Prof Jaap de Visser


Jaap de Visser assumed office as Director of the Dullah Omar Institute in 2013 and has been associated with the Institute since 1998. In 2015, he spearheaded the conversion and renaming of the Community Law Centre into the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights. He is a Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape's Faculty of Law.

He is the co-author of Local Government Law of South Africa. His research, teaching and consulting focuses on multilevel government, local government, good governance and federalism in Africa and he has published widely on these topics. He has overseen and conducted postgraduate and contract research on multilevel government in South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Lesotho and Kenya. With Prof Nico Steytler and Dr Tinashe Chigwata, he convenes the Masters in Law, State & Multilevel Government.

Jaap de Visser has consulted for many national and international organisations, including the Worldbank, UNHABITAT, USAID, Forum of Federations, GIZ, South Africa’s Department of Cooperative Government, the City of Cape Town and many other local authorities in South Africa. He was lead consultant on the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act of 2014 and on the review of Lesotho’s Local Government Act under contract with the UNDP. Prof De Visser is Treasurer of the International Association of Centres for Federal Studies and alternate board member of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

He holds an LLB and an LLD from Utrecht University where he taught from 2002-2006 and an LLM from the University of the Western Cape. He is rated by the National Research Foundation at B-2 ("considerable international recognition for the high quality and impact of his/her recent research outputs").

Recent publications:


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