1. Programme name

International Child Law

  1. Programme code

6CK P01, R801P

  1. Campus


  1. Delivery mode


  1. Programme leader

Prof Hein Lubbe (Acting)

  1. Introduction 

The LLM qualification aims to deepen and broaden the professional experience for outstanding law graduates from South Africa. Completion of this programme leads to ever-increasing career opportunities in private practice as well as in the public sector, which may include non-governmental organisations. It serves as an academic qualification for careers in international child law, providing students with theoretical and practical knowledge. With regard to its field of study, it intends to bridge the gap between academia and practice. The LLM correlates with the mission and the vision of the University and the Faculty.

  1. Prior knowledge required

Where applicants do not meet the minimum admission requirements, recognition of prior learning (RPL) may be used to grant access to the programme. RPL will be applied according to the Recognition of Prior Learning, Credit Accumulation and Transfer, and Assessment (CHE 2016) and the NWU RPL policy. The process will be managed by the Faculty of Law.

  • Not more than 10% of a cohort of students in the LLM (International Child Law) programme will be admitted through an RPL process.
  • Through its RPL policy, the Faculty of Law will ensure that quality assurance processes that address the specificities of the RPL process (including applications, assessment, and reporting and management systems) are implemented; and that administrative and support systems, both prior and subsequent to RPL assessment, are in place.
  1. Programme outcomes

The achievement of this qualification means that the LLM graduate in International Child Law is able to meet the following specific and critical cross-field outcomes:

  • a comprehensive and systematic knowledge base in International Child Law and the ability to apply the knowledge;
  • a coherent and critical understanding of the methodology of International Child Law to rigorously critique and evaluate current research in this field, participate in scholarly debates and research relating to theory and practice;
  • an ability to use advanced information-retrieval and processing skills to identify, critically analyse and synthesie information relevant to complex and/or real-world problems, cases and issues in the field of International Child Law, debating solutions from theoretical and research perspectives published in current literature and presenting the information to specialist and non-specialist audiences using IT effectively;
  • and the ability to critically evaluate and apply the ethics, values, rules, norms and regulations pertaining to International Child Law encapsulated in national and international documents.
  1. Modules


  • The international protection of children’s rights
  • The status of international children’s rights instruments vs the constitutional protection of children in South Africa
  • The parent – child relationship
  • Inter-country adoption
  • International child abduction


  • Introduction to children’s rights & the monitoring and implementation of children’s rights
  • The African system for the protection and promotion of children’s rights
  • Child trafficking
  • The sexual abuse and exploitation of children


  • An international perspective: economic, social and cultural rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The South African perspective: Economic, social and cultural rights, and children’s rights under the Constitution; the role of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in South African law
  • The right to education: international and South African perspectives
  • The fight against child labour: International and South African perspectives
  • The rights of disabled children: International and South African perspectives
  • The rights of children in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic: International and South African perspectives – 2-hour contact session


  • Development of juvenile justice in the South African context and basic concepts
  • Pre-trial proceedings and diversion
  • Trial proceedings
  • Restorative justice and sentencing options
  1. Lecturers
  1. Research and possible topics
  • Intercountry adoption
  • Child Trafficking
  • Child Labour
  • Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment
  1. Employment options or further study opportunities after completion of the programme
  • LLD in children’s rights
  • Children’s Units: Legal Aid South Africa
  • Non-governmental organisations working with children’s rights

Seminar Programme 2024 1st Semester