Alumni: Dr Shanelle van der Berg

Shanelle van der Berg

Dr Shanelle van der Berg holds a Mellon Early Research Career (MERC) Fellowship at Stellenbosch University. Shanelle also co-lectures Constitutional Law 312 with Professor Sandra Liebenberg and has completed her doctoral dissertation entitled A capabilities approach to the judicial review of resource allocation decisions impacting on socio-economic rights. Her research interest lies in socio-economic rights, administrative law and capabilities theory.

Shanelle obtained her BA and LLB degrees cum laude from Stellenbosch University. During her studies, she topped the Dean’s merit list, received the Vice-Chancellor’s award for academic excellence and has received several scholarships for post-graduate study. She previously worked as an associate at New York-based law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP from 2008 to 2011 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2009.

Regarding how her participation in the SERAJ Research Project has added value to her studies, Shanelle stated that:

My participation in SERAJ has greatly benefited my doctoral research. Through participation in SERAJ, I have had the opportunity to attend and present various seminars falling under the broad themes of socio-economic rights and administrative justice. Participation in SERAJ has moreover greatly enhanced my research, writing, lecturing and community interaction skills. I am grateful for the apt coordination of SERAJ by co-directors Prof Sandra Liebenberg and Prof Geo Quinot, and for the support provided by my SERAJ colleagues. My participation in SERAJ will stand me in good stead for my future research and advocacy endeavours.


S van der Berg A Capabilities Approach to the Judicial Review of Resource Allocation Decisions Impacting on Socio-economic Rights LLD dissertation, Stellenbosch University

S van der Berg “The need for a Capabilities-based Standard of Review for the Adjudication of State Resource Allocation Decisions” (2015) 31 South African Journal on Human Rights 330

S van der Berg “Meaningful Engagement: Proceduralising Socio-economic Rights Further or Infusing Administrative Law with Substance?” (2013) 29 South African Journal on Human Rights 376

Media publications:

S van der Berg “Understanding the Constitutional Court Judgments on Political Party Funding” GroundUp (01-10-2015)

S van der Berg “We Cannot Afford to Drop our Guard in the Fight for Human Rights” Sunday Weekend Argus (22-03-2015) 21

S van der Berg “The South African Public Protector’s Remedial Powers: A Need for Clarity” Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog (14-11-2014)



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