p-fl Research Unit

Faculty of Law

Message: Director Research Unit @ the Faculty of Law

Prof Willemien du Plessis

Research Unit for Law, Justice and Sustainability

The Research Unit for Law, Justice and Sustainability, located in the Faculty of Law, addresses developmental and legal challenges in South Africa. The various projects in the unit deal with cutting-edge and cross-cutting issues pertaining to both the public and private sector, such as trade and development, land issues, poverty alleviation, environmental governance, the realisation of socio-economic rights,  religion and culture.

South Africa functions within the context of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union and international law, and therefore several of the projects investigate this relationship. What makes the research unit unique is that its research projects all relate to government’s priority service delivery areas.

Staff and students

Altogether 35 full-time members of the Faculty of Law participate in the research unit’s activities, of whom 24 had doctoral degrees and nine are NRF-rated researchers. Emeritus Prof LM du Plessis and Prof F Venter are internationally acclaimed researchers and Prof LJ Kotzé is one of the few P-rated (NRF Prestigious Awardee) scientists in South Africa. Prof Anél du Plessis is rated Y1.

Research partnerships and collaboration

The Faculty has partnerships with various international universities for undergraduate and postgraduate student exchange and staff exchange. As such the Research Unit also collaborate in these programmes and present annual summer-winter law schools in collaboration with Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and the Justus Liebig University in Germany.

The Research Unit also presents on a regular basis colloquia on various topics in association with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. These colloquia are attended by government, agriculture, NGOs, legal practice, academia and the private sector. 

Members of the Research Unit serve on national and international research councils and committees, are members of editorial boards of national and international journals and are invited to present papers at national and international conferences.

The members of the Research Unit are therefor nationally and internationally recognised for their research outputs.