News

Certificate Course on Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act
Author: Jaap
Published: Mar 22, 2017

The legal framework for spatial planning and land use management has changed dramatically over the past few years. A new law, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act now guides the way national, provincial and local governments plan and manage land use. Municipalities are now at the centre of deciding land use applications.

Lukas Muntingh and Jean Redpath audit Kenya's criminal justice system
Author: Jaap
Published: Mar 17, 2017

The Dullah Omar Institute's Prof Lukas Muntingh and Jean Redpath were lead consultants in a project to audit Kenya's Criminal Justice System. The Audit found that more poor people were arrested, charged and sent to prison as compared to the well to do. A major concern as per the findings was that, serious offences such as organized crimes, capital offences and sexual offences were found to have the highest rate of acquittal and withdrawals. The Audit called on the N.C.A.J to capitalize on the recommendations for institutional reforms in policing and prosecution systems.

Latest issue of the ESR Review is now available
Author: Jacob
Published: Mar 14, 2017

This issue includes two features, one explores if the Sustainable Development Goals are human rights-based and the other looks at the link between fundamental, elementary, primary and basic education. There is also an insightful interview with Professor Sandra Liebenberg.

Lukas Muntingh urges a rethink on imprisonment
Author: Jacob
Published: Mar 03, 2017

In this opinion piece, DOI's Lukas Muntingh argues that life imprisonment in South Africa is a blunt instrument, based on little fact, and which has had no proven impact on violent crime rates. Furthermore, it is now imposed for offences that would not have attracted the death penalty, except in the rarest of circumstances.

The DOI unpacks constitutionalisation of local government in the Southern African
Author: Jacob
Published: Feb 28, 2017

Yesterday, the Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) hosted seminar for a group of public administration students from the University of Kehl in Germany. The topic discussed at this seminar was - Constitutionalisation of local government in the Southern African Region: Status, relevance and challenges.

DOI condemns use of SANDF during SONA
Author: Jacob
Published: Feb 08, 2017

The Dullah Omar Institute joins civil society organisations concerned about the state of our democracy in condemning the deployment of 441 members of the SANDF to maintain law and order during this week’s State of the Nation Address.

Press Release: Parliament Watch - Recent civil society monitoring emphasises below average performance of the legislatures
Author: Karel
Published: Feb 07, 2017

On 7 February 2017, two days before the official opening of Parliament in 2017, Parliament Watch, a collective of nine independent civil society organisations working towards the advancement of social justice, the realisation of human rights, and strong constitutional democracy in South Africa will be hosting discussions on the state of South Africa’s legislatures and the effectiveness of parliament and parliamentary committees in their functioning as a tool for oversight, openness and accountability.

Using SPLUMA for civic action on urban housing
Author: Jaap
Published: Feb 03, 2017

On 3 February, Jaap de Visser presented a lunch seminar at the Development Action Group (DAG) on how to use the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) for advocacy around urban housing challenges. The seminar was attended by housing rights activists based in Cape Town.

The state of South Africa’s legislatures - What’s next?
Author: Karel
Published: Jan 31, 2017

On 07 February 2017, in the days ahead of the opening of Parliament, Parliament Watch will be hosting an event, which aims to increase public scrutiny on legislatures through reflecting on their performance in 2016 and considering the prospects for stronger legislatures in 2017.

Can cities force us to install water saving devices?
Author: Karel
Published: Jan 30, 2017

The drought is forcing cities to consider new ways of regulating water use. This is critical because rapid urbanisation and increasing water scarcity will continue to put pressure on the availability of water.

DOI co-hosts doctoral colloquium at Addis Ababa University
Author: Karel
Published: Dec 05, 2016

On 3 and 5 December, nine doctoral students from the Centre for Federal Studies (Addis Ababa University) presented parts of their dissertations at a doctoral colloquium. Each student presented a chapter, received feedback and engaged in debate with peers.

INVITATION TO ARMCHAIR DISCUSSION ON THE NPA AND OVERSIGHT
Author: Jacob
Published: Nov 03, 2016

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has come under increasing criticism in recent years. Among the reasons for criticism are the declining rate and number of cases being prosecuted, and the perceived politicisation of the institution. Institutionally the NPA is in a deeply troubled state. Is the NPA in need of an oversight mechanism to oversee its decisions? Please join the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI), a project of the Dullah Omar Institute (University of the Western Cape) for an armchair discussion on the future of the NPA.

Jaap de Visser and Stephen Berrisford comment on Agricultural Land Bill
Author: Jacob
Published: Oct 31, 2016

The Dullah Omar Institute, together with Stephen Berrisford, made a submission to the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill, 2016. The Bill seeks to regulate development activities on agricultural land in order to protect agricultural production. In essence, it forces municipalities to seek the consent of the Minister of Agriculture before approving the development of agricultural land.

SERP hosts a workshop to empower community leaders
Author: Jacob
Published: Sep 19, 2016

From May till September 2016, the Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute hosted a series of Community Leaders Workshops to empower and raise awareness on human rights and social justice.

Jaap de Visser provides commentary on local elections and coalitions
Author: Jacob
Published: Aug 12, 2016

Prof De Visser, Director of the Dullah Omar Institute and local government expert has been providing expert analysis in various media on the 2016 elections and on coalitions. He explained the rules governing elections and particularly the rules impacting on the efforts to build coalitions in so called 'hung councils'.

Prof De Visser helps draft plan to implement New Urban Agenda
Author: Jacob
Published: Aug 01, 2016

On 28 and 29 July, Prof Jaap de Visser participated in an Expert Group Meeting, convened by UNHABITAT on the sidelines of PrepCom 3 in Surabaya, Indonesia. PrepCom 3 was the third meeting of the Preparatory Committee, established by the UN to prepare for HABITAT 3 in October 2016 in Quito.

Guide and video on local government elections launched
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 22, 2016

On 20 July, Jaap de Visser addressed a seminar convened by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung to mark the launch of the book "Electing Councillors" and the video "Do you know what you are voting for? He shared the platform with Deputy Minister Andries Nel who delivered the key note address.

Rules for 2016 Local Elections Explained
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 05, 2016

Jaap de Visser and Nico Steytler, both professors at the Dullah Omar Institute, have written a manual entitled: “Electing Councillors - A Guide to Municipal Elections” which explains the rules for local government elections. It discusses the rules for voter registration, party registration, ward candidates and party lists. It also explains what happens on voting day, how votes are counted and how results are determined.

Make your Mark: do you know what you are voting for?
Author: Karel
Published: Jul 05, 2016

On 3 August, millions of voters will exercise their right to vote and decide who controls South Africa’s 257 municipalities. The stakes are high because municipalities deal with basic services and parties are competing for control of powerful cities, such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini.

OPPORTUNITY: Doctoral Studies in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 04, 2016

South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Multilevel Government, Law and Policy offers two full-time doctoral (LLD or DPhil) bursaries, commencing in the 2017 academic year. The study may focus on South Africa’s system of cooperative government, including provincial and local government, fiscal relations, and comparative federalism.

UWC Professor gets highest votes to be in the UN Committee
Author: Jacob
Published: Jul 04, 2016

Prof Benyam Dawit Mezmur, who is currently an Acting Director of the Dullah Omar Institute, Faculty of Law, at the University of the Western Cape was elected into UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with the highest votes of 152 states together with Mikiko Otani from Japan. Mezmur is being re-elected into the Committee for a second term. He currently serves as its Chairperson, a position he was elected into by his colleagues in the Committee last year May, when he became the youngest, and the first Chairperson of the Committee from Africa in almost 15 years.

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