womxn’, celebrated and enjoyed by students and staff.


stakeholder consultation

3 August 2018

Stakeholders are invited to submit comments or suggestions to a draft set of guidelines on the lawful and responsible design, production, procurement, testing, training, transfer, and use of less-lethal weapons and related equipment. These draft guidelines have been developed following a broad consultation process carried out in the framework of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on current challenges related to the use of force.


Original post: The Conversation

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 this year. It was adopted by global leaders after World War II to try and avoid future conflict on that scale. The declaration ushered in what we know and understand about human rights today. It calls for nations to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”.




Experts Discuss New International Standards on less Lethal Weapons

9 July 2018

Original post: The Geneva Academy

Last week, at our annual seminar held in the context of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on the use of force, around 40 police officers, experts on the design, testing and use of weapons, representatives of national police oversight mechanisms, human rights experts, representatives of UN specialized agencies, academics, representative of governments and of national civil society organizations discussed human rights challenges related to the use of less-lethal weapons (LLWs).


The University of Pretoria, working with a global network of research partners (including in Cambridge, Geneva and well-established collaboration with more than a dozen other African universities), recently established a research programme that focuses on violence reduction and securing the right to life in Africa. This is a multi-disciplinary programme that engages in the African context with the aspiration of UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 to establish ‘peaceful societies’.



1 June 2018

This website is an academic review of national regimes governing use of force by law enforcement officials


The centrepiece of the website is the country profile. Each profile has six sections:

  • Constitutional provisions
  • Treaty adherence
  • National legislation on use of force (by police and prison officers)
  • Police Oversight
  • Caselaw
  • Downloads (of key instruments and jurisprudence).

Read more about this

15 May 2018

The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria, in conjunction with its Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), are organising luncheons with senior members of the legal profession to provide a platform for students to interact with great legal minds.


South Africa should lead effort to ban killer robots

Original post: Mail & Guardian

16 April 2018

As nations convene at the United Nations in Geneva this week to continue deliberations on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” or “killer robots”, it is clear that the diplomatic process is moving too slowly.

If we are to avoid a future where robots decide who gets to live and who dies, there is no time or money to waste — governments must act now.

30 March 2018

On 27 March 2018, the African Union held a High-Level Seminar on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems for African Union Missions to Geneva at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva., Switzerland. The Seminar was organised by the South African Research Chair in International Law, University of Johannesburg in collaboration with the African Union and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.


Go to original post:

21 Mar 2018

Address by Deputy President David Mabuza during the commemoration of Human Rights Day in Sharpeville, Gauteng, where he encouraged all South Africans to participate in the South African National Schools Moot Court Competition, organsied by ICLA memebers Nyambeni Davhana and Alexia Katsignis, together with Prof Christof Heyns

Our Hosts, the Acting Premier of Gauteng, Mr Panyaza Lesufi and the Executive Mayor of Sedibeng District Municipality, Cllr Busisiwe Modisakeng,
Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nkosinathi Mthethwa and all Ministers present,
Deputy Ministers, Members of the Gauteng Provincial Executive Council and Members of Parliament and Provincial Legislature present,
President of the Pan Africanist Congress,
Leaders of various political parties represented here,
Leaders of Labour, Faith-based organisations, and Civil Society,
Community of Sedibeng,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dumelang! Sanibonani! Good Day!



On Wednesday 28th February, the Human Rights Council marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action with a High Level Panel, as requested by Russian-led resolution 35/1. The discussion focused on the implementation of the provisions of these key human rights documents, including the benefits of enhanced international cooperation to that end. In a sign of renewed interest national-level compliance with universal norms, much of the discussion focused on the newly emergent ‘implementation agenda’ – how States might better translate their international obligations into improved laws and practices, and how the international community might better support them in that regard.


The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, invites applications from individuals interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in law, specifically on the topic of the impact of the United Nations human rights treaties on the domestic level.


jessup 2018

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition in which teams compete by representing countries in a simulation of a fictional dispute before the International Court of Justice. Participants from over 645 law schools in 95 countries will compete in the 2017-2018 season.


The International Moot Court (IMC) is a two-yearly international competition organised by The Hague City Council in collaboration with the City of New York. The competition is intended for high school learners and is aimed at encouraging an engagement with international (criminal) law. The competition is open to learners from all countries and is hosted in The Hague, Netherlands.



Download this statement in PDF format

6 February 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive study into the impact of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty system in 20 countries around the world.


Visit original blog post to listern to the talk: Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)

24 January 2018 - On January 18 this CGHR panel discussion brought international experts from the United Nations into conversation with academics based in Cambridge and elsewhere to explore the role of police, the act of policing, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).


16 January 2018

The Organisers of the Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA) are pleased to announce the call for papers for the Sixth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA 2018) which will be held in Stellenbosch (South Africa) from 4 -7 September 2018.

The theme for this seminar is "Democracy, elections and constitutionalism in Africa."