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Overview

Members of the Department of Public Law engaged in different ways in South Africa's transition from apartheid, and, as the country's new democracy strengthens, they continue to explore, educate and advise in areas associated with human rights, good governance and criminal justice both domestically and internationally.

In the field of constitutional law, for instance, notable areas of research are judicial ethics, accountability, fiscal powers of the state, the role of traditional leaders, federalism and the relationship between national, provincial and local spheres of government, and constitution making. Its members, with their diverse interests and experiences, are regularly engaged in work for a range of institutions, including Parliament, the Open Democracy Advice Centre, the Legal Resources Centre and the South African Law Reform Commission, and internationally; International idea, the Red Cross and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Criminal Justice is a national priority and the department has made a significant contribution in developing the discplines of substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence and sentencing. This work is contextualised through a vibrant Centre of Criminology.

The Department and its research units attract a wide range of international visitors. To find out more about research units, click here.