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 Prof. Francois du Toit

Position: Head of Department (Private Law)
Department: Private Law
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Qualifications: BA (Law); LLB; LLM; LLD (Stell)
Tel: 021 959 3308
Fax: 021 959 0000


 Specialist in Succession Law and Trust Law.
Francois du Toit teaches and researches in Succession Law and Trust Law. He is an NRF B-rated researcher in these disciplines. He is a former Deputy Dean of the UWC Law Faculty, and is currently the Head of the Private Law Department. Francois held a COIMBRA Scholarship for researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa to the University of Groningen (2011); he was a research fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law at the University of Oxford (2013); he served as a member of an international peer-review committee for the evaluation of the Onderzoekschool Ius Commune, a research school collaboratively organised by the faculties of law of the universities of Maastricht, Utrecht, Leuven and Amsterdam (2013), as well as for a committee evaluating the Law Faculty of the University of Groningen (2016); he was a research fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Law School (2014); and he was a visiting professor at the Center of Civil Law Studies at the Louisiana State University Law Center (2016 and 2018).


Francois publishes extensively on Succession Law and Trust Law. His particular research foci are (i) the impact of public policy and constitutionalism on freedom of testation; (ii) the rescue of formally-irregular wills; and (iii) the conceptualisation of the trust, in particular in mixed jurisdictions. Francois has published on these research themes in leading international law journals, including the Journal of Civil Law Studies (USA); the Tulane European and Civil Law Forum (USA); the Australian Property Law Journal (Australia); the Weekblad voor Privaatrecht, Notariaat en Registratie (Netherlands); the Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht (Germany); and the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal (UK). His scholarship is regularly cited by South African courts, among others in Minister of Education v Syfrets Trust Ltd 2006 (4) SA 205 (C); In re BOE Trust Ltd 2013 (3) SA 236 (SCA); and Harvey v Crawford 2019 (2) SA 153 (SCA). Francois is the lead author of Fundamentals of SA Trust Law, LexisNexis (2019).​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



 Francois is the South African correspondent for the Journal of Civil Law Studies at the Center of Civil Law Studies at Louisiana State University. He was also an invited participant in the LSU Law Center’s Distinguished Global Visitor’s Program (2018). He serves on the editorial board of the Tydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg.

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