UCL Faculty of Laws


Applications open for the inaugural Pius Langa Memorial Fellowship at UCL Laws

1 September 2021

Applications have opened for the 2022-23 academic year, and will afford one early career lawyer in South Africa the opportunity to study towards a LLM at UCL Laws.

Bentham House interior

The Constitutional Court Trust (CCT) is delighted to announce the establishment of a new fellowship programme to benefit young lawyers in South Africa committed to forwarding constitutional and human rights law in South Africa and/or Africa. 

This new fellowship will afford one early career lawyer per year the opportunity to study towards a LLM at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom, currently one of the top ranked universities in the world.

The new fellowship is named in memory of Chief Justice Pius Langa, a decision that, according to CCT chairperson Justice Sisi Khampepe, is most fitting:

“Justice Langa was not only central to the establishment of the Constitutional Court Trust but, more importantly, his dedication, humility and commitment to the notion that service must be at the heart of leadership are rare qualities we believe young lawyers should be aspiring to emulate in contemporary South Africa.”

Chief Justice Langa’s family has welcomed the establishment of this fellowship:

"We are humbled that the Constitutional Court Trust has seen it fitting to honour the legacy of Justice Langa in this way. We think it’s a fitting tribute to the contribution that he made towards the development of constitutional and human rights law. We look forward to seeing a new generation of lawyers committed to justice and transformation in Africa being developed through this fellowship programme."

Starting in 2022, the Pius Langa Memorial Fellowship is an exciting new step for the CCT. Other fellowships administered by the CCT have been limited to  selected former clerks of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court. In the case of this new fellowship, however, the decision has been taken to extend this opportunity beyond former clerks to include exceptional young South African and African lawyers who have worked for a South African NGO in a legal programme focused on constitutional and human rights law.

Professor David Bilchitz, a trustee of the Constitutional Court Trust and Professor at both the University of Johannesburg and the University of Reading, said:

“One of the exciting features of this scholarship is that it is open not only to Constitutional Court Clerks but legal innovators in civil society who are utilising the Constitution to advance social justice. We thus hope that the opportunity to study for an LLM degree will further contribute to strengthening civil society and its contribution to the advancement of constitutional democracy in our country.”

The fellowship award will be for £20,000 to cover travel and living expenses for the fellow, funded by the CCT’s kindred organisation, the UK-based charity, the South African Constitutional Court Trust - United Kingdom (SACCT-UK). UCL Laws will generously be providing a full tuition waiver (2021 value: £28,500) to the Pius Langa Memorial fellows selected by the CCT.

For more information about this fellowship programme and the call for applications for the 2022 – 2023 academic year, please visit www.concourttrust.org.za.

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