Page 21 - UCTR2012 Law

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Faculty of Law
Law, Race and Gender
Research Unit
Director: Associate Professor D. Smythe
Unit profile
The Law, Race and Gender Unit (LRG) has worked, since
its inception in 1993, to provide legal decision-makers
with an understanding of the ways in which the history
and social context of our country informs the creation,
application and interpretation of our laws. The Unit focuses
on producing excellent empirical studies of law in context,
based on participatory methodologies and collaborative
partnerships. It publishes a work in progress series, called
Issues in Law, Race & Gender and convene a very successful
seminar series under the auspices of our Rural Women’s
Action Research Project.
Over the years LRG has done research, developed a range
of training materials, and conducted regular participatory
workshops through which actors within the justice system
are able to explore issues such as gender-based violence,
racial discrimination and inequality, sexuality, ethics and
various associated legal problems. Current work focuses on
laws and practices affecting women living under customary
law, including the Traditional Courts Bill and Communal
Land Rights Act, and related governance issues. Its work
reflects a continued commitment to sound research
underpinning evidence-based advocacy on critical legal
and social issues.
LRG hosted an externship project with Stanford
University’s Stanford International Human Rights Clinic,
receiving 3 final-year Stanford law students. They also
convene the final year LLB research focus group on
‘Women and the Legal System’ and an LLM course on
‘Sexual Offences”.
LRG works on a collaborative basis with a range of external
partners, including rural community based organisations
(e.g. Masifunde, Masimanyane, LAMOSA, Border Rural
Committee, and the Rural Women’s Movement) and other
academic institutions (especially UWC, Stellenbosch and
Stanford University). They work particularly closely with
lawyers from the Legal Resources Centre. They draw
on a range of internationally recognised researchers to
supplement their own research capacity where necessary.
Permanent and Contract Staff
Associate Professors
Senior Researchers
Research Support Staff
Contract researchers
Research Fields and Staff
Permanent Staff
Associate Professor D. Smythe
Law and Society (particularly the use of Interdisciplinary
Research Methods), Participatory Governance, Criminal
Justice Policy, Violence against Women
Dr A. Claassens
Culture and Human Rights; Land Rights; Women’s Rights;
Participatory Action Research, Traditional Leadership and
Dr S. Mnisi
Interface between Living Customary Law and State Law,
Culture and Human Rights; Institutionalisation of Traditional
Authorities, particularly Traditional Courts; Succession
Ms M. de Souza
Ms D. Jefthas
Ms S. Taherzadeh
Mr M. Jara
Accountable Government; Traditional Leadership and
Governance; Land Rights; Agricultural Production
Research Support Staff
Mr C. Kavuro
Resource Administrator
Ms S. Wright