Prof Sandra Liebenberg

Professor

BA LLB (UCT) LLM (University of Essex, UK) LLD (Witwatersrand)

 

 

 


 

Prof Sandra Liebenberg (BA LLB (UCT); LLM with distinction (Essex); LLD (Witwatersrand)) is the HF Oppenheimer Chair in Human Rights Law and Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Stellenbosch.

Endowed in 1986 by De Beers, the HF Oppenheimer Chair in Human Rights Law was established to promote the development of human rights law in South Africa through the three main pillars of academic endeavour – research, teaching and social impact. In addition to teaching and postgraduate supervision, the Chair’s activities include the promotion and support of transformation initiatives within the Law Faculty and the broader University community, as well as the organisation of the well-supported Annual Human Rights Lectures series, which has been delivered by a range of prominent human rights experts and members of the judiciary.

Prof Liebenberg has published widely in the field of socio-economic rights, and is the author of the monograph, Socio-Economic Rights: Adjudication under a Transformative Constitution (2010, Juta & Co) and co-editor of Law and Poverty: Perspectives from South Africa and Beyond (2011, Juta & Co). Her research and advocacy focus in the area of socio-economic rights has made a significant contribution internationally to legal scholarship on these fundamental rights. She serves on the editorial boards of several national and international human rights law journals, including the Human Rights Law Review, the Queen Mary Human Rights Law Review, the South African Journal on Human Rights, and Constitutional Court Review. In 2011 she was Distinguished African Scholar at Cornell University Law School, and JC Smith Trust Fund Distinguished Visiting Scholar, School of Law, University of Nottingham for 2014 – 2015.

She serves on the staff of the Global School on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and co-organises an annual flagship Advanced International Course on the Justiciability of Socio-Economic Rights with the Åbo Akademi Institute of Human Rights, Finland and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. She has also served on the drafting committee to prepare the Guidelines and Principles for Interpreting the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

During her time at Stellenbosch University she has been the recipient of a number of Rector’s Awards, including for teaching excellence. In December 2014, she received the University of Stellenbosch’s top accolade, a Chancellor’s Award, for her contribution to community service in the field of law in South Africa.

She previously served as Chair of the Technical Committee advising the Constitutional Assembly on the drafting of the Bill of Rights in the 1996 Constitution of South Africa. She has been involved in a number of landmark socio-economic rights cases which have been decided in the Constitutional Court through assisting in the drafting of amici curiae (friend of the court) submissions in cases such as Grootboom, Treatment Action Campaign, Modderklip and Occupiers of 51 Olivia Road. In addition, she has served on the board of directors of a number of human rights NGOs involved in socio-economic rights advocacy and litigation, including as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Legal Centre and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa. In 1997, she founded the Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Community Law Centre (now Dullah Omar Institute, UWC) and its flagship publication, ESR Review.

In 2017 Prof Liebenberg was elected as a member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the body which supervises compliance by States Parties with their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). In 2019 she was elected as Vice-Chair of the Committee. Her current research is focused on the contribution of the Covenant to developing innovative mechanisms for implementing, monitoring and adjudicating economic, social and cultural rights at a global level.  She is also conducting research into the implications of the concept of sustainable development for interpreting economic, social and cultural rights in both South African and international law. She supervises research LLM and LLD students in the aforementioned areas as well as general areas of human rights law.

Fields of Specialisation

  • Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Socio-Economic Rights

Modules taught

  • Constitutional Law 312
  • Constitutional Law 451
  • LLM 292
  • LLD 293
Prof. Sandra Liebenberg (BA LLB /UCT); LLM met onderskeiding (Essex); LLD (Witwatersrand)) is beklee sy die HF Oppenheimer Leerstoel in Menseregte in die Fakulteit Regsgeleerdheid aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch.

In 1986 is die HF Oppenheimer Leerstoel in Menseregte deur die De Beers gestig ter bevordering en ontwikkeling van menseregte in Suid Afrika deur die drie pilare van akademiese ondersteuning – navorsing, onderrig en sosiale impak. Bykomend tot onderrig en nagraadse toesighouding, sluit die pligte van die voorsitter die bevordering en ondersteuning van transformerende inisiatiewe binne die regsfakulteit en die breër Universiteit gemeenskap in, sowel as die organisering van die Jaarlikse Menseregte lesings, wat deur ʼn reeks van prominente menseregte eksperte en lede van die regsprofessie gelewer word.

