“The University of KwaZulu-Natal aims to be an engaged institution of higher education that directly addresses social inequalities and is actively involved in projects, such as CCJ’s access to justice program, which benefit and make a real difference to social-legal and economic development.”
- Bruno Van Dyk, Executive Director of the UKZN Foundation
The Centre for Criminal Justice (CCJ) is a research unit within the Faculty of Law on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Established by the Law Faculty in 1989 and raising its own funds, the Centre carries out research on issues faced by rural communities when trying to access justice. For information on the outreach programme which CCJ bases its research on, click here.
The Outreach Program
Twenty paralegal coordinators provide free legal services to members of the public at fifteen support centres in the interior of KwaZulu-Natal. The centres are run by women from the community, all of whom have paralegal qualifications from UKZN. Offices are based at police stations and magistrates courts in order to be better able to work with the criminal justice system. Coordinators provide legal advice as well as mediation, educational and counselling services to clients, especially women and children, helping them to learn about and gain access to their rights and solve their problems. Staff also work in partnership with government departments and private organisations on behalf of clients, facilitating monetary claims and enabling them to use the law to improve their lives. Find out more or Watch an introductory video
The Research Program
CCJ has a database of over 65,000 cases and a small library, and uses these as a source of research for undergraduate, Masters and doctorate students from within the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as to produce its own research on its outreach program. In this way CCJ aims to contribute to the generation and sharing of knowledge in the University. Find out more