The Constitutional Court Trust has recently awarded fellowships for the 2024 - 2025 academic year.

The Franklin Thomas Fellowship, funded by the Ford Foundation in honour of their first Black president, Franklin Thomas, is intended to benefit promising young Black South Africans who have clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa by providing them with the opportunity to study towards a one-year LLM at a well-respected law school in the USA.

Thomas Kagiso White has been awarded the Thomas Franklin Memorial Fellowship for 2024-2025. Currently, he works as a law clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa in the chambers of Justice Steven Majiedt and Justice Ashton Schippers. Originally from Kimberley, but born and raised in Johannesburg, Thomas holds a BCom Law, an LLB and a LLM from the University of Pretoria. Thomas is a lawyer, journalist and amateur historian for the Roman Empire.

Prior to his appointment at the Constitutional Court, he worked at the United Nations as an Assistant Human Rights Officer. Before this, he served as a Principal Researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, where he prioritised research on Africa, focusing his efforts on the socio-economic rights of migrants under international law. His primary passion is public international law which he first encountered while representing South Africa at the Phillip C. Jessup Moot Court in Washington DC. Thomas has received numerous speaking accolades including first prize for Best Speaker in the regional African Human Rights Moot Court. He has also worked as a News Anchor at Power FM 98.7 where he reported breaking news every hour in a prime-time slot.

Thomas describes what he hopes to achieve through the fellowship:

This fellowship is a dream come true. I’ve applied for LLM scholarships for three years straight with no luck! So, to achieve this now - just as my stint at the Constitutional Court comes to an end - is an outcome I never expected. I’ve learnt much at the Court, and hope to learn even more at Michigan Law School, where I will focus on public international law, and the UN Security Council. Africa is greatly underrepresented in the practice of international law, and this LL.M is opportunity for me to change that.

Learn more about the CCT's fellowship programmes