Prof Liebenberg het in sosio-ekonomiese regte veld al wyd gepubliseer en die skrywer van, Socio-Economic Rights: Adjudication under a Transformative Constitution (2010, Juta & Co) en mede-skrywer van Law and Poverty: Perspectives from South Africa and Beyond (2011, Juta & Co). Haar navorsing fokus op die area van sosio-ekonomiese regte en het ʼn beduidende bydrae tot die internasionale gemeenskap van regsopvoeding wat betref hierdie fundamentele regte gelewer. Sy dien op verskeie redaksies van nasionale en internasionale regstydskrifte, insluitend die Human Rights Law Review, die Queen Mary Human Rights Law Review, die South African Journal on Human Rights, en Constitutional Court Review. In 2011 was sy as Buitengewone Afrika akademikus aan die Regskool van Cornell Universiteit en as Buitengewone besoekende akademikus van die JC Smith Trust Fonds, Regskool aan die Universiteit van Nottingham vir 2014 tot 2015.

Sy dien op die personeel van die “Global School on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” en is ook ʼn mede-organiseerder van ʼn jaarlikse gevorderde internasionale kursus rakende die beregting van sosio-ekonomiese regte in samewerking met die Abo Akademi Instituut van Menseregte, Finland en die Noorweegse Sentrum vir Menseregte. Sy was ook betrokke by die opstel en voorbereiding van Riglyne en Beginsels vir die interpretering van die Ekonomiese, Sosiale en Kulturele regte in die Afrika Handves van Menseregte en wat deur die Afrika Kommissie van Menseregte aangeneem is.

Tydens haar tydperk by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch het sy ook verskeie rektorstoekennings ontvang. In Desember 2014 het sy ook ʼn kanseliertoekenning ontvang vir haar bydrae tot gemeenskapdiens in regte in Suid Afrika.

Sy het voorheen as voorsitter van die Tegniese Komitee gedien met die opstel van die Handves van Menseregte in die 1996 Grondwet. Sy was ook in ʼn aantal sake betrokke rakende sosio-ekonomiese regte wat deur die Konstitusionele Hof beslis is, deur bystand te leen as amici curiae (vriend van die hof) aansoeke in sake soos Grootboom, Treatment Action Campaign, Modderklip and Occupiers of 51 Olivia Road. Sy het ook op verskeie direksies van menseregte organisasies gedien en as voorsitter van die Direksie van Vroue Regte Sentrum en die Sosio-ekonomiese regte Instituut van Suid-Afrika. Sy is die stigter van die Sosio-Ekonomiese Projek by die Gemeenskap Regssentrum (Dullah Omar Instituut, UWK) en die flagskip publikasie, ESR Review.

In 2017 was Prof Liebenberg as lid van Verenigde Nasies Kommittee op Ekonomiese, Sosiale en Kulturele regte verkies wat verseker dat Staatspartye voldoen aan hulle verpligtinge in terme van die Internasionale Konvensie op Ekonomiese, Sosiale en Kulturele Regte (1996). In 2019 was sy as ondervoorsitter tot die kommittee verkies. Haar huidige navorsing fokus op die bydrae van die Konvensie tot die ontwikkeling van inoverende meganismes vir die implentering, monitering en beslissing van ekonomiese, sosiale en kulturele regte op ʼn internasionale vlak. Haar navorsing sluit die volge in: Die impak van die konsep van volhoubare ontwikkeling vir die interpretasie van ekonomiese, sosiale en kulturele regte in die Suid-Afrikaanse en Internasionale reg. Sy tree op as promotor vir LLM- en LLD-studente in die voorgenoemde velde asook algemene menseregte.

 

 

Areas van belangstelling

  • Staatsreg
  • Internasionale Menseregte
  • Sosio-Ekonomiese regte

Modules aangebied

  • Staatsreg 312
  • Staatsreg 451
  • LLM 292
  • LLD 293

Publications/Publikasies 

Books/Boeke

  • S Liebenberg (ed) The Constitution of South Africa from a Gender Perspective (1995), Cape Town: David Philip Publishers (Pty) Ltd in association with the Community Law Centre.
  • S Liebenberg & K Pillay (eds) Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: A Resource Book (2000) Cape Town: Community Law Centre, UWC.
  • S Liebenberg Socio-Economic Rights: Adjudication under a Transformative Constitution (2010), Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg & G Quinot (eds) Law and Poverty: Perspectives from South African and Beyond (2012), Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.

