Professor Francois du Toit


Francois du Toit's full-time academic career commenced in 1995 when, having obtained his LLM degree from Stellenbosch University, he was appointed as lecturer in succession and trust law at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He obtained his LLD degree from Stellenbosch University in 2000, and was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer (2000); Associate Professor (2004); Professor (2009); and Senior Professor (2018) at UWC. Prof du Toit joined the University of Cape Town on 1 January 2023 as Professor and Head of the Private Law Department.

Prof du Toit held a NRF C2 research rating in succession and trust law from 2011-2016 and a B2 rating from 2017-2022. He was awarded a B1 rating in these disciplines in 2023.

Prof du Toit has published more than fifty articles in domestic and international law journals; has authored several monographs on South African trust law; and has contributed chapters to numerous books. His academic endeavours have earned many accolades, including winning the UWC Academic Excellence Award as Outstanding Law Teacher (2017); being honoured as a Distinguished Global Visitor to Louisiana State University (2018); and winning the UWC Law Faculty’s Best Researcher Award (2019).

Prof du Toit has been a visiting academic and/or research scholar to various universities and research institutions abroad. Among others, he held a COIMBRA Scholarship for researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa to the University of Groningen (2011); he was a research fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law at the University of Oxford (2013); he was a research fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Law School (2014); and was a visiting professor at the Center of Civil Law Studies at Louisiana State University (2016 and 2018).

Prof du Toit's research is frequently cited by South African High Courts, the Supreme Court of Appeal and, most recently, by the Constitutional Court in King v De Jager and Wilkinson v Crawford (both judgments reported in 2021).

Research Interests

My research focuses on three main themes: (i) the impact of constitutionalism and public policy on testamentary freedom; (ii) the invalidity of wills and specifically how the effects of formalism in the law of wills can be mitigated; and (ii) the conceptualisation of the trust, especially regarding the core elements of the trusts encountered in mixed jurisdictions.


PVL2003H: Law of Succession


A list of all publications is available on Google Scholar, and recent publications can be accessed or requested on ResearchGate.