The Yearbook, which is projected to appear annually, is set out in three sections. Section A contains academic articles: Section B consists of country-based research, charting recent developments on disability rights legislation, case law and policy developments in selected African states; and Section C deals with relevant developments in the African Union (AU) and African sub-regional organisations.
The publication of the first issue of the Yearbook in 2013 is a milestone in the engagement on the rights of persons with disabilities by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, under whose auspices this publication was conceived and is being produced. It marks a highlight in the efforts taken by the Centre over the last few years to bring more academic attention to the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa. These efforts have only been possible with the support of the Open Society Foundations, in particular, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
The Yearbook is published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP).
This activity is developed and supported in the framework of the Disability Rights and Law Schools Project in Africa supported by the Open Society Foundations
Prof Charles Ngwena (Convening Editor), Dr. Ilze Grobbelaar-du Plessis, Prof Helene Combrinck and Prof Serges Djoyou Kamga.
Ms. Thuto Moratuoa Hlalele and Kate Painting
International advisory board:
Dr. Tsitsi Chataika, Prof Luke Clements, Prof Theresia Degener, Mr. Andrew Dube, Prof Anna Lawson, Dr. Christopher Mbazira, Ms. Charlotte McLain-Nhlapo, Dr. Bonita Meyersfeld, Commissioner Lawrence Mute, Prof Michael Ashley Stein, Prof Gerard Quinn and Judge Monica Mbaru.
Disability Rights Curriculum
Changing the landscape: Core Curriculum on Disability Rights for Undergraduate Law Students in Africa
Introduction to the curriculum
This ‘Core Curriculum on Disability Rights for Undergraduate Law Students in Africa’ has been developed as part of a broader initiative to foster and strengthen knowledge and awareness about and interest in the rights of persons with disabilities among lawyers in Africa. This initiative, the ‘Disability Rights and Law Schools in Africa Project’ was supported by the Open Society Foundations, initially the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and later complemented by the Higher Education Support Programme (HESP) and the Human Rights Initiative (HRI). For the avoidance of doubt, the curriculum is written with the aim of being delivered to learners undertaking legal studies.
The Law Schools Project comprises support to a network of selected universities, particularly in Africa, with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, playing a coordinating role. These faculties are:
- Chancellor College, University of Malawi
- Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
- Makerere University, Uganda
- Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
- University of Botswana
- University of Dodoma, Tanzania
- University of Nairobi, Kenya
- University of Namibia
- University of Zambia
Drafting a curriculum for a full undergraduate course is an ambitious undertaking. Its many
iterations, reworking, and revisions span some four years, and include numerous authors, commentators
and other contributors. It is therefore impossible to definitively allocate authorship. The
following persons all contributed in significant ways: William Aseka; Natasha Banda; Luis Bitone;
Enoch Chilemba; Helene Combrinck; Yvonne Dausab; Nadja Gomez; Ilze Grobbelaar-du Plessis;
Thuto Moratuoa Hlalele; Hilda Kaluwa; Serges Kamga; Elizabeth Kamundia; Magnus Killander;
Bernadette Malunga; Esau Mandipa; Lawrence Mashava; Orquidea Massarongo; Lungowe
Matakala; Nkatha Murungi; Tshepiso Ndzinge Makhamisa; Charles Ngwena; Jehoshaphat Njau; Chipo Nkatha; Ruusa Ntinda; Ally Possi and Peter Shughuru.
While most modules are the outcome of contributions by numerous authors, the last three (modules 10 to 12) were added towards the final stages of the Project. Different to other modules, these three were developed almost exclusively by a single author, Elizabeth Kamundia, whose professionalism and devotion to the Project is specifically recognised and appreciated.
The Curriculum benefitted considerably from the inspiration, support and critical comments of various experts of the Open Society Foundations, in particular Alison Hillman, Tirza Leibowitz, Patricia
Mwanyisa, Boaz Muhumuza, Elena Naumkina, and Louise Olivier.
The African Law Schools Project forms part of a broader global network of law schools in Europe and the Americas. Some of these global partners, in particular the following persons have made significant contributions:
- Prof Luke Clements, Cardiff University
- Prof Arlene Kanter, Syracuse University
- Shivaun Quinlivan, National University of Ireland, Galway
The Contribution of Prof Michael Stein, Harvard University, and extraordinary professor in the Centre for Human Rights, is also acknowledged with appreciation.
It appears from the process described above that the curriculum writing process has been the product of extensive collaboration. While we cannot name everyone who contributed to the curriculum by
name, we would like to express our appreciation to all who contributed in some way to this publication.
The curriculum comprises of the following modules:
- Module 1: Introduction to disability rights
- Module 2: Protection of the rights of persons with disabilities: Global framework
- Module 3: Protection of disability rights under African regional and national law
- Module 4: Non-discrimination against persons with disabilities
- Module 5: Right to health
- Module 6: Participation in political and public life
- Module 7: Employment
- Module 8: Education
- Module 9: Vulnerabilities and inter-sectionalites
- Module 10: Legal capacity law and policy
- Module 11: Access to justice
- Module 12: Strategies towards implementing disability rights
Toolkit on business and disability
The Disability Unit has designed a toolkit for the private sector geared towards promoting the right to employment of persons with disabilities on behalf of the South African Human Rights Commission. The Commission is in the process of publishing the toolkit.
Disability law, policy and programmes in South Africa research project
The Disability Unit together with professors from different departments within the University of Pretoria is working on a brief from Foundation for Human Rights. Under this Brief, the Unit is undertaking a comprehensive examination of existing South African legislation, policies and programmes that have a direct or indirect impact on the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the rights of persons with disabilities, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). The purpose of the review is to identify current gaps (and/or inconsistencies) between the existing legislative framework and the CRPD. In the second phase of the brief, the Disability Unit will be designing a national mainstreaming strategy. To upload when completed