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TuksLaw student wins 2015 Ismail Mahomed Law Reform Essay Competition

28 July 2016

The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria is proud to announce that Aadelah Shaik Yakoob is the winner of the South African Law Reform Commission's (SALRC) 2015 Ismail Mahomed Law Reform Essay Competition in the LLB category.  Her essay, titled "Ambiguity surrounding the powers of the public protector - a threat to the rule of law" was assessed as the winning essay by an independent panel composed of professors from the University of Fort Hare, Rhodes University and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The criteria of the assessment process was based on originality of thinking; coherence in the flow of ideas; and overall presentation, for which Aadelah was awarded a distinction.

According to Aadelah, '[t]he essay is a distilled version of my LLB dissertation written under the supervision of Ms Melanie Murcott in the Department of Public Law during the final year of my LLB studies at the University of Pretoria. The essay offers a discussion on the powers of the Public Protector and a brief analysis of government's actions following the Public Protector's report on the Nkandla scandal. The essay highlights the important role the Public Protector plays in upholding the rule of law in South Africa, and how this role is often threatened in practice. In the essay I analyse the shortfalls within the Public Protector Act and offer my opinions on how this legislation needs to be reformed in order to give effect to and protect the office of the Public Protector.'

An elated Aadelah commented that she is grateful to the SALRC for providing students with an opporutnity to put forth their opinions and ideas through the platform of this competion.  'Good governance and accountability are issues that I am very passionate about, and I am hopeful that my essay will help contribute to the dialogue on these issues in future. I would encourage all law students to enter such competitions and take advantage of any opportunities to partake in legal writing. I am very grateful to my family for their encouragement and support; and to Ms Murcott for her valuable guidance and comments on my dissertation which ultimately helped shape the final essay.'

She is serving her articles of clerkship as a candidate attorney at MacRoberts Attorneys since the beginning of this year.

- Author Elzet Hurter

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