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Harvard's prestigious Institute for Global Law and Policy and SU to inspire next-generation researchers
Author: Faculty of Law / Fakulteit Regsgeleerdheid
Published: 13/01/2023

In what can be described as a golden feather in the cap of Stellenbosch University's (SU) fast-expanding international collaborations, SU's Faculties of Law and of Economic and Management Sciences have partnered with the prestigious Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) in the United States to host the Global Scholars Academy (GSA) in South Africa. 

This initiative, which will take place in Stellenbosch next week (16-20 January 2023), will bring together both distinguished and young scholars from all over the world to debate some of the world's most pressing issues in the field of international law, policy, and economics.          

According to a statement by the IGLP, the aim of the GSA is to invest in the next generation of scholars by placing them in conversation with their global peers, thereby strengthening their ability to think in new ways about global issues that the world faces – ranging from structural poverty, human rights, inequality and migration, to international economic and legal policies, environmental sustainability and global security.

The two partner institutions will also work towards closer collaboration between the universities of the global North and those of the global South.  It is also envisaged that the Academy will contribute towards SU's overall commitment to the African continent by supporting the Africa Agenda of 2063, which includes the vision of a peaceful and secure Africa in pursuit of sound governance, democracy, human rights, justice, and the rule of law.      

One day symposium

The events at SU will start with a one-day symposium and high-level discussions on 14 January that will be attended by distinguished delegates drawn from top universities and other institutions in South Africa, Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and several countries in Europe and in Asia.  

The symposium will kick off with a presentation by Justice Nambitha Dambuza, Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa, after which round-table discussions will continue under the broad categories of private law, mercantile law, and public law.  More than 30 scholars from South African universities will also participate in these discussions and deliberations under the overall theme: Inequality and insecurity: Contemporary challenges and the quest for justice.  Thought papers were uploaded and circulated beforehand in order to facilitate the round-table discussions with the ultimate aim of identifying pertinent issues – to be addressed urgently, but also with a view of future research and academic collaborations in the general field of law and policy.

Five-day GSA

The subsequent five-day GSA from 16 to 20 January will be attended by mostly young scholars from universities both in South Africa and abroad, who will participate in writing workshops and present their research-in-progress to be debated by their local and international peers in a round-table format. Leading law, policy, and economics experts from here and abroad will also participate by presenting opening lectures or by facilitating the round-table discussions.

Topics that will be debated include social justice; land reform, constitution and transformation; pathways to economic development and justice; and human rights obligations under South Africa's domestic refugee law.

“We expect to see a wave of new ideas and multidisciplinary research as a result of this unique platform in which some of the world's promising young researchers can engage, explore new ideas, and network at both an individual and institutional level," says Professor Nicola Smit, Dean of the Faculty of Law, who collaborated closely with IGLP Director Professor David Kennedy and SU International in bringing the Academy to Stellenbosch.  

The symposium will take place in the historical Old College Building at the corner of Victoria and Ryneveld Street where the Faculty of Law is housed. The GSA will be held at SU's Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), a venue often used by international thought leaders.