Fellowships for law clerks and civil society lawyers
Since 1998, the Constitutional Court Trust has been administering fellowships for selected former clerks of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of South Africa to study towards postgraduate law degrees abroad.
From 2022, a new fellowship will also be open to applications from 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.
The Franklin Thomas Fellowship
The Franklin Thomas Fellowship was established in honour of Franklin Thomas, a former President of the Ford Foundation. The fellowship is funded by monies donated by friends and colleagues of Franklin Thomas on his retirement in 1996, as well as grants from the Ford Foundation.
The purpose of the Franklin Thomas fellowship is to provide an opportunity for a South African who has clerked of the Constitutional Court of South Africa to study at an American university towards a one-year graduate programme leading to a Masters of Law (LLM) degree.
Since the establishment of the Franklin Thomas Fellowship, 19 fellows have successfully completed Masters of Law at various universities in North America, including the University of Notre Dame (6 fellows), the University of Michigan Law School (6 fellows), Duke University (3 fellows), Harvard University (1 fellow), University of Pennsylvania (1 fellow), St Louis Law School (1 fellow), and Georgetown University (1 fellow). Three Franklin Thomas fellows will be undertaking LLM studies in the USA in 2021 / 2022 academic year
The Pius Langa Memorial Fellowship
The Pius Langa Memorial Fellowship has been established in 2021 in honour of Chief Justice Pius Langa (1938 - 2013).
The purpose of this fellowship is to provide an opportunity for an exceptional early career African lawyer who has clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, or worked at a South African NGO on a legal programme focused on constitutional and human rights law, to study at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom towards a one-year graduate programme leading to a Masters of Law (LLM) degree.
The fellowship is funded by monies managed by the UK-registered charity, the South African Constitutional Court Trust (UK), with a full tuition waiver generously provided by UCL Laws.
The Ismail Mahomed Fellowship
The Ismail Mahomed Fellowship for law clerks was an annual fellowship established in 2001 in honour of the former Chief Justice Mahomed. It was made possible by a grant funded by a charitable organisation, the Atlantic Philanthropies. This fellowship scheme has lasted for 20 years with the final two Ismail Mahomed fellows completing their studies in 2021.
The purpose of the fellowship was to provide an opportunity for international postgraduate study to a South African who has served as a law clerk either at the Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court of Appeal and has demonstrated a commitment to human rights.
In the course of the Ismail Mahomed Fellowship, 23 fellows successfully completed postgrduate law degrees at various universities in North America, including the University of Michigan Law School (6 fellows), the University of Notre Dame (5 fellows), University of Toronto (4 fellows), Duke University (4 fellows), Harvard University (2 fellows), Columbia Law School (1 fellow) and Oxford University (1 fellow). Samantha Brener, the final Ismail Mahomed Fellow (2021 - 2022) is currently completing an LLM at Fordham University.
There will be no more calls for application for the Ismail Mahomed Fellowship after 2020.