Chapters in books/Hoofstukke in boeke 

  • S Liebenberg “Social and Economic Rights: A Critical Challenge” in S Liebenberg (ed) The Constitution of South Africa from a Gender Perspective (2005) 79-96, Cape Town: David Philip Publishers (Pty) Ltd in association with the Community Law Centre.
  • S Liebenberg “Human Rights and Economic Development: The Constraints and Obligations Imposed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” in N Steytler (ed) Democracy, Human Rights and Economic Development in Southern Africa (1997) 49-75, Johannesburg: Lex Patria Publishers.
  • S Liebenberg “Environment” in D Davis, H Cheadle & N Haysom (eds) Fundamental Rights in the Constitution: Commentary and Cases (1997) 256-263, Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg “Education” in D Davis, H Cheadle & N Haysom (eds) Fundamental Rights in the Constitution: Commentary and Cases (1997) 294-302, Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg “Housing” in D Davis, H Cheadle & N Haysom (eds) Fundamental Rights in the Constitution: Commentary and Cases (1997) 342-353, Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg “Health, Food, Water and Social Security” in D Davis, H Cheadle & N Haysom (eds) Fundamental Rights in the Constitution: Commentary and Cases (1997) 354-359, Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg “Socio-Economic Rights” in M Chaskalson, J Kentridge, J Klaaren, G Marcus, D Spitz & S Woolman (eds) Constitutional Law of South Africa (RS 3 1998) 41–1- 41–56, Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg “Introducing Socio-Economic Rights” in S Liebenberg & K Pillay (eds) Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: A Resource Book (2000) 9-40, Cape Town: Community Law Centre, UWC.
  • S Liebenberg “Social Security as a Human Right” in Circle of Rights – Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Activism: A Training Resource (2000) 200-219, International Human Rights Internship Program and Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development.
  • S Liebenberg “The Development of Policy, Plans and Legislation to Protect and Promote Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” in Circle of Rights – Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Activism: A Training Resource (2000) 407-417, International Human Rights Internship Program and Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development.
  • S Liebenberg “Violations of Socio-Economic Rights: The Role of the South African Human Rights Commission” in P Andrews & S Ellmann (eds) The Post-Apartheid Constitutions: Perspectives on South Africa’s Basic Law (2001) 405-443, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press and Athens: Ohio University Press.
  • S Liebenberg “The Protection of Economic and Social Rights in Domestic Legal Systems” in A Eide, C Krause & A Rosas (eds) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Textbook 2 ed (2001) 55-84, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  • S Liebenberg “Education” in H Cheadle, D Davis & N Haysom (eds) South African Constitutional Law: The Bill of Rights (2002) 533-544, Durban: Butterworths.
  • S Liebenberg “The Right to Social Security: A Response from a South African Perspective” in D Brand & S Russel (eds) Exploring the Core Content of Socio-Economic Rights: South African and International Perspectives (2002) 147-158, Pretoria: Protea Book House.
  • S Liebenberg “The Interpretation of Socio-Economic Rights” in M Chaskalson, J Kentridge, J Klaaren, G Marcus, D Spitz & S Woolman (eds) Constitutional Law of South Africa 2 ed (OS 2003) 33–1-33–66, Cape Town: Juta & Co Ltd.
  • S Liebenberg “Enforcing Positive Socio-Economic Rights Claims: The South African Model of Reasonableness Review” in J Squires, M Langford & B Thiele (eds) The Road to a Remedy: Current Issues in the Litigation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2005) 73-88, Sydney: Australian Human Rights Centre, The University of New South Wales Press.
  • S Liebenberg “The Value of Human Dignity in Interpreting Socio-Economic Rights” in AJ van der Walt (ed) Theories of Social and Economic Justice (2005) 141-167, Stellenbosch: Sun Press.
