ahrc civil society law 2021 web

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 (online) on Civil Society Law in Africa from 7 to 11 June 2021.

Course date: 7 - 11 June 2021
Venue: Zoom (online)

Download brochure

Apply online

Important: COVID-19 information

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current restrictions, all courses will be conducted in a virtual format. Participants are therefore required to have access to a stable internet connection. The Centre for Human Rights will however review the situation from time to time and will advise applicants on the resumption of contact sessions.

About the course

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.

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.

Topics may inlcude the following:

  • 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

Methodology may inlucde practical exercises/group work, lectures, interactive discussions and moderated panel discussions.

Potential presenters/facilitators may 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.


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on travel and global lockdowns, the course will be offered online on Zoom.

Participation in the course is therefore FREE of charge.


Since the course is FREE, scholarships are no longer applicable.

Application procedure

Apply online

Important Notice:
A high proficiency in English is required to attend this course. All lectures and materials are in English. Prior to applying for this course, please read through the information on the practical information and the payment details pages.

Documents to be submitted:

  • Curriculum Vitae (short CV in PDF or Word document, maximum 3 pages, maximum 10 MB in file size)
  • One Letter of Recommendation (PDF or Word document, maximum of 10 MB in file size)
  • Academic Records (students only) (combined in one PDF or Word document, maximum 10 MB in file size)

*Please note that in order to apply for any of the Advanced Human Rights Courses, you are required to use a Google Gmail account.

Application deadline

Applications closes on 24 May 2021.

Overview of previous courses

  • 2019


    The Advanced Human Rights Course on Civil Society Law in Africa was held at the University of Pretoria from 30 September to 4 October 2019. The course was presented by the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the International
    Read More
  • 2017


    Although the right to form civil society organisations and peaceful assembly and association are recognised by international legal instruments; civil society groups and activists continue to face threats and fall victim to oppression every day. The Centre for Human Rights,
    Read More
  • 2014


    An advanced short course on Civil Society Law in Africa is currently underway at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. This course, which runs from 14 to 18 July, is being presented by the Centre for Human Rights
    Read More


For more information, please contact:

Dennis Antwi
Project Manager: Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC)

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4197
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743

Donor &  Partner Institution