Centre for Child Law PDF Print E-mail

Annual report 2013 front cover 1The Centre for Child Law  was established in 1998 and is based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. The Director of the Centre is Prof Ann Skelton.

The contribute towards establishing and promoting the best interests of children in South Africa through litigation, advocacy, research and education.

The Centre is registered as a Law Clinic which through strategic impact litigation aims to set legal precedent to improve and strengthen laws pertaining to children.

                              Download Annual Report 2013

Mud to bricks: A review of school infrastructure spending and delivery

MudtoBricks CoverDilapidated public school infrastructure can be found across the country, but the problem is particularly acute in the Eastern Cape where the majority of the so called 'mud schools' are located. On 04 February 2011, following court action on the issue of mud schools, the Legal Resources Centre, acting on behalf of 7 schools and the Centre for Child Law, concluded a landmark settlement with the National Department of Basic Education in which the Department committed to spend R8.2 billion from 1 April 2011 to 1 March 2014 to eradicate mud schools and improve infrastructure of schools throughout South Africa.

The Centre for Child Law commissioned Cornerstone Economic Research, to track school infrastucture spending and delivery. The aim of the research was to assess what progress has been made in addressing the issues that brought about the litigation.

This study, amonst other things, makes the concerning finding that the Department has woefully underspent the allocated school infrastructure funding for two years running. The target for the number of schools to be built in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 was 49. However, only 10 had been completed at the end of the first year.

Download the report


Children at the centre: A guide to the registration of Child and Youth Care Centres

Despite the fact thCYCC Manual Web pic1at the Children's Act 38 of 2005 has been in operation for nearly three years, many child care facilities (including facilities previously referred to as children's homes) have not registered as child and youth care centres as prescribed by the Act.

The Centre saw the need to provide some assistance in the registration process and therefore put together a practical manual on registration of Child and Youth Care Centres.

The aim of this manual is to provide practical guidance to child care facilities through clarifying the registration requirements and procedures to be followed and through addressing the 'frequently asked questions'. 

"[A]ll the facilities recognised the importance of registration but were, without exception, crippled by the lack of information on the registration requirements and procedures..."

Download the manual


Latest Judgments

Wayne Coughlan N.O v The Road Accident Fund
(CT 160/14) [2015] ZACC 9 (20 April 2015)
Constitutional Court finds that foster child grants and 
child support grants should not be deducted from 
compensation that RAF is liable to pay to children for 
loss of support resulting from the death of their parents
View Judgment
Jezile v S (A127/2014) [2015] ZAWCHC (23 March 2015)
Western Cape High Court finds that the customary
practice of 'Ukuthwala' is not a defence against
charges of trafficking, rape and assault of a child

Upcoming Cases and Events


To be confirmed

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Latest News



On 21 April 2015 the North Gauteng High Court heard an urgent application to prevent the publication of details revealing the identity of the child known as Zephany Nurse. Zephany Nurse was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital when she was born and was raised by the woman who kidnapped her. She was only found at the age of 17.

The High Court granted the order sought; the order prohibits the publication of any information or images that may lead to her identification, both before and after she turns 18. The order prohibiting the publication of her image or identifying details is only Part A of a broader application and the order will be in force pending the final determination of Part B of the application.

Part B of the application will hopefully be heard by the court later this year. Part B deals with the correct interpretation of section 154(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 (CPA) which protects child witnesses and offenders by prohibiting the publication of any information that may lead to their identification. The applicants, the Centre for Child Law, Childline, Nicro and Media Monitoring Africa will be asking the court to provide an order in the following terms:

  • That the protection of the identity of a child concerned in legal proceedings in terms of section 154(3) of the CPA, applies to victims as well as witnesses and offenders who are under the age of 18 years; and
  • That children whose identities are protected in terms of section 154(3) of the CPA, do not forfeit the protection of their identity when they reach the age of 18 years.

The media will still be able to tell the stories and can make an application to court to publish identifying information where that would be in the public interest. 

Click below for the High Court order:
North Gauteng High Court Order_21.04.2015 


Centre for Child Law