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Waheeda Amien

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WAHEEDA AMIEN

BA LLB (Cape Town) LLM (Western Cape) Ph.D. (Ghent)

Associate Professor
Deputy-Dean of Internationalisation and Outreach
Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town

Attorney of the High Court of South Africa

Accredited Mediator with the Family Mediator’s Association of the Cape (FAMAC)


Research Interests:

Muslim Personal Law, Legal Pluralism, Gender, Freedom of Religion

Awards and Achievements:

  • National Research Foundation Funding Award for a research project on Muslim Personal Law and Human Rights (2013)
  • Article published without any changes being required by peer-reviewers: ‘Reflections on the recognition of African customary marriages in South Africa: Seeking insights for the recognition of Muslim marriages’, 13 Acta Juridica (2013) 357-384. Also published as a chapter in A Claassens and D Smythe (eds) Marriage, Land & Custom: Essays on Law and Social Change in South Africa (Cape Town: Juta, 2013) 357-384.
  • Received the UCT Law Faculty Research Excellence Award – First Prize (April 2012)
  • PhD thesis passed without any changes being required (31 May 2011)
  • Awarded UCT Certificate of Recognition For Social Responsiveness (2011)
  • Paper entitled ‘A South African case study for the recognition and/or regulation of Muslim family law for minority Muslims in a multi-religious secular society’ selected for presentation at the Harvard/Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum (5-7 November 2009)
  • Received the UCT Law Faculty Research Excellence Award – Second Prize (November 2007)
  • Awarded Scholarship through Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds for Ph.D. (2003-2007)
  • Awarded Friederich Ebert Stiftung Foundation Scholarship for LLM (1997)
  • Deans Merit List, Final Year LLB (1995)

Academic Visits:

  1. Visiting Professor, University of Helsinki (February 2018)
  2. Visiting Professor, University of Maryland (January 2014)
  3. Visiting Scholar, Queen Mary University of London (August – November 2013)
  4. Visiting Scholar, University of Antwerpen (November 2013)

Member of the Executive Body of the Commission on Legal Pluralism

Member of Editorial Boards and Advisory Committees:

  1. Advisory Committee: Law and Society Association (African chapter) Conference (2016)
  2. Editorial board: Mediation, Theory and Practice (UK: Equinox, 2014)
  3. Editorial board: Contemporary Studies in Legal and Applied Research (University of Cape Town, 2012)
  4. Editorial board: Handbook on family law and policy (UK: Routledge, 2012)

Reviewer for Journals:

  1. International Journal of Law in Context (2017)
  2. Tydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg / Journal for Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law (2016)
  3. Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2016)
  4. Journal for Comparative Law in Africa (2014, 2016)
  5. Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law (2015)
  6. SADC Law Journal (2015)
  7. International Journal on Law, Policy and the Family  (2012, 2014, 2015)
  8. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (2014, 2015)
  9. Acta Juridica (2013)
  10. Journal for the Study of Religion Review (2012)
  11. The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (2012)
  12. Malawi Law Journal (2007)

Other Reviewing:

  1. Funding proposals for the Law Schools Global League Seed Fund (2017, 2018)
  2. Book proposal for Ashgate (presently Routledge) publishers (2013)
  3. Grant proposal for the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESCR) (2009)
  4. Book chapters for the Association of Women in Development (AWID) (2009)

Keynote Addresses:

  1. Overcoming Adversity - Embracing Empowerment’. Delivered to HERS-SA Academy. Held at the Doubletree Hilton Upper Eastside Hotel, Woodstock (11 September 2014).
  2. Delivered at book launch of Najma Moosa Unveiling the mind. The legal position of women in Islam – a South African context 2nd ed (Cape Town: Juta, 2011) at the Centre for the Book, Cape Town (15 November 2011) and Timbuktu Bookshop, Cape Town (26 November 2011).

Publications:

Edited Books:

  1. With Barratt A., Domingo, W., et. al (eds) Law of Persons and the Family 2nd ed (Pearson South Africa, 2017).
  2. With Farlam, P. (eds) Basic human rights documents for South Africans (Cape Town: Law, Race and Gender Research Unit, University of Cape Town, 1998).

Peer-reviewed Publications:

  1. With Barratt, A. and Denson, R. ‘Religious Marriages’, in A Barratt, W Domingo, W Amien et. al (eds) Law of Persons and the Family 2nd ed (Pearson South Africa, 2017) 401-420.
  2. ‘South African women’s legal experiences of Muslim personal law’, in Fielder. L and Topidi. K (eds) Religion as Empowerment – Global Legal Perspectives (Routledge, 2016) 53-77.
  3. ‘Post-apartheid treatment of religious freedom in the South African public sphere’, in W Sullivan et al (eds) Politics of Religious Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 2015) 179-193.
  4. ‘Arendse v Arendse and Others and Isaacs v Isaacs and Another’, Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 2 Number 1 (2015) 118-126.
  5. ‘The recognition of religious and customary marriages and non-marital domestic partnerships in South Africa’, in J Eekelaar and R George (eds) Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy (Oxon: Routledge, 2014) 26-44.
  6. With Leatt, DA. ‘Legislating Religious Freedom: An Example of Muslim Marriages in South Africa’, Maryland Journal of International Law, Volume 29 (2014) 501-547.
  7. ‘The viability for women’s rights of incorporating Islamic inheritance laws into the South African legal system’, Acta Juridica (2014) 192-218. Also published as a chapter in M de Waal and M Paleker (eds) South African Law of Succession and Trusts. The past meeting the present and thoughts for the future (Cape Town: Juta, 2014) 192-218.
  8. With Moosa N., ‘Religious Legal Systems in South Africa’ in C Rautenbach et al (eds) Introduction to Legal Pluralism 4th edition (LexisNexis, 2014) 55-88.
  9. With Moosa, N. and Rautenbach, C., ‘Islamic Law’ in C Rautenbach et al (eds) Introduction to Legal Pluralism 4th edition (LexisNexis, 2014) 349-394.
  10. ‘Reflections on the recognition of African customary marriages in South Africa: Seeking insights for the recognition of Muslim marriages’, 13 Acta Juridica (2013) 357-384. Also published as a chapter in A Claassens and D Smythe (eds) Marriage, Land & Custom: Essays on Law and Social Change in South Africa (Cape Town: Juta, 2013) 357-384.
  11. ‘Comparative Perspectives: South Africa’, in James Dingemans et al (eds) The Protections for Religious Rights: Law and Practice, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) 241-256.
  12. ‘The Gendered Benefits and Costs of Legal Pluralism for Muslim Family Law in South Africa’ in Mavis Maclean and John Eekelaar (eds) Managing Family Justice in Diverse Societies (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2013) 107-123.
  13. ‘Politics of religious freedom in South Africa’ in The Immanent Frame. Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere (SSRC, 2012). Available at http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2012/07/24/politics-of-religious-freedom-in-south-africa/.
  14. ‘A chronological overview of events leading up to the formulation of the Muslim Marriages Bill’ in (ed) Tayob, A. Muslim Marriages in South Africa: From Constitution to Legislation, (Cape Town: Centre for Contemporary Islam, University of Cape Town, 2011) 8-16.
  15. ‘A South African case study for the recognition and regulation of Muslim family law in a minority Muslim secular context’, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 24:3 (2010) 361-396.
  16. ‘Muslim Personal Law (MPL) in Canada: A case study considering the conflict between freedom of religion and Muslim women's right to equality’ in Eva Brems (ed) Conflicts between fundamental rights (Antwerp: Intersentia Publishers, 2008) 381-420.
  17. ‘Overcoming the conflict between the right to religious freedom and women’s rights to equality - a South African case study of Muslim marriages’, Human Rights Quarterly 28 (2006) 729–754.
  18. ‘Recent Developments in the Area of Women’s Rights in South Africa: Focus on Domestic Violence and Femicide’ in (eds) Jeremy Sarkin and William Binchy Human Rights: the Citizen and the State. South Africa and Irish Approaches (Ireland: Round Hall Sweet and Maxwell, 2001) 168-183.
  19. With Paleker, M. ‘Women's Rights’, South African Human Rights Yearbook 1997 Vol 8 (2000) 321-390.

Book Reviews:

  1. Of Ezeanokwasa, Jude Oseloka. The Legal Inequality of Muslim and Christian Marriages in Nigeria. Constitutionally Established Judicial Discrimination (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2011).  In Religion and Human Rights 7 (2012) 65-69.
  2. Of Shabana, Ayman. Custom in Islamic Law and Legal Theory.  The Development of the Concepts of ‘Urf and ‘Ādah in the Islamic Legal Tradition (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).  In Journal for Islamic Studies 31 (2011) 123-125.

 

Waheeda has also published in the print media including among others, the Daily Maverick, the Conversation, the Thinker, News24, the Star, Cape Argus, Rand Daily Mail, Sunday Times and the Cape Times as well as community newspapers such as Muslim Views.

She has been interviewed on television channels such as Cape Town TV, eNCA and the SABC as well as radio channels including SAFM, Cape Talk, Good Hope FM, Bush Radio, Voice of the Cape and Channel Islam.

She has further made numerous submissions to various ministries, government departments and the South African Law Reform Commission on the need to recognize Muslim marriages in South Africa and has provided expert opinions to law firms within South Africa and abroad, organisations within civil society, local government, the South African Commission on Gender Equality and the United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues.

Waheeda is involved in postgraduate supervision of Doctoral theses and Masters’ dissertations and convenes and teaches the following courses:

Postgraduate:

  • LLM course in International Protection of Human Rights, Department of Public Law, UCT
  • LLM course in Human Rights, Legal Pluralism, Religion and Culture, Department of Public Law, UCT

Undergraduate:

  • LLB Preliminary B LLB course on Constitutional Law 5YP, Department of Public Law, UCT
  • Final Year LLB elective in Legal Pluralism, Religion, Culture and Human Rights, Department of Private Law, UCT

Certified Course:

  • Muslim Personal Law, UCT Law @ Work

Waheeda has further taught at the University of Maryland and the University of Helsinki. She has additionally given guest lectures at various international institutions including the University of Antwerpen, Queen Mary University of London, University of Lucerne and the University of Ghent. She also teaches on the certified course on Legal Pluralism offered biennually by the Commission on Legal Pluralism.

As part of her socially responsive work, Waheeda from time to time provides pro bono legal services to indigent people in the Southern Suburbs through her involvement with the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre. She has provided training on Muslim personal law and human rights issues to civil society organisations and government departments. She has also been involved with several non-governmental organizations including being a member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel). She was the Co-founder and former Trustee of Shura Yabafazi (Consultation of Women'); former Chairperson of the South African Recognition of Muslim Marriages Forum; former Chairperson and Board Member of Engender; and former Secretary of the Western Cape branch of Nadel.