Home > Current

Current News

Current News articles

We are Spring (autumn) cleaning the website!
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 - 20:00

The DGRU is spring-cleaning the website!  Please visit us back in June 2019 for the new and update look and feel.

Malawi's judicial crisis deepens: CJ sent on immediate leave pending retirement
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 - 15:00

An extremely serious situation has arisen between the judiciary and President Peter Mutharika’s government in Malawi. On Friday, the executive issued an announcement saying that Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and other senior judges had been put on leave, pending retirement, with immediate effect. That met strong resistance over the weekend and a series of statements was issued supporting the judiciary and urging the government to back off from infringing judicial independence. On Sunday, two urgent applications were brought to court asking, among others, that the CJ's leave pending retirement be put on hold. The four-part order granted in both cases included an order putting on hold the decision that the judges should immediately go on leave. The judiciary of Malawi then issued an unprecedented statement last night, saying that the CJ and other judges affected would continue to do their work 'as per their constitutional mandate'. This is a developing story and we bring you here details of the situation up to last night, Sunday, 14 June, 2020.

Where are all the female Judges?
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 - 11:30

Ndumiso standing in for Eusebius McKaiser chats to Tabeth Masengu, Researcher at the Democratic Governance and Rights Institute at UCT about how patriarchal the justice system is and what the ramifications we are facing because of it

Click here to listen to the podcast.

DGRU Paarl judicial appointments
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 - 11:15

The Democratic Governance and Rights Units (DGRU) organised a conference on judicial appointments which was held from 27 to 28 September 2013 in Paarl, Western Cape. The aim of the conference was to engage various stakeholders in a discussion regarding appointments to judicial office in South Africa. This report gives an outline of the proceedings of the conference.

Click here to view the report.

Where are the women of justice?
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 - 09:30

Our courts reflect huge progress in relation to race since democracy, but tarry on gender.

There was a time when admitting a woman into law was not only “a departure from the order of nature, but even treason against it if their actions were voluntary”. 

In 1914, Justice RPB Davies uttered these words when he referred to an appellate division judgment that refused to register Madeline Wookey for articles in the Cape Province. He saw in women’s destiny “only” the bearing and nurturing of children and the custody of the world.

“Judges Matter” Coalition
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 - 12:15

DGRU’s applied research into the judicial appointments process and our engagement with civil society on these matters, has led to the formation of a new “Judges Matter” Coalition

“Judges Matter” Coalition
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 - 12:15

DGRU’s applied research into the judicial appointments process and our engagement with civil society on these matters, has led to the formation of a new “Judges Matter” Coalition

Why does FIFA always win the cup
Tue, 10 Jun 2014 - 10:45

A panel discussion with Associate Professor Richard Calland (Department of Public Law, Director: Democratic Governance and Rights Unit), Sophie Nakueira (PhD candidate, Centre for Criminology) and Chris Oxtoby (Researcher, Democratic Governance and Rights Unit).

The 2014 World Cup is almost upon us. But whilst the festival of football is what attracts most of our attention, the event also attracts criticism. During the 2013 Confederations Cup, rioting broke out in several centres around Brazil, attributed to protests against the costs of hosting the World Cup. Criticisms were also levelled at many budgetary and governance aspects of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  

This discussion will examine some of the governance issues that surround the world cup, and seek to explain how the event can be understood. Why does the FIFA World Cup attract so much controversy? What is FIFA and how does it govern the host countries? Why do host countries hope to gain from holding events such as the World Cup?

Report on Candidates for the JSC interviews April 2014
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 - 14:15

From 7 – 11 April 2014 the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will meet in Cape Town to interview candidates for appointment as judges to the Supreme Court of Appeal, Labour Appeal Court and KwaZulu-Natal High Court. The JSC will also interview candidates for leadership positions of the Electoral Court and Free State High Court. DGRU has prepared a research report on the judicial track record of the candidates.

SADC Judges Support Programme
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 - 13:45

The DGRU's SADC Judges Support Project  recently won a seed grant from the World Justice Challenge which is an open competition designed to strengthen the rule of law. The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to identify areas where the rule of law needs improvement in the country in which they live or work and test practical solutions on the ground. The challenge is run by the World Justice Project.

Podcast: Thu 10 Apr 2014: ProBono Law (@Probono_Org): @PBracher1 @NLegal_ZA with Christopher Oxtoby from #DGRU
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 - 13:30

Patrick’s expert guest was Christopher Oxtoby who spoke about the current round of Judicial Service Commission interviews for judicial appointments. Christopher is a researcher with the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town (DGRU). Admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, holds a Bachelor of Social Science and an LL.B degree (cum laude) from the University of Cape Town, and an LL.M degree from New York University. Main areas of research currently are judicial governance and the separation of powers.