SERI is delighted to welcome Professor Lilian Chenwi as the newest member of its Board of Directors.
Lilian is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand. Prior to joining the Wits School of Law, she served as the head of the Socio-Economic Rights Project of the Community Law Centre.
In 2012, Lilian was co-recipient of the Vera Chirwa Human Rights Award, particularly for her contribution to the development of economic, social and cultural rights. She has participated in processes that led to the adoption of two key international documents - the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Her research interests include international human rights law, public international law, socio-economic rights, international criminal law, housing rights, and the death penalty from a human rights perspective.
SERI researcher Dennis Webster has contributed to the Good Governance Learning Network's (GGLN) latest publication on local governance in South Africa, 'In Pursuit of Responsible and Responsive Local Governance'. The publication draws attention to the need for responsible and responsive governance to realise the legal and developmental mandate for local government.
The article, entitled 'Towards the Accommodation of Dissent: Four Case Studies of Struggle and Contestation in Informal Settlements', comes out of the research SERI conducted for the informal settlement series of Community Practice Notes. It presents the long struggles for development of the communities living in Makause, Rooigrond, Thembelihle, and Joe Slovo informal settlements. SERI has worked closely with these communities. Webster argues that the upgrading of informal settlements is a heavily contested space in which private interests and local political contours often delay the development for which communities struggle. The experiences of the four communities discussed highlight that local government often does not acknowledge these complex histories of struggle, and does not accomodate for forms of engagement outside of those initiated by the state. The result is that legitimate forms of democratic participation, like peaceful protest, continue to be repressed, especially through the state's public order policing functions.
Bishop Rubin Philip has stepped down as Chairperson of SERI's Board of Directors. SERI is delighted to announce that Professor Jackie Dugard has been elected as the new Chairperson of the Board.
Jackie previously sat on SERI's Board of Directors and was an Honorary Senior Researcher. She co-founded SERI in January 2010 and was Executive Director of the organisation till December 2012. Prior to founding SERI, Jackie was a senior researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg between 2004 and 2009. Jackie is currently an associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. In February 2014 she established the university's new Gender Equity Office (formerly called the Sexual Harassment Office). In August 2014 she was appointed as its Director.
Jackie’s areas of expertise are socio-economic rights, socio-legal studies and access to basic services and justice for the poor. Jackie has a BA (Hons) in African Politics and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand; an MPhil in the Sociology and Politics of Development and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge; and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.
SERI is also happy to announce that Professor Noor Neftagodien has accepted an invitation to become a member of SERI's Board of Directors. Noor holds the NRF Chair in Local Histories and Present Realities at the University of the Witwatersrand and serves as the Chair of the History Workshop. He is an associate professor in the History Department, a member of the university Senate, and also serves on the board of the South African History Archives.
Registration Link: https://goo.gl/DYMdJ0