  • S Liebenberg “The Judicial Enforcement of Social Security Rights in South Africa: Enhancing Accountability for the Basic Needs of the Poor” in E Riedel (ed) Social Security as a Human Right: Drafting a General Comment on Art 9, ICESCR – Some Challenges (2006) 66-90, Berlin: Springer.
  • S Liebenberg “Making a Difference: Human Rights and Development – Reflecting on the South African Experience” in BA Andreassen & SP Marks (eds) Development as a Human Right: Legal, Political and Economic Dimensions (2006) 167-195, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard School of Public Health & Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights.
  • S Liebenberg “Needs, Rights and Transformation: Adjudicating Social Rights in South Africa” in T Lovell (ed) (Mis)recognition, Social Inequality and Social Justice: Nancy Fraser and Pierre Bourdieu (2007) 177-201, London: Routledge.
  • S Liebenberg “Socio-Economic Rights under South Africa’s Transformative Constitution” in M Langford (ed) Social Rights Jurisprudence: Emerging Trends in International and Comparative Law (2008) 75-101, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • S Liebenberg “Socio-Economic Rights: Revisiting the Reasonableness Review / Minimum Core Debate” in S Woolman & M Bishop (eds) Constitutional Conversations (2008) 303-329, Pretoria: PULP Press.
  • S Liebenberg “The Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights under South Africa’s Transformative Constitution” in D Fraser & G Rodrigues (eds) Disrespect Today, Conflict Tomorrow (2009) 161-173, Nottingham: Critical, Cultural and Communications Press.
  • S Liebenberg “Reflections on Drafting a Bill of Rights: A South African Perspective” in N Kersting (ed) Constitution in Transition: Academic Inputs for a New Constitution in Zimbabwe (2009) 21-45, Harare: GTZ & Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
  • S Liebenberg “L’Afrique du Sud: I’adjudication des droits sociaux dans le context d’une constitution transformatrice” in P Bosset & L Lamarche (eds) Droit de cite pour les droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (2011) 405-459, Cowansville: Editions Yvon Blais [selected for translation into French from S Liebenberg “Adjudicating Social Rights under a Transformative Constitution” in M Langford (ed) Social Rights Jurisprudence: Emerging Trends in International and Comparative Law (2008) 75-101, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press].
  • S Liebenberg “Equality Rights and Children: Moving Beyond a One-Size Fits All Approach” in K Hall, I Woolard, L Lake & C Smith (eds) South African Child Gauge 2012 (2012) 24-31, Cape Town: Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.
  • S Liebenberg “Socio-Economic Rights Beyond the Public/Private Divide” in M Langford, B Cousins, J Dugard, T Madlingozi (eds) Symbols or Substance? The Role and Impact of Socio-Economic Rights Strategies in South Africa (2014) 63-91, New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • S Liebenberg & KG Young “Adjudicating Social Rights: Can Democratic Experimentalism Help?” in H Alviar García, K Klare & LA Williams (eds) Socio-Economic Rights in Theory and Practice: Critical Inquiries (2015) 237-257, London: Routledge.
  • S Liebenberg “Direct Protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in South Africa” in DM Chirwa & L Chenwi (eds) The Protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa: International, Regional and National Perspectives (2016) 205-337, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • S Liebenberg “Embedding Socio-Economic Rights” in Reflections on the Bill of Rights (2018) 126-133, Cape Town: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
  • S Liebenberg “The Participatory Turn in South Africa’s Socio-Economic Rights Jurisprudence” in K Young (ed) The Future of Social Rights (2019) 187-211, Cambridge: Cambridge University PressS Liebenberg “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Implications for South Africa” (1995) 11 South African Journal on Human Rights 359-378

