An ‘important purpose of section 34 [of the Constitution] is to guarantee the protection of the judicial process to persons who have disputes that can be resolved by law’ and that the right of access to court is ‘foundational to the stability of an orderly society. It ensures the peaceful, regulated and institutionalised mechanisms to resolve disputes, without resorting to self-help. The right of access to court is a bulwark against vigilantism, and the chaos and anarchy which it causes. Construed in this context of the rule of law and the principle against self-help in particular, access to court is indeed of cardinal importance’.The right guaranteed s34 would be rendered meaningless if court orders could be ignored with impunity:the underlying purposes of the right — and particularly that of avoidance of self-help — would be undermined if litigants could decide which orders they wished to obey and which they wished to ignore.
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (UCLA Law) and Sonke Gender Justice Network (Sonke) present the UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship. Launched in 2011, the program provides specialized training to top graduates from South African law schools for careers as impact-oriented public interest lawyers in the areas of health, human rights, HIV prevention, and gender equality.
The fellowship offers a full-tuition grant to enroll in UCLA Law’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) program, assists fellows in securing living and travel expenses for their studies, and offers the opportunity to apply for a one-year fellowship placement with Sonke in Cape Town or Johannesburg.
Fellows will enroll in UCLA Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy (PILP), and through its workshop and seminars, will meet PILP students and faculty and study the problem-solving challenges faced in public interest legal practice. Fellows will examine the principal skills and conceptual approaches useful to public interest lawyers in the PILP seminar, Problem Solving in the Public Interest.
Through the course Human Rights and Sexual Politics, fellows will interact with students from medicine and public health, and conduct legal research and advocacy for Sonke. Each UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellow will also elect other related courses and author a substantial writing assignment on a health, human rights, and/or gender equality-related legal issue facing South Africa.
To prepare for American legal study, fellows will take a summer introductory course, American Law in a Global Context, and will have access to ongoing tutoring through its existing student support programs.
Upon completion of the LL.M. degree, each fellow will have the opportunity to apply for a yearlong fellowship placement with Sonke in South Africa. If awarded, the fellow will undertake cutting-edge law and policy research addressing the gender inequality dynamics driving the spread of HIV, and examine how to engage men and boys as stakeholders for gender and health equity.
The UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship is open to legal professionals and law graduates holding LL.B. degrees classified second class (division one) or higher from South African law school programs. Competitive applicants will also have a demonstrated commitment to health, human rights, or gender equality, and work or volunteer experience in this area.
As a condition of the award, fellows will be asked to certify that they will return to Africa upon completion of their LL.M. degree, and commit to a public interest career that promotes health, human rights, and gender equality in the African region.
To apply for admission, prospective students must submit an online application to UCLA Law’s LL.M. program, a separate supplemental application form for the UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship, and supporting documentation.
To create an account and complete the online LL.M. program application, click the link above and follow the instructions.
After submitting the online LL.M. program application, click the link above to download the supplemental application for the Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship. After completing this form, please submit it by mail to UCLA Law along with the required documents listed at the “Supporting Documentation” link below.
Click the link above to view the list of required supporting documents for the UCLA Law LL.M. program application. Please mail these documents, along with your completed UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Supplemental Application Form, to UCLA Law at the listed address by the application deadline of February 1, 2012.
UCLA School of Law is the youngest top law school in the U.S. It has pioneered innovative specializations and cutting-edge research centers, and has long been committed to skills training courses that offer students hands-on lawyering experience as they master legal doctrine.
Sonke Gender Justice Network is recognized internationally for its pioneering work that supports men and boys to promote gender equality, prevent gender-based violence, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS across Africa.
The UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship will be co-directed by Lara Stemple at UCLA School of Law, and by Dean Peacock and Desmond Lesejane at Sonke Gender Justice Network.