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 2015

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

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.
View Judgment

 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 2016View all details under Events -> Child Law Moot Court.

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Latest News

2 December 2016: Investing in children's rights

On Monday 5 December 2016, the Centre for Child Law launched two publications concerning government investment in child rights.

Two recent cases considered whether government was planning, budgeting and spending adequately for children's rights to basic education and to social services.

The Centre monitored what kind of progress government has made in that regard by commissioning two reports. The reports were presented for the first time by their authors at the launch. Please contact us should you like electronic versions of these reports. 


28 November 2016: How are child rights monitored in South Africa?

Child rights are not monitored independantly in South Africa. But this needs to change. A coalition of NGOs suggested to the United Nations earlier this year that the South African government should address this gap in protection for children.

On 29 November 2016, the Centre hosts a lecture around the independent monitoring of child rights in South Africa. The Child Rights Commissioner for Flanders, Belgium - Bruno Vanobbergen, will share his region's experienecs in monitoring child rights. Thereafter government and civil society will take the discussion forward. 

Follow us on Twitter #childcommissoner and @UPChildLaw for live tweets tomorrow.




Centre for Child Law