The Ismail Mahomed Fellowship for law clerks is 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.

The purpose of the fellowship is 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.The fellowship is administered by the Constitutional Court Trust, a non-profit organisation that exists to promote human rights, the rule of law, constitutionalism and judicial independence in the African region - with a special focus on the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Details of the Fellowship

  • One fellowship will be awarded for the 2021 – 2022 academic year.
  • It will be tenable at the University of Notre Dame Law School, Michigan University Law School, OR any other university of choice in the USA (subject to motivation and approval of the trustees.)
  • The fellowship award is specifically intended to cover travel and living expenses associated with studies.
  • The award is subject to the candidate meeting the relevant university’s postgraduate selection criteria and being awarded a scholarship tuition waiver, or securing adequate funding to cover all tuition and study related costs.


Who is eligible to apply?

  • Applicants must be South African citizens, who have served as law clerks either at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, or at the Supreme Court of South Africa.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated a commitment to human rights and have a firm intention to continue working in the area of human rights.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who:
  • do not hold an LLM degree;
  • have not had the opportunity to study abroad;
  • will be no older than 35 years of age at the start of proposed studies;
  • have clerked at the Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court of Appeal within the last five years.

How to apply

Applicants must send their applications to Ms Elizabeth Moloto by email at by Monday 15 June 2020. All enquiries may also be directed to Elizabeth Moloto.  

Applications should include the following:

  • A 1 - 2-page motivational letter on why you should be awarded the fellowship;
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) no longer than 3 pages;
  • University transcripts for all higher education qualifications;
  • One example of written work, such as an essay or research memorandum, relevant to your application;
  • Letters of support from two referees. If listing a Constitutional Court Justice as a referee, the name of the judge will suffice - no letter is required.

Interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg in July 2020.