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Collaboration Partners

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks is an assistant professor at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a senior research associate at LARC. She was formerly a senior lecturer in the Department of Private Law and a senior researcher at the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town, where she worked on the Rural Women’s Action Research Programme. Her areas of expertise include african customary law, women’s rights, traditional courts, the relationship between culture and human rights, public policy, the institutionalization of traditional authorities, the relationship between property and authority, the law of succession, and comparative epistemology. Dr. Mnisi Weeks received her BA and LLB from the University of Cape Town and her doctorate in socio-legal studies from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She also previously clerked for the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Dikgang Moseneke. She is co-author of "African Customary Law in South Africa: Post-Apartheid and Living Law Perspectives”, published by Oxford University Press Southern Africa. 

Janine Ubink

Janine Ubink has a law degree as well as a PhD in legal anthropology from Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her 6-year PhD-research focused on customary land management in peri-urban Ghana. She has worked at the Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden Law School from 2001 until 2013, when she moved with her family to South California and joined the University of California Irvine (UCI) Law School. Her research focuses on legal pluralism, customary law and its relation with state law, traditional authorities, transitional justice, rule of law reforms, gender, and land management, with a regional focus on Africa, particularly Ghana, Namibia, Malawi and Somalia.  She has published on these subjects in various books and articles in peer-reviewed journals.In the coming years, her research will focus on similar topics of land management, customary law and traditional authorities in South Africa. Janine also works as a consultant in this field, most recently as an adviser to the Ministry of Justice of Somalia. In December of 2015 she became the President of the international Commission on Legal Pluralism. 

Derick Fay

Derick Fay is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside.  He is affiliated with LARC as a Fulbright Scholar for 2017-18.  His prior research has focused on the area around Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve, in the Eastern Cape, examining changes and continuities in rural livelihoods and landholding, and the tensions between post-apartheid transformation and biodiversity conservation.  His work on rural land tenure was cited in the 2010 challenge to CLaRA.  His current research centers around the relationships between conservation, law, and customary resource rights in the 2012 trial of three fishermen arrested in Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve, considering international precedents concerning the recognition of rights to natural resources which have entered South African law through recent Constitutional Court rulings.