GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE OF THE DGRU as at May 2020 (as adopted at a meeting of the Advisory Board)



1.1 Purpose

The primary purpose of the Council is to ensure that the DGRU operates, and is able to operate, within UCT as


1.2 Functions

The Council is responsible for:

  1. assisting the Director to ensure the DGRU’s place and visibility within UCT;
  2. rallying the support structures of UCT to ensure the DGRU is sustainable within the university;
  3. exercising oversight of the DGRU’s operations, governance and staffing, in compliance with the university’s academic and administrative requirements, in accordance with the DGRU’s vision and core business;
  4. approving the annual strategic plan and budget;
  5. contributing to the development of the operational plan;
  6. Serving as a confidential sounding board to the director;
  7. seeking the advice of the DGRU’s International Advisory Council where needed;
  8. assisting the Director, on request, with problem solving within the DGRU and in the relationship between the DGRU and the university.


1.3 Composition

The Council comprises:

  1. the Dean of the Faculty of Law (or nominee) as Chair ex officio
  2. the HOD of Public Law (or nominee) ex officio
  3. The Head of Research in the Faculty ex officio
  4. the Director of the DGRU
  5. The Head of the AfricanLII project
  6. Director of Development and alumni office (or nominee)
  7. One other staff member of the DGRU team, nominated by the staff
  8. 3 additional members, appointed by the Council in consultation with the Advisory Board, to ensure that there is appropriate race and gender diversity in the Council.
  9. i) The Council will nominate one member who will sit on the Board.


1.4 Term of Office

The DGRU staff member will be appointed for a period of 2 years


1.5 Meetings

The Council meets twice a year, with additional special meetings as and when the need arises. In the first quarter of each year, the Council meets jointly with the Advisory Board.

Four members of the Council constitute a quorum.

The Director of the DGRU serves as Executive secretary to the Council.



2.1 Purpose and functions:

The primary function of the Advisory Board is to guide and support the work of the DGRU in accomplishing its mission, by:

  1. advising on strategy, research, stakeholder relations, diplomacy and networking, fund-raising, and on the content and conceptual approach of the programmes of the DGRU
  2. safeguarding the autonomy of the organization’s research, advocacy and communication strategy;
  3. identifying potential new research projects of relevance to the DGRU and consonant with its research and advocacy mandate;
  4. advising on strategies for financial sustainability and supporting fundraising activities,
  5. representing the DGRU on certain occasions on the request of the Director.
  6. assisting with national, African and international networking;


2.2 Composition

The International Advisory Board shall not exceed 8 members, to be appointed by the Council in consultation with the Director. The composition of the Advisory Board must reflect the breadth of activities undertaken by the DGRU; members should be drawn from two or more of the following groups:

  1. Judges from the continent (both sitting or retired)
  2. Legal professionals from the continent
  3. Internationally significant business, civil society, community organisations and other key interest groups concerned with the judicial governance or free access to the law;
  4. Prominent regional opinion leaders with a commitment to continental governance issues.

The Board will elect their own chair.


2.3 Term of office

Members will be appointed for a three year term – renewable at the discretion of the Council.

Members of the legacy Advisory Council, established at the founding of the DGRU, will be invited to continue their term of office for three years (with effect from the 1st meeting of 2020)


2.4 Ethics

Members will at all times conduct themselves in an ethical manner. Conflicts of interest, particularly in relation to overlap of research or funding, must be declared.


2.5 Meetings

The International Advisory Council will meet annually (in person, if funding allows, or virtually) but may convene for an additional teleconference meeting at the request of the Director or the Chair of the Governing Council. In addition, it is expected that Board members will be available for consultation between meetings via phone calls or email. One member of the international Advisory Board will sit on the Governance Council and keep the Council apprised of the work of the Board.

Quorum will consist of 50% of the membership.

Members will not be remunerated

Secretarial support will be provided by the Director’s office.