As at January 2008, SAIFAC has a full-time salaried staff complement of seven people: a Director, the Director’s PA, a Deputy Director, two senior researchers, one junior researcher, and an office assistant. There are five postgraduate students based at SAIFAC, who are not salaried but supported financially through the payment of quarterly stipends. In addition to these permanent staff, SAIFAC has three research associates, who are employed full-time at one of the surrounding universities, but who co-operate with SAIFAC staff on research projects, attend our public seminars where relevant to their research, and make use of the Constitutional Court library. At any one time, there may also be one or more visiting sabbatical fellows at SAIFAC, a handful of junior researchers, and a student intern or two.
Dr. David Bilchitz has a BA (Hons) LLB cum laude from Wits University. He graduated with an MPhil in Philosophy from St John's College, University of Cambridge in 2001 and with a PHD in political philosophy and law from the same university in 2004. His book on ‘Poverty and Fundamental Rights: the Justification and Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights’ was published by Oxford University Press in February 2007. He has several other publications in areas that include the Law of Evidence, Socio-Economic Rights, and Persons and Family law. His current research focuses on the relationship between business and human rights. His research interests include the intersection between political philosophy and constitutional law and the institutional implications in a wide-range of diverse areas.
David completed his articles at Ross Kriel Attorneys from August 2004, where he gained expertise in public sector law. He was admitted as an attorney in May 2007. He has also worked for three years as a sessional lecturer in jurisprudence at the University of the Witwatersrand Law School and is currently Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is currently employed full-time as senior researcher at the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law.
David is also a committed activist working towards social reform with his involvement in feminist, gay rights, poverty and animal rights issues. Recently, he was one of the key drivers in the campaign for civil marriage for same-sex couples in South Africa and acted as legal adviser to the Joint Working Group (a coalition of 17 lesbian and gay organisations). He has also campaigned for shelters for the homeless, has taught literacy and numeracy skills to streetchildren, has worked on improving dialogue between Jews and Palestinians surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict and is a founder member of the Legal Alliance for Animal Welfare.
Redson Kapindu holds an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Malawi, a Diploma in Human Rights from Lund University, and an LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria. Apart from his responsibilities as Deputy Director of SAIFAC, Redson is currently reading towards his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has previously held various positions in Malawi including serving as Director of Legal Services at the Malawi Human Rights Commission, Vice President of the Malawi Law Society and Commissioner on the Special Law Commission on the Review of Child Rights Related Legislation of the Malawi Law Commission. He also serves as an Associate Editor on the Editorial Board of the recently introduced Malawi Law Journal. Redson has been involved in public interest litigation in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania and has consulted for institutions in Malawi and internationally on various human rights and other legal issues. His major research interests are on human rights, forced migration law and international politics.
Ngwako Raboshakga grew up in Limpopo Province, where he completed most of his primary schooling. He later attended high school in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, while living in Soweto. He pursued his tertiary studies at the University of the Witwatersrand between 2003 and 2004, where he completed an LLB degree. During his time at Wits, he was a student leader, holding positions as Secretary-General of the Wits Law Students Council (2005/6) and Community Development Officer of the Wits Law Students Council (2004/5). He was also a member of the Wits Law School Teaching and Learning Committee (2005/6), the University of the Witwatersrand Disciplinary Committee (2006), and a senior member of the Wits Volunteer Programme (2004-2006). In his penultimate and final years of study, he was a recipient of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund Bursary and Read Hope Phillips Thomas & Cadman Inc Final Year Scholarship. He also participated in the student vacation programmes at Webber Wentzel Bowens Attorneys and Read Hope Phillips Thomas & Cadman Inc. After leaving law school, he served as a researcher at the Constitutional Court in the chambers of Justice Bess Nkabinde, from January to December 2007. While at the Court, he chaired the Judges' Clerks Liaison Committee and was Vice-Chairperson of the Constitutional Court Law Clerks' Alumni Association Management Committee. He is currently registered for a full-time LLM degree in public law at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Mmatsie Mooki holds a B Iuris (cum laude) from Vista University, an LLB from
the University of Free State and an LLM from the University of Pretoria.
Following the completion of her degrees, she worked as a lecturer at the
University of the Free State and the University of the North West (Mafikeng
campus). She joined SAIFAC as a doctoral fellow in April 2007. Her LLD
research topic, which has been registered at the University of Pretoria, is "Access to legal abortion in SADC from a reproductive health rights
perspective: a need for reform?"
