The year 2015 was another full and fulfilling year at the Centre for Human Rights.
The Centre comprises a core and two ‘satellites’. The one is the International Development Law Unit (IDLU) which operates as part of the Centre. The Centre was very fortunate to welcome back Prof Danny Bradlow in 2015, as head of this Unit. He also holds the SARChI Chair on International Development Law and African Economic Relations in Africa.
The Centre also continued to support the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), which is also organically linked to the Centre. Through its Unlawful Killings Unit, the Centre supported the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Prof Christof Heyns.
On the academic front, the highlight certainly was the ten doctoral degrees awarded to candidates registered in the Centre.
This record number reflects one of the Centre’s aims, which is to contribute to the academic discourse and academic capacity in Africa. The Centre further runs four Master’s programmes, of which the LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa has been in place the longest, with 455 alumni across the continent. It also has had the widest reach and deepest impact on the continent and beyond, with chief justices, cabinet members, deans of law faculties, and chairpersons of human rights treaty bodies, counted among its graduates – alongside many others making a difference in their professional engagement with life on the continent. It gave us great joy when David Padilla was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pretoria on 10 December 2015, in recognition of his selfless career in service of human rights in the Americas and beyond.
- Taken from the introduction to the Centre for Human Rights Annual Report 2015by Frans Viljoen, Director, Centre for Human Rights.