The 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 Centre contributes towards the establishment and promotion of the best interests of children in South Africa through litigation, advocacy, research and education.
The Centre is registered as a Law Clinic and through strategic impact litigation aims to set legal precedent to improve and strengthen laws pertaining to children.
Download Annual Report 2014
Making room: Facilitating the testimony of child witnesses and victims
This report comes almost five years after the Constitutional Court emphasised the need for special arrangements to be made for child witnesses and victims that testify in court.
The report considers data eminating from multiple sources which assist in determining whether the state has complied with the Constitutional Court order to improve court services for child witnesses and victims. A number of sources are considered, including the 2009 report submitted by the Department to the Court, a 2012 survey report commissioned by the Centre, a 2014 Presentation: Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional services provided by the Department of Justice.
A number of concerns are raised including the fact that the method of collecting and recording of information by the Department is inconsistent; lack of accommodation resulting in some courts not having separate waiting rooms for children; lack of job security for intermediaries; lack of toys to keep children busy; lack if refreshments for children.
Download the publication
Summary of the Constitutional Court judgment
Children at the centre: A guide to the registration of Child and Youth Care Centres
Despite the fact that 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
Centre for Child Law v Governing Body of Hoerskool
Fochville, The Supreme Court of Appeal, case no
156/2015 (8 October 2015)
The Supreme Court of Appeal upholds children's right
AB and Another v Minister of Social Development,
North Gauteng High Court, case no 40658/13
(12 August 2015)
The North Gauteng High court dealt with the
Constitutionality of section 294 of the Children's
Act. The section requires a genetic link to be
present in surrogacy agreements.
Upcoming Cases and Events
The 7th Annual Child Law Moot Court Competition will be held on the 9th and 10th of September 2016. Invitations and case facts to follow.
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Ann Skelton to act as curator for child
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6 April 2016
From The Mercury: The Centre of Child Law has been allowed to intervene in a case in which a Durban mother said she was forced to bring an urgent court application to have a daughter admitted for permanent psychiatric care, notes a report in The Mercury.
Last month, the mother of the child filed an application asking that her daughter be admitted to Town Hill Hospital because she was aggressive, prone to violent outbursts and was a danger to her younger siblings.
Yesterday, the Centre for Child Law was granted leave to be allowed to intervene in the matter and for its director, Professor Ann Skelton, to be appointed as curator for the child. Skelton was granted permission to conduct an intensive 60-day investigation of the child’s situation and treatment history and to determine the type of treatment that would best suit her needs and options for her ongoing care.
There was no opposition to the application. The matter was adjourned to June, when Skelton is expected to file a report.