Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
17 December 2015

UCT Law Invitation, 23 January 2016: Race, Law and Transformation

Issues of race and transformation of legal education is the focus of a programme to be hosted at the University of Cape Town on Saturday January 23rd, 2016.   This event is free and open to the public.  Space is limited and an RSVP is recommended.

The first panel, entitled Race, Law and Transformation, will examine the issues of race and the unfinished business of transformation as articulated in the South African constitution.   The panelists will address these issues against the backdrop of widespread protests in South Africa in the past few years linked to service delivery and other issues, as well as the widespread student protests at the University of Cape Town and elsewhere.   Panelists include University of Cape Town Professors Waheeda Amien and Pierre de Vos, University of the Witwatersrand Professors Achille Mbembe and Ntombizozuko Dyani-Mhango, and Professor Kendall Thomas of Columbia Law School.   The panel will be moderated by Judge Shehnaz Meer, Acting Judge President of the Land Claims Court.

The second panel, entitled Transformation of Legal Education will address the possibilities and limitations of the law school curriculum and law school pedagogy.   It will seek to challenge historical and contemporary approaches to the training of legal professionals, to address the question whether law schools are in fact giving voice to the transformative potential of the constitution.   Panelists include Professor Managay Reddi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Judge Dennis Davis, Cape High Court, Professor Lesley Greenbaum, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law, Professor Geo Quinot, University of Stellenbosch Faculty of Law, and Mr. Joel Modiri, University of Pretoria Faculty of Law.   The panel will be moderated by Professor Bernard Martin, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape.

The event is the initiative of the incoming Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Penelope Andrews, and will take place at the Kramer School of Law, Middle Campus, University of Cape Town, from 9.00 a.m. to 1.15 p.m. with a refreshment break at 11.00 a.m.   Please RSVP toPauline.Alexander@uct.ac.za

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