Constitutional Court judge, Mr Justice RMM Zondo, returned to his alma mater recently to deliver the opening address at the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) Conference hosted by UKZN’s School of Law.

Addressing academics and legal professionals from the Commonwealth, Zondo expressed gratitude to Commonwealth countries for their help in the fight against apartheid.

His talk revolved around Patent Law, Labour Law and Constitutional Law and how the South African courts often referred to the academic writings coming out of the Commonwealth when amending its laws.

The theme of the Conference - Legal Education and Regional Cooperation in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Jurisdictions - sought to address the challenges facing legal education and legal practice in the Commonwealth.

In his presentation, Zondi highlighted how Canadian and English law had influenced and shaped developments in the area of Labour and Constitutional law in South Africa.

‘A Constitution gives legal rights to the citizens of a country. The legal history of a country must be respected, especially the right to a fair trial. We as a nation have chosen to walk the path of advancing human rights and therefore we shall not be party to the death penalty, ‘said Zondi, while addressing the topic of Constitutional Law.

Welcoming delegates to the Conference, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi, said the School of Law was proud of its partnership with the CLEA.

He said the School of Law’s participation in the CLEA Conference signified the promotion of African Scholarship and that the partnership between law schools and CLEA was an example of a collaboration that placed African Scholarship in a wider context.

‘This partnership brings scholars together to promote African Scholarship. The theme is appropriate, interesting and right. A conference of this nature brings legal scholars together to share knowledge on legal education.

‘I’m impressed by the student chapter which had the opportunity to add their voices to the Conference. It’s pleasing to see delegates from as far afield as Australia, India and the Seychelles join us here at UKZN,’ said Mubangizi. ‘It’s encouraging to know that the works of presenters are likely to be adapted for publication in the CLEA journal.’

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