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 Prof. Julia Jane Sloth-Nielsen

Position: Senior Professor
Department: Public Law and Jurisprudence
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Qualifications: LLD
Tel: 083 258 6230


 Prof Sloth-Nielsen has been a staff member at UWC since 1994. She managed the children’s rights project at the Community Law Centre (now Dullah Omar Institute) from then until 2000, when she joined the Faculty itself. She was a member of the SALRC Project Committee that drafted the Child Justice Act as well as the Children’s Act. She has also worked on law reform in various African countries, and written training manuals and continental reports. She was appointed as a part time chair at the Department of Child Law at Leiden University in 2013, a position which she still holds. She has extensive postgraduate supervision experience with more than 70 students having graduated under her supervision. She has enjoyed a NRF B2 rating for the last decade, and has published extensively on a myriad of issues related to children’s rights and family law. She serves on an international expert group on surrogacy, has completed a five year term as a member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and lectured internationally in Belgium, Switzerland, China, and the United Kingdom. 


 Publications (since 2017).

“Child Justice” in Boezaart T (ed) Child Law in South Africa (Juta 2017) pp 677-725

“The African children’s rights system” in Boezaart T Child Law in South Africa (Juta 2017) pp 424-445

“Visions on Surrogacy - From North to South: the approach of the Netherlands and South Africa to the issue of surrogacy and the child’s right to know his origin” (with S Florescu) M Brining (ed) 2017 International Survey on Family Law, Jordan publishers, UK

“Southern African Perspectives on banning corporal punishment – A comparison of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe” in Saunders, B.J., Naylor, B., and Leviner, P. (Eds.) Comparative social and legal developments in dealing with corporal punishment of children’ (Brill publishers, 2018) ISBN:978-90-04-35597-2

“Children and informal justice systems in Africa” M Brinig (ed) (2018 International Survey on Family Law, Intersentia publishers Cambridge)

“Monitoring and enforcement of children’s rights” in Liefaard T and Kikelly U “International Human Rights of Children” (Springer publishers, 2018) ISBN 978-981-10-4183-9 ISBN 978-981-10-4184- 6 (eBook) ISBN 978-981-10-4185-3 (print and electronic bundle)

Surrogacy in South Africa in Eastern and Western Perspectives on Surrogacy (ed J Scherpe, C Fenton Glynn and T Kaan (eds) Intersentia 2019 (Feb 24) ISBN 978 178 068 6523

“Recent developments in juvenile justice in Namibia (ISFL, Intersentia, 2019 )

“Access to justice for children in Zimbabwe” (with B Mushowhe) Gender, Poverty and Access to Justice: Policy Implementation in Sub Saharan Africa (Dubin, Mwambene and Lawson eds) (2020)

“Independent children” (with K Klep) in The Routledge Handbook of Children’s Rights Law  (J Todres and M shani King (ed) Routledge, 2020).

“The Role of Social Workers in South Africa’s Child Justice System” (Raoul Wallenburg Institute and School for Social Work, Normal University, Beijing), 2020

“The rights of minor siblings in migration” (with M Buddenbaum) in MAK Klaassen, T Liefaard, P Rodrigues and SE Rap “Safeguarding children’s rights in immigration Law (Intersentia, 2020)


“The Child Protection System in South Africa” for the International handbook on Child Protection Systems (Skivenes M and J Duerr ed) (Oxford University Press)

”The Netherlands reporting to the CRC after 20 years (with A Bolscher) for a book on 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Punselie et al eds) (in Dutch)

“Children’s rights and parental authority in Africa” (J Eekelaar and R George eds) Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy.

“Restorative Justice in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa” ( T Chapman and A Wolthuis (eds)

“Child Participation in Family Law Proceedings – South Africa for the International Handbook of Child Participation (N Taylor, M Bruning, C Mol, W Schrama eds) Oxford Handbook of Child Participation


Journal Articles:

KOS v Minister of Home Affairs (2017) (submitted SAJHR, 5 March 2018, resubmitted 7 December 2018, final edits 2019) vol 35 (3) p 290-310

“Recent developments in Child Justice (2016-2018)” South African Journal on Criminal Justice vol 31 (1) 2018 172-187

“Reflections on 20 years of children’s rights constitutional litigation” 2019 De Jure  75

“Safeguarding children in the developing world – beyond intra-organisational policy and self-regulation” 2020 Soc Sci (with Afrooz Kaviani) (Abstract: PDF Version:

“Sideswipes and Backhanders: Abolition of the Corporal Punishment Defence in South Africa” (2020) International Journal of Law Policy and the Family (accepted for publication August 2020)

SDG 16 and the impact of the CRC on pre-trial detention of children in South Africa (with S Mutsvara) 2020 Speculum Iuris (accepted for publication August 2020)

Mothers and others – transgender birth and the rights of the child (with Rachel Sloth-Nielsen) submitted to the Journal of Discrimination Law (submitted June 2020)

Child protection, safeguarding and the role of the African Children’s Charter: looking back and looking ahead (submitted to the African Human Rights Law Journal) (with A Kaviani Johnson)

Raising the bar – changes to the minimum age of criminal responsibility (for the SACJ, in preparation for end July 2020)



 Member, international expert group on children’s rights in surrogacy

Editorial board: International Journal on Children’s Rights

Editorial Board Chronicle (journal of the international association of child and youth court magistrates and judges)

Co-convenor, working group of the international law association on cross border remedies for children’s rights violations

Co-Convenor: Summer school on the Frontiers of Children’s Rights, Leiden

Co Convenor: Annual child and family law conference (with Miller du Toit Cloete Inc)

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