About me

I hold the degrees BLC (cum laude), LLB (cum laude) and LLM in Fundamental Rights and Constitutional Practice (cum laude) from the University of Pretoria, as well as a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand. 

I am a professor of law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where I teach urban and local government law, constitutional law and human rights law at LLB and LLM level, and supervise undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral research.

I am the author of two academic monographs as well as more than 60 peer reviewed academic papers (including journal articles, book chapters, working papers and the like), published both locally and internationally.

I hold a B2 rating from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), which reflects “considerable international recognition for the high quality and impact of [my] recent research outputs”.

I am the joint global coordinator of the International Research Group on Law and Urban Space (IRGLUS), co-convenor of the International Association of Constitutional Law research group “The Constitutional Status of Cities” and a member of the Association of Urban Legal Scholars (AULS).

I was an individual research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) in Amsterdam from September 2022 until January 2023, and a visiting research fellow at the World Trade Institute in Bern in November-December 2017.

I have collaborated with and/or done research-related consulting work for international organisations, government departments, academic institutions, applied research institutions and non-governmental organisations.

I am an admitted advocate of the High Court of South Africa.

I am fluent in English and Afrikaans and have basic knowledge of French and Dutch.

What I do

Academic, applied and policy research

I have extensive legal research experience, and have published more than seventy peer-reviewed academic articles as well as two books. I have significant experience in developing and conceptualising research projects, but am also comfortable working to briefs, on my own or as member of a team.

My academic work on urban governance draws on knowledge of and experience in constitutional and local government law, human rights law and theory, urban theory, private law and public health law. I am comfortable with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work and, apart from different fields and systems of law, regularly work with material from disciplines such as urban geography, public policy, urban studies, development studies, public health, governance, political science and urban planning. Legally, I excel in comparative methodology, content analysis (especially of caselaw), statutory and regulatory audits, and literature reviews. My work is often praised for the manner in which it draws together seemingly disparate strands of theory, caselaw, and legal principles. Most of my work thus far has been desk-based, but I am also familiar and comfortable with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

I have a record of attracting research funding and have been party to several funding proposals over the years. 

I have presented research findings in a large variety of fora, and have organised and conceptualised the programmes for numerous academic conferences, workshops, and symposia.

My work has been extensively cited in academic papers, policy documents and court judgments in South Africa and abroad.

Academic and non-academic writing and editing

Apart from academic publications and research- and related reports, I regularly publish op-eds and thought-pieces in the popular press. Often, these repackage results of academic research for general audiences. I was also a contributing editor to a well-known urbanism blog for more than two years. I further excel at content and technical (legal) editing, having spent four years as managing editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights and also having edited special editions of academic journals.

Research management

I have gained extensive research management experience in an academic environment, having first served as the research advisor for the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand for four years, followed by five years as the Assistant Dean of Research in the University’s Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management (which consists of schools of business, economics, accountancy, governance and law). In this latter capacity, I also served on the University’s Research Committee and its executive committee, as well as on subcommittees responsible for evaluating, awarding and monitoring various research grants. I have had to develop and drive the implementation of research plans for academic units with disparate research cultures and -challenges; provide research mentoring to both individual academics and small research units; manage, allocate and monitor output produced from a medium-sized research budget (between R2million and R3 million per annum); and review the research strategy, output and performance of units in several academic disciplines, ranging from mathematics to managerial science.

Advisory/strategic work

Due to my knowledge in fields of urban governance, constitutional law and public interest litigation, as well as my experience in research management, the conceptualisation of research projects and institutional review, I often collaborate with organisations in an advisory capacity, and am regularly invited to participate in expert meetings, serve on advisory boards and suchlike. Over the years, I have interacted in this manner with international organisations, national and local government departments, organised local government, academic units, applied research organisations and NGOs.

I have drafted laws, rules and regulations, and given input on drafted laws, rules and regulations, for small and large organisations, as well as for national government.

Research supervision

I have supervised qualitative, quantitative, applied and purely theoretical research at both Masters (LLM) and Doctoral level. I have supervised several PhD theses and numerous masters- and honours-level research reports to completion.

Curriculum development

During my years at the University of the Witwatersrand, I have developed and modified curricula, at LLM and LLB level, in various subjects (including urban and local government law, health law, human rights law and constitutional law). I have also provided LLB curriculum review advice to the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law (2008) and assisted Monash University: South Africa with the development of a constitutional law curriculum (2017).


I have over 25 years of university teaching experience (between the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand). At the Wits School of Law, I have mostly taught constitutional and human rights law, in various iterations, at undergraduate (LLB) and Masters (LLM) level. Through the years, this has from time to time been supplemented by private law teaching, notably in fields of health law, family law and property law; as well as by guest lectures on health-related aspects of constitutional and human rights law in the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences. Through the years, I have also delivered several public and guest lectures on a range of topics at various institutions, as well as a legion of conference presentations. In 2022, I launched an LLM course in Urban and Local Government Law at the University of the Witwatersrand.