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Wits and Erasmus University launch new PhD in law

- Buhle Zuma

The joint programme departs from traditional studies that simply examine the content and implementation.

The University of the Witwatersrand and Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands) will offer a new programme in law that will allow candidates to obtain a joint PhD degree from both institutions. 

The research programme offered through the Wits Oliver Schreiner School of Law and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at Erasmus University will focus on a range of topics in international law, society and development. 

Through the ISS-Wits joint programme, Wits and Erasmus want to champion a socio-legal approach that critiques the social working of law over studies that simply examine the content and implementation of legal norms.

Applications to the programme close on 31 March 2016.

Professor Vinodh Jaichand, Head of the Wits Law School who was instrumental in the partnership says the introduction of the programme is a culmination of work that began in 2014.

“The programme draws on the strengths of interdisciplinary research undertaken by the two academic institutions.” 

Wits has a strong record in international law and development research while ISS is recognised for its excellence in the areas of politics, public administration, public policy and international law.

The programme bridges gaps of similar programme which tend to follow the traditional research model.

“A pure legal approach to research tends to fall short of interrogating the socioeconomic challenges facing our society. Furthermore, the international dimension of the partnership research may lead to a comparative approach, especially by reviewing how other African states are addressing similar issues,” says Jaichand.

For more information please visit: or send an e-mail to the steering committee at