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A number of new appointments in 2009 further enriched the Faculty’s research community. Amongst the new additions to our staff are Professor Alan Rycroft, appointed as Chair in Commercial Law; Professor Pierre de Vos, appointed as the Claude Leon Chair in Constitutional Law; and Associate Professor Loretta Feris, appointed to the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law. Professor Tjakie Naudé and Associate Professor Helen Scott joined the Department of Private Law. Professors Julian Kinderlerer and Anton Fagan delivered inaugural lectures.

On the management side, Professor Evance Kalula assumed the office of Deputy Dean: Outreach and Internationalisation in January 2009, and Professor Hanri Mostert was appointed Director of Research. These two management posts interact to position the research initiatives of the Faculty and to promote several areas of inquiry, most notably where these promote the University’s Afropolitan ideals.

The Centre for Legal and Applied Research (CLEAR) was launched in February. The impact of CLEAR’s overarching structure is already bearing fruit. It not only promotes excellent socio-legal research within key research themes, but also ensures co-operation without duplication of work. CLEAR fosters independent and yet interdisciplinary approaches to research. It hosts nine research units, which run projects ranging from the erosion of ‘decent work’ to public policing, refugee rights, judicial ethics, climate change, biofuels, accountability and evidence-based advocacy for rural women.

Recently retired Supreme Court of Appeals Judge Ian Farlam and former Education Minister Professor Kader Asmal were among four new honorary professors appointed in 2009. They join Professor Muna Ndulo of Cornell University, and Dr Manfred Weiss of Goethe University in Frankfurt. The expertise they bring with them undoubtedly adds to the rich research fabric of the Faculty. They join a strong cohort of eminent legal thinkers that includes Judges Dennis Davis and Belinda van Heerden, Professors John Dugard, Denise Meyerson, Akilagpa Sawyerr and Julie Stewart, and Advocate Wim Trengove.

The Law Faculty is intent on boosting PhD and LLM (thesis) enrolment and providing our postgraduate students with excellent support. In 2009, there were six PhD graduates and 45 students registered for PhD.

Staff members in Departments of Private Law, Public Law and Commercial Law continue to produce an exceptional breadth of research. 2009 saw the publication of the following books: Principles of the Law of Sale and Lease (Bradfield, G. and Lehmann, K.); Global Administrative Law: Innovation and Development (Corder, H.M.); Clint Eastwood and Issues of American Masculinity (Cornell, D.); Precedent and Possibility (Davis, D. and Le Roux, M.); Shipping Law and Admiralty Jurisdiction in SA, 2nd ed. (Hare, J.); The Law of Contract in South Africa (Hutchison, D.); Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in SA: Legal Perspectives (Paterson, A.R. and Kotze, L.J.); The Role of the Judiciary in Environmental Governance: Comparative Perspective (Paterson, A.R. and Kotze, L.J.); Principles of Evidence, 3rd ed. (Schwikkard, P.J. and Van der Merwe, S.); and Lengthening the Arm of the Law: Enhancing Police Resources in the 21st Century (Shearing, C. et al.)

Many staff members received recognition for their contributions to research during 2009. Dr Dee Smythe was awarded a UCT Fellows’ Award, given to a younger researcher of exceptional promise. The Law Faculty boasts three new NRF-rated researchers, namely, Professor Chuma Himonga, Associate Professor Danwood Chirwa, and Dr Thalia Kruger, bringing the total number in the Faculty to 14.

PhD graduate Beric Croome was the recipient of the doctoral award in the 2009 Deneys Reitz Tax thesis competition for his work entitled Taxpayers’ rights in South Africa, which is shortly to be published by Juta. His significant contribution to tax jurisprudence, which forms the basis of this book, was recognised by the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners in 2009.

The UCT Law Faculty is mindful of its position in the research community and its responsibility to enhance research capacity. Representatives of the Department of Justice and Walter Sisulu University were invited to participate in our Emerging Researcher Breakaway. A total of 16 papers were presented, nine of which were by designated emerging researchers. Professor Alan Rycroft gave a presentation on Research methodology looking at secondary source research; case study methodology and the Delphi Technique.

As part of the Ruhr University, Bochum and University of Cape Town PhD seminar exchange, a group of five doctoral candidates from the Centre of Criminology visited Germany from 22 August until 5 September 2009. Professor Elrena van der Spuy from UCT and Professor Monique Marks from the University of KwaZulu-Natal led the group to Germany. Presentations were made by international policing scholars on police research and methodologies and there were also various outings to police and police-related institutions. The PhD students were able to share and exchange ideas on their research. The seminar exchange was co-ordinated by Professor Thomas Feltes of the Ruhr University with financial support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in co-operation with German Police University, Muenster University. A group of six doctoral students from Bochum will visit the Centre of Criminology in January 2010.

A significant number of staff continue to contribute to the work of the South African Law Reform Commission.

Substantial discussion took place in 2009 around revision to the Faculty’s Research Ethics Policy and Guidelines. Realising the importance of ethical research and monitoring, the Research Ethics Committee (REC) has now been established as a full Faculty Committee and has been tasked with reviewing existing procedures and implementing a transparent and rigorous system of ethics clearance review.

Professor Pamela Schwikkard
Dean of the Faculty of Law

 

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