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 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

making room jpegThis 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 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

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
to participation in public interest litigation.
View Judgment
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



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Latest News



On 08 October 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down judgment that will affect the protection of children's rights when they are participating in public interest litigation. It is also an important judgment for all vulnerable groups of people whose rights of privilege and confidentiality are protected through public interest litigation.

The judgment arises from a case involving a group of 37 English-speaking learners who were placed in Hoerskool Fochville, An Afrikaans sing-medium school, by the Department of Basic Education, due to a shortage of spaces available in other English schools in the area.

Hoerskool Fochville opposed the decision by the Department to enrol these learners and took the Department to court. The CCL, assisted by the LRC, represented the learners so that their views could be expressed to the court. As part of this process, the CCL and LRC requested the children fill in questionnaires about their experiences at the school on the basis that they would be dealt with anonymously.

The school demanded to see the questionnaires but the CCL refused to hand them over. The matter was taken to the Johannesburg High Court, which found against the CCL and ordered the CCL allow the school to inspect the original questionnaires. The High Court also gave a cost order against the CCL. The CCL and LRC appealed the decision to the SCA.

The SCA found, amongst other things, that the right of children to representation, separate from their parents, flows from their right to participate in all matters that affect them. The SCA found that the High Court did not attach sufficient weight to the rights of the children.

The SCA overturned the decision of the High Court and the CCL does not have to disclose the questionnaires to the school. Furthermore, the costs order has been reversed.

See below for more information:
Press Release_08.10.2015
SCA Judgment_08.10.2015

Centre for Child Law