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Lauren Kohn


Lauren Kohn joined the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town in 2013. ​She lectures Constitutional Law (which she has previously convened) to 1st year students, Administrative Law to final year students, and Administrative Law & Open Governance to Masters’ students. Lauren also lectures and convenes Constitutional Law in the Extended Curriculum Programme and has been actively involved in the design and reform of this programme. Lauren is passionate about the teaching and learning project – a fact attested to by her recent nomination for a Distinguished Teacher’s Award and overwhelming student support for her contribution in this regard.

Prior to joining academia, Lauren practiced as an Attorney at Webber Wentzel where she worked for several years. In practice, Lauren specialised in public law and did primarily judicial review and legal opinion work. Her advice spanned an array of fields including Administrative Law, Constitutional Law (including Human Rights Law), Procurement Law and Environmental Law. In 2011, Lauren was awarded the David & Elaine Potter Fellowship (for ‘academic excellence & dedication to uplifting civil society’) and the DAAD-NRF Scholarship from the Federal Republic of Germany (for ‘academic ability & having the potential to have a “multiplicator effect” in society’) to complete her LLM. Lauren was the only Law student to have been recognised out of all the DAAD scholarship recipients across South Africa. She completed her LLM with Distinction in 2012 and an article based upon her dissertation entitled ‘The burgeoning constitutional requirement of rationality & the separation of powers: Has rationality review gone too far? was published in the South African Law Journal and subsequently cited with approval in High Court judgments.

Lauren also holds a B.Bus.Sci (Distinction in Law) and an LLB (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Cape Town. Since joining academia in 2013 she has published widely and been recognised for her contribution to research: in 2016, Lauren was awarded the Faculty of Law Research Prize for ‘the most outstanding article published in a peer reviewed journal, by a lecturer or senior lecturer in the Faculty in the preceding two years.’ Lauren has also presented her research at both local and international conferences. Most recently, she presented her paper on ‘Ramuhovhi v President of the Republic of South Africa: A bittersweet victory for women in ‘old’ polygamous customary marriages’ at the Elimination of Violence against Women Conference, Aberystywth University, Mauritius Branch Campus.

Lauren is also a regular commentator in the media on topical constitutional and political issues and participated as a ‘key stakeholder and expert on socio-economic rights and the Constitution’ at colloquia held in respect of the ‘Assessment of the impact of the decisions of the CC and SCA on the transformation of society’. Lauren serves as a member of the UCT Law Advice Programme and has provided pro bono legal advice to the Legal Resources Centre and the Centre for Law and Society on the Draft Traditional Affairs Bill. She has also recently advised WIEGO (Woman in the Informal Economy, Globalising & Organising) on how Administrative Law can assist informal traders in the realisation and protection of their rights and Lauren will be pursuing a book project flowing from this research. Lauren is also about to embark on her PhD through Leiden University in Holland (as an ‘external candidate’) in her main field of interest: the separation of powers (note her exact topic cannot be disclosed here).

Lauren’s recent peer-reviewed publications include:-​

Kohn, L ‘The Failure of an arranged marriage: The traditional leadership / democracy amalgamation made worse by the Draft Traditional Affairs Bill’ (2014) 29 SA Public Law 343.

Kohn, L ‘Escaping the “Shifren shackle” through the application of public policy: An analysis of three recent cases shows Shifren is not so immutable after all’ (2014) 1 Speculum Juris 74

Kohn, L & Corder, H 'Judicial regulation of administrative action’ in the South African Monograph on Constitutional Law, Murray & Kirkby (eds) (2014) Suppl. 108 International Encyclopaedia of Laws (IEL), available at

Kohn, L 'The burgeoning constitutional requirement of rationality & the separation of powers: Has rationality review gone too far?’ (2013) 130 South African Law Journal 810

Kohn, L 'Our curious administrative law love triangle: The complex interplay between the PAJA, the Constitution and the common law’ (2013) 28 SA Public Law 22

Kohn, L 'The Anomaly that is Section 24G of NEMA: An Impediment to Sustainable Development' (2012) 19 South African Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 1

Kohn, L ‘The Bashir judgment raises the red flag for the rule of law and the judiciary’ (2016) 133 South African Law Journal (2016) 246.

Kohn, L ‘The Test for ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ where an Order of Substitution is sought: An Analysis of the Constitutional Court judgment in Trencon against the backdrop of the Separation of Powers’ (2015) 7 Constitutional Court Review (forthcoming) (although a 2015 volume, it appears only in 2017).

Kohn, L ‘Ramuhovhi v President of the Republic of South Africa: A bittersweet victory for women in ‘old’ polygamous customary marriages’ (2017) SAJHR (forthcoming).