The 2015 December graduation ceremony for the Doctoral candidates of the Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch University took place on Wednesday, 9 December. Shanelle van der Berg, a postgraduate student from the SERAJ Research Project, received her LLD at this event. Dr van der Berg completed her dissertation, entitled “A capabilities approach to the judicial review of resource allocation decisions impacting on socio-economic rights”, under the supervision of Professors Sandy Liebenberg and Geo Quinot.
Upon requesting the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, to confer an LLD on Dr van der Berg, Professor Liebenberg had this to say about the dissertation:
“The socio-economic rights in the South African Bill of Rights are central to the transformation of post-apartheid society. But these rights often require substantial resources for their realization. The question that this dissertation addresses is the role of the courts in enforcing these rights. Courts’ involvement in budgetary issues is controversial as they are perceived to lack democratic legitimacy and institutional competence in this area. Drawing on the capabilities approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, the candidate develops a sophisticated model to aid courts in adjudicating State resource allocation decisions.”
The other participants of the SERAJ Research Project wish to congratulate Dr van der Berg on this remarkable achievement, which followed very hard work and dedication! All the best for your future endeavours as an alumna of the Project.