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David Bilchitz

Teaching the following modules:

  • LLB: Company Law
  • LLB: Environmental Law
  • LLB: Jurisprudence
  • LLB: International Human Rights Law
  • LLM: Contemporary Issues in Environmental Law
  • LLM: Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice
  • LLM: Advanced International Commercial Law Issues
  • LLM: International Corporate Governance and the Law

Areas of interest

  • Fundamental rights – domestic and international
  • Theory of fundamental rights
  • Business and human rights
  • Proportionality
  • Socio-economic rights
  • Animal rights
  • The tension between religious freedom and equality
  • LGBT+ rights
  • The intersection of environmental law and protection for animals
  • Comparative constitutional law
  • Separation of powers
  • Judicial review
  • Constitution-making

Background

David Bilchitz is a Professor of Law at the University of Reading. He is also Professor of Fundamental Rights and Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Johannesburg and Director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC).

He was the Secretary-General of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) from 2013–2020 and is now a Vice-President of the Association. He was elected as a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa in 2020. He was awarded a Von Humboldt Foundation Georg Forster Fellowship in 2017 which enabled him to take up the position of Visiting Research Professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin between August 2017 and August 2018. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore and a Visiting Research Professor at the Minerva Centre for Human Rights, University of Tel Aviv.

Prof Bilchitz has written extensively on a range of topics in the field of constitutional law and fundamental rights with a forthcoming monograph Fundamental Rights and the Legal Obligations of Business, Cambridge University Press, and a previous monograph titled Poverty and Fundamental Rights, Oxford University Press.

In addition to these books, Professor Bilchitz has published four co-edited books, one textbook (on Jurisprudence), 20 book chapters and 40 journal articles.

Professor Bilchitz has also taught at leading institutions across the world as well as presenting at numerous conferences both in South Africa and internationally.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (University of Cambridge)
  • MPhil (University of Cambridge)
  • BA (Hons) LLB (University of the Witwatersrand)

Professional bodies/affiliations

Selected publications

Forthcoming monograph

Fundamental Rights and the Legal Obligations of Business (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2021)

Forthcoming book chapters

  • "How can Rights be Individuated?" in The Colombian Constitution in Comparative Context (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2021)
  • "Expanding Jurisdiction for Fundamental Rights Violations by Businesses: South African law and the Role of an International Treaty" in J Neels (ed) Private International Law and the Contribution of Christopher Forsyth (Eleven: The Hague, 2021)

Conferences

Forthcoming conference presentations

2020

  • To present a paper at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford titled "Can Corporate Law Advance Fundamental Rights?" on 2 December 2020
  • To present a a paper at the Business and Human Rights Forum hosted by the Ministry of Justice and National Human Rights Commission of Korea titled "Towards a Business and Human Rights Treaty: Reflections on the Second Revised Draft" on 04 December 2020

Recent conference papers 2019–2020

2020

  • Presentation at an online symposium run by Minerva Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law Hebrew University of Jerusalem titled "Exploring the Minimum Core Obligations of Governments in a Health Crisis" on 18 June 2020
  • Presented paper at online conference held by the Environmental Law Association of South Africa titled "The Integrative Approach to the Environmental Right: Why Live Export of Sheep is Unsustainable" on 4 September 2020
  • Presented a paper at an online seminar organised by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand and African Centre for Corporate Accountability, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria titled "Reflections on the 2nd Revised Draft of the Business and Human Rights Treaty" on 06 October 2020
  • Presented a paper at the International Seminar on Human Rights and Business organised by the Human Rights and Business Centre, Sao Paolo Brazil titled "Reflections on Second Revised Draft and Sixth IGWG" on 13th November 2020.

2019

  • Presented a paper to the Israeli Democracy Institute titled "What Guidance can the South African Experience offer in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?" on 10 January 2019 in Jerusalem, Israel
  • Presented a paper to the Colombian Constitutional Court Colloquium titled "Adjudicating Social Rights Better: Exploring the Relationship between Rights" on 24 January 2019 in Bogota Colombia
  • Presented a paper to a seminar held at Externado University titled "What are the Fundamental Rights Obligations of Corporations?" on 29 January 2019 in Bogota, Colombia
  • Presented a paper at the University of Reading, United Kingdom titled "What are the Fundamental Rights Obligations of Corporations" on 26 March 2019, in Reading, United Kingdom
  • Presented a paper at the University of Cape Town, South Africa titled "Governance and Animals in South Africa: are the SPCA's Structured for their Role?" on 15 September 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Presented a paper at the Inter-governmental Working Group on Business and Human Rights 5th Session on the Scope, Rights of Victims and Adjudicative Jurisdiction, Applicable Law and Statute of Limitations provisions of the Revised Draft of a Treaty on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 and 16 October 2019
  • Presented a paper at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Ecuador titled "The Necessity for a Business and Human Rights Treaty" on 30 October 2019, in Quito, Ecuador
  • Presented a paper at the University of San Martin, Peru titled "Poverty and Fundamental Rights: Towards a Strong Model of Content for Fundamental Rights" on 6 November 2019 in Lima, Peru.
  • Presented a paper at the University of New South Wales, Australia titled "Proportionality and the Fundamental Rights Obligations of Business" on 13 December 2019 in Sydney, Australia

Publications