Civil Society Law in Africa

Course date: 3 - 5 July 2017

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law will host a one-week intensive short course on Civil Society Law in Africa from 3 - 5 July 2017.
(Please note that the course date has changed)

Graduate Centre, University of Pretoria Main Campus



Through the Legal Education Initiative, ICNL partners with selected African educational institutions to promote the study of laws affecting civil society. The Legal Education Initiative seeks to –

  • Strengthen the capacity of stakeholders with respect to the legal and regulatory principles affecting civil society;
  • In collaboration with partner institutions and organizations, develop (model) courses on civil society law that cater to a variety of audiences and can be used at law schools, legal aid clinics, continuing education programs, community legal education classes, etc. throughout the region; and;
  • Provide opportunities for interaction among legal professionals, civil society leaders, students, government officials and legislators across the region with a view to facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are:

  • To exchange views and experiences about the role of civil society in a State;
  • To strengthen capacity on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in international law and comparative perspectives;
  • To raise awareness of the challenges civil society faces and efforts to respond to those threats;
  • To strengthen capacity, in practice, to identify and analyse legal barriers to the right to freedom of association;
  • To stimulate interest in civil society law and encourage further research in this field;
  • To build a network of legal professionals working in the field and encourage collaborative efforts within the network.


Potential presenters/facilitators might include:

  • Individuals working in the field of civil society law eg Dr. Bhekinkosi Moyo, Otto Saki, Adv. Ricardo Wyngaard, Debebe Hailegebriel
  • Organisations with expertise eg European Center for Not-For-Profit Law (ECNL)
  • Government representatives eg Diplomats, MFA
  • Representatives from global and regional human rights bodies working on relevant issues eg ACHPR Commissioner/SR on human rights defenders, UN SRs on Extrajudicial Executions, Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association etc.

Course Themes

Suggested course themes:

  • Perspectives on the role of civil society
  • Conceptual issues on the right to freedom of association
  • Right to freedom of association in Africa and international law
  • Regulation of and governance within the civil society sector
  • Access to resources and sustainability of associations
  • Right to freedom of peaceful assembly including peaceful protest
  • Freedom of association and peaceful assembly online


  • Practical exercises/Group work
  • Lectures
  • Interactive discussions
  • Moderated panel discussions


The course fee is ZAR 3 000.00. This fee covers tuition, course materials, teas and lunch for the duration of the course. The fee excludes transport and accommodation costs.


There are a limited number of scholarships available to cover accommodation.

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