African law clerks exchange

The African Law Clerks Exchange Programme is aimed at promoting constitutionalism and sharing the South African experience with neighbouring countries and further abroad. This programme has its origins in a internship project undertaken between July 2007 and December 2009, whereby the Trust employed four students from Swazilan, Zimbabwe and Kenya who were final year Masters students ath the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria) to clerk at the Constitutional Court. This initial project was funded by the Flemish Government were fully expended by December 2009 and there were no activities until 2014. 

Based on the success of the project, the Trust decided to source funding to run a pilot exchange programme from 2014, whereby four officers employed and nominated by the Kenyan judiciary, or civil society groups involved in human rights advocacy in Kenya, would be hosted at the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein, and four South African law clerks who have completed their terms at the Court, would take up reciprocal positions in Kenya.

Inbound officers are employed as law clerks and share in all the responsibilities and opportunities offered to clerks of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. This involves active participation in researching jurisprudence, hearings of the Court, deliberations, and the writing of judgments.

This programme will form part of the broader initiative currently underway in support of constitutionalism and human rights in Kenya, and aimed at providing some of the skills and experience necessary for the success of constitutional democracy in that land.

This programme has, to date, been generously funded by the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and the Bertha Foundation