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Guidelines for legal representatives of children in civil matters
Commissioned and edited by the Centre for Child Law, 2016

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Making Room:Facilitating the testimony of child witnesses and victims
Commissioned and edited by the Centre for Child Law, 2015

This publication comes almost 5 years after the Constitutional Court, in Director for Public Prosectuions v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, emphasised the need for special arrangements to be made for child witnesses and victims testifying in court.

The publication considers data eminating from multiple sources which assist in determining whether the state has complied with the Constitutional Court order to improve court services for child witnesses and victims. A number of sources are considered, including the 2009 report submitted by the Department to the Court, a 2012 survery report commissioned by the Centre for Child Law, the 2014 Presentation: Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services provided by the Department of Justice. A number of concerns are raised including the fact that the method of collecting and recording information is inconsistent, making tracking of provision of service very difficult; lack of accommodation resulting in some courts not having separate waiting rooms for children; lack of job security for intermediaries who were often appointed on a contract basis and not permanent basis; lack of toys to keep children busy; lack of refreshments for children.

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Summary of the Constitutional Court judgment


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Mud to bricks: A review of school infrastructure spending and delivery
Written by Carmen Abdoll and Conrad Barberton
Commissioned by the Centre for Child Law, 2014

Dilapidated public school infrastructure can be found across the country, but the problem is particularly acute in the Eastern Cape where the majority of the so called 'mud schools' are located. On 04 February 2011, following court action on the issue of mud schools, the Legal Resources Centre, acting on behalf of 7 schools and the Centre for Child Law, concluded a landmark settlement with the National Department of Basic Education in which the Department committed to spend R8.2 billion from 1 April 2011 to 1 March 2014 to eradicate mud schools and improve infrastructure of schools throughout South Africa.

The Centre for Child Law commissioned Cornerstone Economic Research, to track school infrastructure spending and delivery. The aim of the research was to assess what progress has been made in addressing the issues that brought about the litigation. This study, amongst other things, makes the concerning finding that the Department has woefully underspent the allocated school infrastructure funding for two years running. The target for the number of schools to be built in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 was 49. However, only 10 schools had been completed at the end of the first year.

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Promoting Effective Enforcement of the Prohibition Against Corporal Punishment in South African Schools
Written by Faranaaz Veriava
Commissioned by the Centre for Child Law, 2014

 

 South Africa can boast that it was the second country on the African continent (after Namibia) to ban corporal punishment when it passed the South African Schools Act in 1996. Almost two decades later, as the South Africa government prepares to present reports to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a grave truth must be admitted. The General Household Survey for 2012 showed that 15.8% of all children reported having experienced corporal punishment in school during that year. That amounts to 2.2 million children being hit in South African
schools within one year. Practice simply does not reflect the law’s promise.This report considers the prevalence of corporal punishment in schools, and depicts the forms that it takes through numerous documented examples. Official ambivalence and weak regulatory systems are identified as part of the country-wide problem. Improvements in some provinces are highlighted, and these are linked to deliberate programmatic responses, giving rise to hopes that corporal punishment, if effectively tackled, can ultimately be eradicated. In the conclusion to this report, Faranaaz Veriava prescribes a platform for action by government, the South African Human Rights Commission and other civil society role players. It is time for action.

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SA's progress in realising children's right A law review

South Africa's progress in realising children's rights: A law review
Edited by Paula Proudlock
A Children's Institute Publication, 2014

The year 2014 marks 20 years of democracy for South Africa. Children born in 1994, at the start of democracy, are now 20 years old and entering the next phase of their lives as young adults. It is a good moment to take stock of South's progress in realising children's rights.

This book focuses on a selection of laws and examines whether they have been designed and are being implemented in compliance with international and constitutional law. Where design flaws or implementation challenges are identified, the authors make recommendations  for reform.

The Centre for Child Law's Morgan Courtenay and Zita Hansungule wrote chapter 7 that deals with protecting the rights of children in conflict with the law and reviewed South Africa's Child Justice Act.

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Children at the Centre: A Guide to the Registration of Child and Youth Care Centres
Written by Patricia Martin
Commissioned by the Centre for Child Law, 2012

Despite the fact that the Children's Act 38 of 2005 has been in operation for nearly three years, many child care facilities (including facilities previously referred to as children's homes) have not registered as child and youth care centres as prescribed by the Act.

The Centre saw the need to provide some assistance in the registration process and therefore put together a practical manual on registration of Child and Youth Care Centres.

The aim of this manual is to provide practical guidance to child care facilities through clarifying the registration requirements and procedures to be followed and through addressing the 'frequently asked questions'.

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Justice for child victims and witnesses of crimes
Edited by the Centre for Child Law, 2008

Child victims and witnesses of crime are amongst the most vulnerable people in the justice system. The United Nations issued guidelines for their protection in 2005. This publication sets out the guidelines in the South African context.

Does South African law reflect these guidelines? What are the challenges to be faced in order to bring South African law and practice in line with these international standards? Answers to these questions are provided in this up-to-date analysis of the current state of the law.

This publication is a useful guide for students of law, as well as for practitioners who work with children in the courts. Launched during the internationally recognised “16 days of activism to end violence against women and children”, the publication is designed to be of assistance in the everyday working life of presiding officers, prosecutors, defence lawyers, social workers, intermediaries and other professionals.

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Latest News

20 February 2017

Judgment received in commercial surrogacy case where CCL acted as friend of the court 

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In 2016, the Centre for Child Law acted as amicus curiae in a matter concerning the legality of a surrogacy facilitation service.

Last week, judgment was handed down in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) which confirmed commercial surrogacy is illegal.

Read TimesLive news article here.

Centre for Child Law