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.

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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..."

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Latest Judgments

Supreme Court of Appeal rules on procedure to be
followed when accused sentenced in terms of
minimum sentences
Nndateni v S (959/13) [2014] ZASCA 122 (19 September 2014)
Constitutional Court rules on constitutionality of
placing child offenders on sex offender register
J v National Director of Public Prosecutions and Another CCT 114/13

Upcoming Cases and Events


Details to be confirmed

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Latest News



The Centre for Child Law notes with concern a media report stating that an amendment bill that will be tabled before Parliament will 'legalise' teenage sex. 

The aim of the amendments to the Criminal (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 is to decriminalise consensual sexual behaviour between children aged 12 and 16 years old.

This does not amount to legalisation but means that there will be a change in law that eliminates the criminal punishments that these children would face if the Act is left as is. The Constitutional Court has already ruled that the law cannot remain because treating these children as criminals is unconstitutional.

The Act will contain no provisions legalising consensual sexual behaviour and as a result will leave the responsibility of engaging with the children on a level that they will understand, with parents, schools, religious organisations and other community based interventions.

For more info please see the media release below:
Media Release


Centre for Child Law