Demichelle Petherbridge has a BComm LLB from the University of Stellenbosch and has obtained a certificate in International and European Legal studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. In 2014, she completed her Practical Legal Training through the Legal Education and Development School for Legal Practice. In March 2015, she received her doctorate from Stellenbosch University. Her doctoral research focuses on the role of international human rights law in the interpretation of socio-economic rights in South Africa. Demichelle is currently working as a candidate attorney at Equal Education Law Centre in Cape Town.
During 2011, Demichelle was a departmental assistant at the Department of Public Law at Stellenbosch University, where she lectured part-time in the field of human rights. She also participated in the Overarching Strategic Plan (OSP) Project on Combating Poverty, Homelessness and Socio-Economic Vulnerability under the Constitution at Stellenbosch University as a student participant. In 2013, Demichelle received a full research scholarship from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take part in an eight-week research stay at the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademie University in Åbo/Turku, Finland. During this time, she participated in the Advanced Course on the Justiciability of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is hosted by the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademie University. She has also written for LegalBrief.
Regarding her experiences at the SERAJ Project, Demichelle stated that:
“The Socio-Economic Rights and Administrative Justice Research Project provided me with the opportunity to complete my doctoral research within a stimulating and enriching academic environment. Through this project, I was able to participate in discussions concerning amongst others, relevant jurisprudence and texts, and was provided with invaluable opportunities to engage with academics and their research through seminars. The project also created a safe, innovative, academic space within which I learnt to both think critically about my research, and further develop my research skills. I am grateful for the friendship and support of the students I have met through the project, and for the excellent guidance provided by the co-founders and directors of the project, Professor Liebenberg and Professor Quinot.”