Dr Jameelah Omar is an Associate Professor in the Public Law Department at the University of Cape Town, with an LLB, LLM (Criminal Justice) and PhD (UCT). Jameelah joined the UCT Law Faculty in 2015. She lectures Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law and an elective on Criminal Justice and the Constitution in the LLB. At postgraduate level she convenes and lectures a specialised course on Sexual Offences. Her research focuses on criminal procedure, substantive criminal law, and sexual offences. Jameelah supervises research students at LLM and PhD levels.
She was awarded her PhD in 2023, which focuses on the adversarial nature of the criminal justice system and the impediments it poses to complainant participation in the criminal process.
Jameelah serves on the Editorial Board for the South African Journal on Human Rights and the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Legal Centre. She has appeared as an expert witness in sexual offence cases litigated in the High Court of South Africa; and has advised, reviewed and designed policies for schools and civil society organisations to improve processes for responding to sexual harassment and violence cases.
Jameelah’s prior work history includes working as a researcher at the Institute of Criminology (now the Centre of Criminology) at UCT while completing her LLM in criminal justice. She then completed articles at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Incorporated in Johannesburg. Thereafter, as a practising attorney, she formed part of the Rule of Law Programme at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of the Witwatersrand, specialising in prisoners’ rights, particularly remand detainees, and access to information. While at Wits, she was part of the Inquiry team into Sexual Harassment at the University of the Witwatersrand, and is also a co-author of that inquiry's published report.