Centre for Medical Ethics & Law



Legal Team​​


Healthcare delivery and research require a multi-disciplinary approach, not only to ensure legal compliance, but also to support innovation guided by adherence to ethical and legal principles. The legal team aims to support and facilitate science whilst protecting and promoting the interests of study participants and data subjects. In this context, the legal team plays a critical role in the ELSI team, providing guidance to researchers by interpreting applicable law, and, where necessary, advocating for policy, regulatory, and legislative reform. ​

Dirk Brand

Di Dirk Brand (BComm, LLB, LLM (EU Law) and LLD (Constitutional Law)) is an Extraordinary Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University and an independent legal consultant. He has published various articles and contributions to books on constitutional law, AI and the law, governance and international relations. He continues to consult on constitutional law, public governance, data protection and international relations.


Jerome Amir Singh

Professor Jerome Amir Singh (BA, LLB, LLM, MHSc, PhD) is Adjunct Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada and Honorary Research Fellow at the Howard College School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. He is the Director of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) Advisory Services on Global Health Research and Development. He serves as an ad hoc Consultant to several UN entities, including the WHO, UNAIDS, and UNICEF. He is the Co-Chairperson of the HIV Prevention Trial Network’s (HPTN) Ethics Working Group, and a member of the HIV Vaccine Trial Network’s (HVTN) Efficacy Trial Working Group. He is a member of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Technical Task Team on Ensuring Protection of Human Rights and Improving Access to Justice. He currently serves on several oversight bodies, including the International Ethics Review Board of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the WHO Ethics Review Committee for COVID-19. 

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Ann​elize McKay

Professor Annelize McKay is professor of International Law and Bioethics at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, and the head of University Law School. She holds the following academic qualifications: BA Hons (English Literature & Literary Theory); LLB Hons; LLM (Cum laude); Diploma in Datametrics; and LLD (PhD). In 2003 she was awarded a scholarship by the USA National Institutes of Health to Yale University, USA, where she undertook research towards her doctoral thesis. Professor McKay lectures medical law and bioethics as well as international law at under- and post-graduate levels at various universities. She is an extraordinary professor in the Department of Public Law at the University of Pretoria. She practised as an advocate for a number of years before she entered academia. She is the author and co-author (under her maiden name) of over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on international human rights law, research law, international law and bioethics. She co-authored two student textbooks. She has delivered conference papers and keynote addresses at more than 30 national and international conferences. She is a member of the International Association of Bioethics and a member of the International Law Association. Professor McKay is an editor of the African Human Rights Law Journal and an assistant editor of the Journal for Contemporary Roman-Dutchutch Law.​

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Marietjie Botes

Marietjie has transitioned from a 20-year career as a practising attorney in health law and biotechnology to academia focusing on interdisciplinary research in the intersection between science, technology, law, and ethics. She holds the degrees of BProc, LLB, LLM (Intellectual Property Law) and a PhD (Biotechnology Law). Her research interests include the regulation and ethics involved in advanced medical products such as gene therapies, gene and stem cell research, the use of big (geospatial) data in the context of health emergencies and pandemics, Digital Health technologies - in particular with regard to implanted devices such as Brain-Computer Interfaces and their impact on fundamental rights, including online behavioural manipulation and how it shapes debates around digital ethics and its push towards digital constitutionalism. Marietjie published widely on these topics, both nationally and internationally, and serves as co-editor for the special edition on Digital Ethics for the Humanities and Social Sciences Communications Journal (Springer Nature). She is an elected member of ASSAf involved with the second consensus study on gene therapies in South Africa, and one of the invited experts and co-authors of the SA Country Reports on COVID-19 in which she addressed various legal issues with regard to pandemic management. In her free time, Marietjie collaborates with artists and scientists to create comics which she uses to teach and stimulate debate around biotechnology and digital ethics.