Journal articles/Joernaalartikels 

  • S Liebenberg “Social Rights in the Constitution: Towards Effective Equality for Women in South Africa” (1994) Third World Legal Studies Journal 225-242.
  • S Liebenberg “Identifying Violations of Socio-Economic Rights: The Role of the SA Human Rights Commission” (1997) 1 Law, Democracy & Development 161-191.
  • S Liebenberg “Social Citizenship: A Precondition for Meaningful Democracy” (1999) 40 AGENDA 59-65.
  • S Liebenberg “The Right to Social Assistance: The Implications of Grootboom for Policy Reform in South Africa” (2001) 17 South African Journal on Human Rights 232-257.
  • S Liebenberg & M O’Sullivan “South Africa’s New Equality Legislation: A Tool for Advancing Women’s Economic Equality?” (2001) Acta Juridica 70-103.
  • S Liebenberg “South Africa’s Evolving Jurisprudence on Socio-Economic Rights: An Effective Tool in Challenging Poverty?” (2002) 6 Law, Democracy & Development 159-191.
  • S Liebenberg (Guest Editor) Special issue entitled “Socio-Economic Rights and Transformation in South Africa” (2002) 6:2 Law, Democracy and Development 159-319.
  • S Liebenberg (Guest Editor) Special issue entitled “Socio-Economic Rights and Transformation in South Africa” (2003) 7:1 Law, Democracy and Development 1-169.
  • B Goldblatt & S Liebenberg “Giving Money to Children: The State’s Constitutional Obligations to Provide Child Support Grants to Child Headed Households” (2004) 20 South African Journal on Human Rights 151-164.
  • S Liebenberg “The Value of Human Dignity in Interpreting Socio-Economic Rights” (2005) 21 South African Journal on Human Rights 1-31.
  • S Liebenberg “Needs, Rights and Transformation: Adjudicating Social Rights in South Africa” (2006) 1 Stellenbosch Law Review 5-36.
  • S Liebenberg “The Adjudication of Social Rights under South Africa’s Transformative Constitution” (2006) 2 Chilean Human Rights Yearbook / Anuario De Derechos Humanos 53-72.
  • S Liebenberg & B Goldbatt “The Interrelationship between Equality Rights and Socio-Economic Rights under a Transformative Constitution” (2007) 23 South African Journal on Human Rights 335-361.
  • S Liebenberg “Towards a Transformative Adjudication of Socio-Economic Rights” (2007) 1 Speculum Juris 41-59.
  • S Liebenberg “The Application of Socio-Economic Rights to Private Law” (2008) 3 TSAR 464-480.
  • S Liebenberg “The Value of Freedom in Interpreting Socio-Economic Rights” (2008) Acta Juridica 149-176.
  • S Liebenberg “Grootboom and the Seduction of the Negative/Positive Rights Dichotomy” (2011) 26 SAPL 37-59.
  • S Liebenberg & G Quinot “Narrowing the Band: Reasonableness Review in Administrative Justice and Socio-Economic Rights Jurisprudence in South Africa” (2011) 3 Stellenbosch Law Review 639-663.
  • S Liebenberg “Engaging the Paradoxes of the Universal and Particular in Human Rights Adjudication: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of ‘Meaningful Engagement’” (2012) 12 African Human Rights Law Journal 1-29.
  • G Muller & S Liebenberg “Developing the Law of Joinder in the Context of the Eviction of People from their Homes” (2013) 29 SAJHR 554-570.
  • M Strauss & S Liebenberg “Contested Spaces: Evictions Law in Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2014) 13 Planning Theory 428-448.
  • S Liebenberg “Participatory Approaches to Socio-Economic Rights: Tentative Lessons from South African Evictions Law” (2014) 32 Nordic Journal on Human Rights 312-330.
  • S Liebenberg “Judicially Enforceable Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: Between Light and Shadow” (2014) 37 Dublin University Law Journal 131-171.
  • S Liebenberg “From the Crucible of the Eastern Cape: New Legal Tools for the Poor” (2015) 28 Speculum Juris 1-18.
  • S Liebenberg “Towards an Equality Promoting Interpretation of Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: Insights from the Egalitarian Liberal Tradition” (2015) 132 South African Law Journal 411-437.
  • K Moyo & S Liebenberg “The Privatization of Water Services: The Quest for Enhanced Human Rights Accountability” (2015) 37 Human Rights Quarterly 691-727.
  • S Liebenberg “Social Rights and Transformation in South Africa: Three Frames” (2015) 31 South African Journal on Human Rights 446-471.
  • S Liebenberg “Remedial Principles and Meaningful Engagement in Education Rights Disputes” (2016) 19 Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal / Potcheftroomse Elektroniese Regsblad <http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2016/v19i0a739>
  • S Liebenberg “Participatory Justice in Social Rights Adjudication” (2018) 18 Human Rights Law Review 623-649.

Book reviews/Boekresensies 

  •  S Liebenberg “The Constitutional Enforceability of Economic and Social Rights: The Meaning of the German Constitutional Model for South Africa by E de Wet” (1997) 13 South African Journal on Human Rights 163-168.
  •  S Liebenberg “Poverty and Fundamental Rights: The Justification and Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights by D Bilchitz” (2007) 4 South African Law Journal 882-889.
  • S Liebenberg Book review: B Ray Engaging with Social Rights: Procedure, Participation and Democracy in South Africa’s Second Wave (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 16 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2018) 289 – 296.
  • S Liebenberg “Tribute to Professor André van der Walt” (2018) The South African Law Journal 195-200.

Sien ook/see also

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