"The African Regional Courts and their role in the promotion and protection
of human rights: The Southern African Community Development Tribunal" in
(2007) 6 Judicial Watch Report (Kenya section of the International
Commission of Jurists, 2007)
Mia is a senior lecturer in the Law School of the University of the Witwatersrand. She obtained an LLM from Humboldt University in Berlin in 1999. After completing her articles she obtained a PhD at Leiden University under the supervision of Prof. John Dugard. She was funded by the Huygens and Mandela scholarships. She has published in the fields of international criminal law and constitutional law. In 2007 she received a Humboldt research fellowship for research at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg.
Professor Werner Scholtz graduated with a BA LLB in 1998 from the University of Potchefstroom, and obtained his doctorate in environmental law at the University of Leiden in 2001. He was employed by the Chemical and Allied Industries' Association (CAIA) from 2000-2002. He then received a grant from DAAD and the Verein zur Förderung der Rechtswissenschaft for post-doctoral research, which was conducted at the Ruhr University, Germany, as well as the University of Potchefstroom. He was appointed as an Associate Professor at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, in 2004. In 2006, he received the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Stipendium and in this capacity visited the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. He has also been appointed as Lehrbeauftragte (visiting professor) at the Chair for Public Law, Ruhr University, Germany. He was promoted to the position of full professor at North-West University in 2008.
He has been a Research Associate at SAIFAC since 2007. His main area of interest is international environmental law.
Born in Scotland and dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom, Iain Benson is a writer, lecturer and consultant and was the first Executive Director of the Center for Cultural Renewal, Ottawa, Canada, (1994-2009) a non-partisan, non-denominational charitable foundation (est. 1993) with status in both Canada and the United States, dedicated to examining the nature of pluralism with particular reference to the associational rights dimension of religion and expression.
He studied in Canada, Scotland and England and holds degrees from Queens University (literature), the University of Cambridge (law) and University of Windsor (law). He is called to the Bars of British Columbia (1985) and Ontario (2010) and is currently a PhD. Candidate (constitutional law) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. On November 1, 2009 he was made Professor Extraordinary of Law in the Department of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Law, the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein). He is the first non-national Research Associate for the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (Johannesburg) and Senior Fellow of the Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, University of Alberta, Camrose, Canada. Currently Senior Associate Counsel for one of Canada’s largest law firms, Miller Thomson LLP, he travels regularly between his home in France and Canada when he is not in South Africa.
Iain has appeared before all levels of Court in Canada up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada in cases involving human rights and constitutional law and has been a witness before a wide variety of Professional Organizations, Commissions and Parliamentary committees. He has consulted to the governments of Ireland and Canada. He is quoted frequently in the press and media.
He has lectured across Canada, the United States, Europe, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. At the invitation of the Canadian Bar Association Iain gave a paper to the 2006 National Conference on “Religion and the State.” His work on “secular” and “secularism” has been cited as authority by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He has acted for most of the major religions and religious groups in Canada in cases involving religious liberty.
He was one of two people retained by the Canadian Federal Government to write background “think-pieces” for the Policy Research Initiative (an internal Federal Government “think-tank”) looking at “Religion and Public Policy” as an aspect of Federal Multi-culturalism Policy. That work Taking a Fresh Look at Religion and Public Policy in Canada: The Need for a Paradigm Shift was submitted in January 2008.
Over the past two years he has been invited to be part of an inter-faith working group on the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms – and is one of eight members of the Continuity Committee and one of the principle drafters of that document. This work was signed by every major religion (and many major NGO’s and leading individuals) on October 21, 2010 in Johannesburg. This Charter, the civil society portion of which is now completed, next goes forward for negotiations with the government. It could be a model not just in South Africa but around the world since it sets out – in a manner endorsed by all the religions themselves – core aspects of citizenship and the rights and freedoms of religion and conscience in a constitutional democracy.
At the invitation of the Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See to give a paper on “Is Canada moving Towards or Away from Religious Inclusivity in the Public Square?” (May 2010) and has been invited to join the Founding Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism (Ottawa, Canada) by HH the Aga Khan and the Minister of Multi-culturalism and Citizenship where he will serve alongside 11 others including Kofi Annan (former General Secretary, U.N.), Yash Ghai (Constitutional Expert, University of Hong Kong) and Adrienne Clarkson (former Canadian Governor General).
See Iain Benson's profile on Wikipedia
Ngwako Raboshakga (see above)