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 2015
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
S v SD, Kwazulu Natal High Court – Pietermaritzburg, case no AR346/15 (28 June 2016)
The Kwazulu Natal High Court, Pietermaritzburg found that although a child’s diversion order had numerous procedural irregularities in the court a quo, this was not enough to set aside the original order. The Court found that the diversion order had been completed and accordingly dismissed the application to have it reviewed and set aside.
MR v Minister of Safety & Security, Constitutional Court, case no CCT 151/15 (11 August 2016)
The Constitutional Court confirmed the principle that the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration must be applied by an arresting officer dealing with a child.
Upcoming Cases and Events
The 7th Annual Child Law Moot Court Competition will be held on the 9th and 10th of September 2016. View all details under Events -> Child Law Moot Court.
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16 September 2016: Coalition to attend the SA Government's Report to the UN on their progress on children's rights
On Monday 19 September 2015, the Alternate Report Coalition-Children's Rights South Africa (ARC-CRSA) will attend the South African government's report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the progress it has made in realising children's rights.
The Centre for Child Law forms part of the ARC-CRSA, a coalition of non-governmental organisations who presented an Alternative Report to the UN last year. The government's feedback on Monday 19 September 2016 will address some of the concerns raised by the ARC-CRSA.
Please read more on the website of the Dullah Omar Institute, who also forms part of the coalition. Follow the ARC-CRSA's Twitter account @ARC_CRSA.
1 September 2016: Senior litigation attorney wanted
The Centre for Child Law is hiring a new senior litigation attorney. Please see the attached advert for details. For further information, please call Pontso at the Centre for Child Law on 012 420 4502.
CCL Job advert (right click and "Save As" to download)