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Call for abstracts: CALS/SAJHR Colloquium on Land and Property

- Lee-Anne Bruce

CALS and the South African Journal on Human Rights will convene a Colloquium on ‘Land and Property in a Contested Terrain’ in July 2018

Failure to transform the land/property landscape has become a primary cause of hostility towards South Africa’s post-1994 constitutional dispensation, as well as a subject of substantial litigation and a topic of heated scholarly discourse. A specific source of contestation has been section 25 of the Constitution, the so-called ‘property clause’, which is popularly viewed as an obstacle to transformation.

In this Colloquium, we aim to explore the parameters of problems concerning the rights to land and property, and to contribute towards a grounded interdisciplinary scholarship on related topics. The Colloquium will be organised around a number of themes, including:

  • Constitutional, legal and policy analyses;
  • The identity- and distribution-related dimensions of land and property rights;
  • The intersecting, layered and sometimes clashing dimensions of land/property ownership, use and occupation;
  • The complexities of formalising communal land rights and traditional leadership roles in respect of land rights;
  • The alignment (or not?) of plural legal forms of property rights;
  • The efficacy of government programmes to advance access to land and property; and
  • The predicament of mine-affected communities vis-à-vis land and mineral rights.

With a view to consolidating the Colloquium programme, we are inviting interested scholars and activists from a broad range of disciplines including social science, anthropology, philosophy and law to submit abstracts/expressions of interest (+/- 250 words) on any topic related to the broad themes of the Colloquium, by Monday 6 November 2017, addressed to Matimba Hlungwani at

In the course of 2019, the SAJHR will publish a special issue on the basis of Colloquium papers submitted to the Journal following the event, each of which will be subject to the normal peer-review process.