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 Center for Not-for-Profit Law.
This year’s course was attended by 38 participants from all over the world representing 14 African countries. Participants included members of civil society organisations as well as postgraduate students, legal practitioners, judicial officers, lawmakers, members of human rights commissions and academics.
Presenters on this year’s course included:
- Ms Irene Petrus, Legal Advisor-Africa, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
- Professor Michelo Hansungule, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
- Ms Florence Nakazibwe International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
- Mr David Kode, Advocacy and Campaign Lead, CIVICUS
- Ms Kaajal Ramjathan–Keogh, Executive Director, Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)
- Chandre Stuurman, Supervising Attorney, Equal Education Law Centre
- Ms Lisa Chamberlain, Senior Lecturer, WITS Law School
- Ms Corlette Letlojane, Executive Director, Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
- Ms Elly Page, Legal Advisor-US, International Centre for Not–for-Profit Law (ICNL)
- Mr Andrea Toth, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)
- Mr Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
- Ms Hlengiwe Dube, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
- Mr Tomiwa Illori, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
- Deprose Muchena, Director, Amnesty International, Southern Africa Regional Office
Topics presented on the course included:
- African civil society in historical and legal context.
- What is civil society law and why it is important?
- International law and freedom of association
- Measuring the civic space: assessment tools and methodology
- Litigating freedom of association, assembly and expression in Southern Africa: lessons from strategic litigation to protect civic space
- The right to assembly: women of Marikana case
- The right to assembly in South Africa
- The right to assembly for children
- Civil society and the rights to freedom of assembly
- Protecting civic space in South Africa: the enabling environment national assessment
- The US law tracker
- Monitoring freedom of assembly
- How civic space can transform the legal environment for civil society: The case of Kenya
- How civic space can transform the legal environment for civil society: The case of Malawi
- Emerging trends in the civic space- freedom of association and assembly in the digital era
- Do we have sufficient continental standards to protect freedoms in the digital age?
- What do we do? Responding to restrictive laws
- The financial task force
- The future of the civic space in Africa- what’s next for civil society in Africa?
A key highlight of the course was the the evening function which served as a platform for participants to interactively engage with one another to share ideas, experiences and challenges faced by civil society organisations in their respective countries.
The financial support of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is gratefully acknowledged.