The South African Constitution recognizes socio-economic rights as a necessary foundation for the enjoyment of civil and political rights. The South African Constitution, one of the most progressive in the world, contains many important protections such as the rights to equality, housing, and education. The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Law (BEE) was designated to address the economic inequities of apartheid. South Africa’s commitment to economic justice is also evidenced by the fact that it is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The challenge is translating these rights into opportunities for social and economic advancement by the vast majority of South Africans living in poverty. This chapter first identifies ways in which legal education must continue to change in order to educate lawyers who are able to assist with South Africa’s development. Second, it analyzes the contributions of clinical legal education since apartheid and some of the obstacles to its growth. Third, the chapter discusses community economic development (CED) law school clinics in the United States and the ways they may provide new ideas for South African legal education. Finally, the chapter discusses specific CED opportunities that exist in South Africa. The article argues that legal education in contemporary Africa must relate to the development needs of the country.
Susan R. Jones & Peggy Maisel, Implementing the Social and Economic Promise of the Constitution: The Role of South African Legal Education in LAW AND RIGHTS: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON CONSTITUTIONALISM AND GOVERNANCE (Penelope E. Andrews, Susan Bazilli, eds., 2008).