Community Law Centre welcomes new director

Professor Jaap de Visser is the new director for the Community Law Centre.

01 Januray 2013: The Community Law Centre has welcomed its new director, Professor Jaap de Visser. He takes over from Professor Nico Steytler who has been the centre’s director since 1994.

Prof de Visser is an internationally recognised expert on multi-level governance and developmental governance in particular. Prior to being the director of the centre de Visser was the head of the the Multi-Level Government Initiative (MLGI) of the centre. During this time he did ground breaking work in Zimbabwe and South Sudan on constitution-making. As a leading authority on South African planning law, he was appointed by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, as a national advisor for the drafting of planning legislation in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Free State.

He has also done extensive work on the impacts of climate change on the development of cities. In addition to producing academic publications, Prof de Visser has worked as a consultant for organisations such as the United Nations Population Fund, World Bank, GIZ, national and provincial governments and South African cities. He is the co-convenor of the LLM/Mphil in Multi-Level Government.

According to Prof de Visser, it is an immense honour for him to assume the position of director of the Community Law Centre. “While the task is big and the challenges many, I am comforted by the fact that my predecessor built a very strong and ambitious organisation. Steytler 's immense imprint on the status of the Community Law Centre as one of South Africa's premier research organisations on human rights and governance is undisputed,” he adds.

“During my five-year tenure, the centre will continue to strive to make a visible impact on law and policy, grow its footprint in Africa, increase its postgraduate output, increase the academic profile of its staff and improve its financial sustainability and internal operations. There is no doubt that the outstanding qualities of our staff and doctoral researchers and the energy and passion for their work will ensure that we succeed,” he points out.

About: The Community Law Centre
The Community Law Centre is founded on the belief that constitutional orders must promote good governance, socio-economic development and the protection of the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Through engaged research, engaged teaching and advocacy, the Centre supports processes in South Africa and the region to build inclusive, resilient states that are accountable to citizens and responsive to human rights. The Centre aims to be the leading think tank on multi-level governance and human rights in Africa.

Editorial contacts:
Jacob Nthoiwa
Information Manager, Community Law Centre
University of the Western Cape
+27 21 959 2950


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