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
Nicole Breytenbach N.O. v Minister of Home Affairs and Others, North Gauteng High Court, case no 50365/14 (27 May 2016)
The North Gauteng High court confirmed children's right to South African citizenship if a parent is a South African citizen in terms of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995.
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
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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NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION WEEK
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3 JUNE 2016
The Centre for Child Law has had quite an eventful National Child Protection Week.
On 1 June 2016, the Centre successfully launched a publication called the Guidelines for Legal Representatives of Children in Civil Matters. These guidelines were developed through a partnership with Legal Aid South Africa and were held at the ProBono.Org offices at Constitutional Hill, in Johannesburg. The aim of these guidelines is to assist legal practitioners in understanding their role as child representatives (eg, curator ad litem), to ensure good practice and adherence to appropriate ethical standards and to promote the best interest of the child principle. The Centre would like to thank all the key legal role players who attended. A special mention has to go to Justice Ponnan of the SCA who was the guest speaker for the evening, Mr Patrick Hundermark from Legal Aid and Miss Sarisa van Niekerk, who were our other speakers.
On 2 June 2016, the Centre hosted a public lecture by Mr Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde, the founder and executive director of Legal Brains Trust, a public advocacy organisation that provides pro bono legal services to activists and civil society organisations in Uganda.
On 3 June 2016, an attorney from the Centre attended and spoke at the Child Protection Week event hosted by BOSASA Youth Development Centres at the Mogale Youth Centre, in Krugersdorp.