2014 Summer Courses
Classes will meet five days a week for three weeks.
During the first week of the program (May 26 to June 3, 2014), all U.S. students will take a one-credit course called South African Law, Policy, and History: Apartheid, Democracy, and the Future.
Students will then choose one of the two-week, two-credit classes listed below.
Courses will be supplemented by lectures by prominent South African and African lawyers and human rights advocates, and by field trips to Constitutional Court, Pilanesberg, Apartheid Museum, and Soweto.
South African Law, Policy and History: Apartheid, Democracy and the Future
This course will introduce students to the nature and role of the Constitution in post-apartheid South Africa, and to selected jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, with comparative references to constitutional systems in countries of southern Africa, the United States and other comparative systems. It will deal with the main institutions and procedures of the South African constitution, as well as the Bill of Rights and the role of the Constitutional Court. Reference will also be made to the dynamic role of the constitutional systems in the transformation of South African society since 1994.
At the end of this course students must: Show a high level understanding of the South African constitutional system in the context of other constitutional systems.
Be able to critically analyze constitutional jurisprudence/cases and explain the way the Constitutional Court has taken to its transformative mandate.
Be able to undertake critical constitutional analysis by synthesising legal materials and demonstrating competence to apply them to practical situations.
Cross-Cultural Legal Communication
After exploring the theoretical underpinnings of cross-cultural communication in the legal context, students will have the opportunity to both observe and participate in client interviews and intakes at the Wits University Law Clinic. To start, students will receive a lecture about a particular area of South African law, for example, family law or refugee law. Students will then explore how differences in culture, language, and tradition affect the lawyer-client relationship and how lawyers can most effectively communicate with clients from differing cultures and backgrounds. Armed with these skills, students will first observe staff from the Wits Law Clinic interview clients, and they will then conduct interviews themselves. In addition, because South Africa has 11 official languages, the course will also focus on the posed by the use of interpreters, and students will visit local magistrates' courts to see the role that interpreters play. Finally, students will select a topic relating to cross-cultural communication and write a 10-15 page research paper. (Shown above: 2012 students in the Cross-Cultural Communication class during a field trip to the Labor Court.)
Associate Professor, Seattle University, School of Law, United States. AB, Georgetown University; JD, Georgetown University Law Centre.
After law school, Professor Samuel practiced business litigation for approximately eight years, first in Washington, D.C., at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and then in San Francisco, at Thelen Marin Johnson & Bridges. An avid traveler, Professor Samuel has pursued opportunities to work with law students, lawyers, and judges overseas.
In 2003, she taught the foundations of the American legal system to Russian law students at Far Eastern National University in Vladivostok. During a leave of absence in 2007, Professor Samuel and colleague Professor Laurel Oates conducted a series of trainings and workshops in India, Uganda, and South Africa. In addition, Professor Samuel co-organized the Conference on the Pedagogy of Legal Writing for Academics in Nairobi, Kenya, which brought academics from the U.S. together with academics from East Africa. At the end of the conference, the participants decided to form a new organization dedicated to promoting the teaching of legal writing and the exchange of information among academics in the U.S. and Africa. Professor Samuel serves as the first U.S. co-president of that organization.
In addition, Professor Samuel has taught in Seattle University's South Africa Program in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2008, Professor Samuel was awarded the first Bronson Dillehay Award for her article Focus on Batson: Let the Cameras Roll. That award is given by the American Society of Trial Consultants for a proposal for addressing a significant and persistent problem that undermines both the right to a fair trial and public confidence in the legal system
The aim of the course is to assess the ways that human rights law has penetrated the market and begun to affect the behaviour of economic factors, including international financial institutions, multinational corporations, the UN and human rights activists.
The objective of the course is to examine and understand
The impact of multinational corporations on human rights, particularly in the developing world;
The extent to which multinationals should be regulated by international law and the role of transnational legal norms in promoting corporate accountability for human rights; and
Policy considerations for the future of global trade, international investment and finance, corporate governance and economic development.
Associate Professor, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
BA, University of Stellenbosch; LLB, University of Witwatersrand; LLM, Yale Law School; JSD, Yale Law School
Bonita Meyersfeld is an Associate Professor of Law and the Head of Gender at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. Bonita's areas of work include public international law, national and international human rights law, gender, business and human rights, national and international criminal law and animal law. Bonita is currently teaching Public International Law and Human Rights in the Marketplace. Bonita is an editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights.
Prior to her position at Wits she worked as a legal advisor in the House of Lords in the UK where she worked on matters such as advising the Ministry of Justice on the adoption of a written constitution and a bill of rights; the implementation of international criminal law in the United Kingdom and the retrospective application of the Rome Statute; international human rights law and business and human rights. She has contributed to the work of the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights on matters relating to gender. During this period she was also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics in the Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights.
Bonita's past work experience includes positions at Interights in London, the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York and Edward Nathan, Friedland and Sonnenbergs, Knowles Husain & Lindsey Inc and POWA in South Africa.
International Criminal Law
(Course description and faculty information are forthcoming.)