Pierre de Vos


Pierre de Vos is the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance and teaches in the area of Constitutional Law. He has a B Comm (Law), LLB and LLM (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, an LLM from Columbia University in New York, and an LLD from the University of Western Cape. He taught at the University of Western Cape from 1993 to June 2009 and held a Professorship at that institution from 2001. Prof de Vos is the chairperson of the Board of the Aids Legal Network and is a board member of Triangle Project. He writes a Blog on social and political issues from a constitutional law perspective, which is widely read and quoted.

Expertise/ Research Interests
Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law

Some of Prof de Vos's more recent articles include the following:

  • "Grootboom, the right of access to housing and substantive equality as contextual fairness" SAJHR vol. 17 (2001) 258.
  • "South Africa's Constitutional Court: starry-eyed in the face of History" Vermont Law Review vol. 26 (2002) 837-864.
  • "Transformative Justice: Social and Economic Rights in South Africa's Constitution" 243-262 Peter van der Auweraert, Tom de Pelsmaker, Jeremy Sarkin, Johan van de Lanotte Social, Economic and Cultural Rights: and appraisal of current European and International Developments (2002) Maku Publishers, Belgium.
  • "So much to do, so little done" the right of access to anti-retroviral drugs post Grootboom vol. 7 (2003) Law, Democracy and Development 83.
  • "Gay and lesbian legal theory" 328-353 in Roeder C & Moelendorf (eds.) Jurisprudence (2004) Juta publishers.
  • "Same-sex sexual desire and the re-imagining of the South African family" South African Journal on Human Rights vol. 20 (2004) 179.
  • "Critical reflections on South Africa's Civil Union Saga" (co-authored with Jaco Barnard-Naude)(2007) part IV South African Law Journal 795-826.
  • "The 'inevitability' of same-sex marriage in democratic South Africa" vol. 23 (2007) South African Journal on Human Rights 432-465.
  • "From heteronormativity to full sexual citizenship?: Equality and sexual freedom in Laurie Ackerman's constitutional jurisprudence" in J Barnard-Naude, D Cornell & F Du Bois (eds) Dignity, Freedom and the Post-Apartheid Legal Order (2008)
  • "Experience of Human Rights in Africa: Challenges of Implementing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights" in Chris Maina Peter (ed.) The Protectors: Human Rights Commissions and Accountability in East Africa (2008) 1-28.
  • “A Judicial revolution?: The court-led achievement of same-sex marriage in South Africa” vol. 4 (2008) Utrecht Law Review 162-174.  
  • “Experience of Human Rights in Africa: Challenges of Implementing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” in Chris Maina Peter (ed.) The Protectors: Human Rights Commissions and Accountability in East Africa (2008) 1-28.
  • “Refusing Human Rights?: A Foucauldian Approach” in Karin van Marle (ed.) Refusal, Transition and Post-apartheid Law (2009) pp 121-140.
  • “Key Institutions Affecting Democracy in South Africa” in Neeta Misra-Dexter and Judith February (eds.) Testing Democracy: Which Way is South Africa Going? (2010) pp 94-116.
  • ”Disturbing heteronormativity: the ‘queer’ jurisprudence of justice Albie Sachs” (with Jaco Barnard-Naude) South African Public Law (2010) 209-234
  • “Balancing Independence and Accountability: The Role of Chapter 9 Institutions in South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy” in D Chirwa and L Nijzink (eds.) Accountable Government in Africa (2012) 160-177.
  • “The past is unpredictable: race, redress and remembrance in the South African Constitution” South African law Journal (2012) pp 73-103.
  • "Proposed assessment of South Africa’s Constitutional Court: Danger or opportunity?" Public Law Review (Australia) Volume 23, Number 2 (2012) 69-74.
  • “Die politiek van die estetiese is 'n postkoloniale konteks: menswaardigheid en vryheid van uitdrukking in die debat rondom Brett Murray se skildery The Spear” (with AJ Barnard-Naude) (2012) 9(2) LitNet Akademies (Regte).
  • South African Constitutional Law in Context (2014) (Oxford University Press) (Co-edited with Warren Friedman)
  • “Compassion and corruption: choosing the difficult path” Transition (Hutchin’s Centre, Harvard) (2014) 40-50.
  • “These queer gardens: a South African story” (with Jaco Barnard-Naude) vol. 46 (2014) Acta Academica 134-150.
  • “Mind the Gap: Imagining new ways of struggling towards the emancipation of sexual minorities in Africa” Agenda (2015) 39-53.