Law, Democracy & Development is the journal of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape. The first issue appeared in May 1997. The journal set out to build on the proud traditions established by UWC and the Law Faculty in the struggle for democracy, with many of our staff and alumni having gone on to serve as Ministers of state, judges of the highest courts and in other key positions in the post-apartheid dispensation. Our focus is on legal and socio-legal issues relevant to the development challenges facing South Africa and Africa – above all, the nurturing of institutions of governance based on the promotion of human rights.

The evolution and implementation of democracy, good governance, human rights and socio-economic development are critical issues facing South Africa and Africa as a whole. Our aim is to create a forum in which key aspects of these processes can be debated by scholars, practitioners as well as those concerned with policy-making across the continent, thus contributing to the development of shared knowledge and cooperative effort.

Our editorial board is comprised of leading scholars and judicial figures in South Africa and abroad:

The editors of LDD are:

The University of the Western Cape is situated next to a nature reserve, six kilometres from Cape Town International Airport and 20 kilometres from central Cape Town. The Faculty of Law is housed in its own building on the eastern side of the main campus. In addition to LLB and coursework LLM and MPhil programmes, the Faculty offers LLM, MPhil, PhD and LLD degrees by thesis as well as various certificate and outreach programmes.

L'université University of the Western Cape est située à côté d'une réserve naturelle à 6 km de l'aéroport Cape Town International et à 20 km du centre de Le Cap. La Faculté de Droit se trouve dans son propre bâtiment du côté est du campus principal. En sus des programmes LLB et des cours LLM et MPhil la faculté offre les degrés LLM, MPhil, PhD et LLD,  par thèses aussi bien que plusieurs programmes qui amènent au certificat et qui sont destinés au grand public.

It is widely accepted that to be naturalised one must acquire the nationality of a political or national community, and that such a status is accompanied by various rights. It is also widely accepted that nationality can be acquired in various ways. Article 34 of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees provides that States must facilitate the naturalisation and assimilation of refugees and expedite these proceedings as far as possible. As South Africa has not filed any reservations to the UN Refugee Convention, it is bound to respect Article 34 of this treaty and thus not block the pathway to naturalisation. Failure to do so means that South Africa is violating its obligations under international law. There is a legal pathway to ending refugee status in South Africa; however, it is bound by a complicated process regulated by three different pieces of legislation , namely, the Refugees Act, the Immigration Act, and the Citizenship Act. It therefore appears that South Africa has not enacted this provision in good faith. This article provides an analysis of South Africa’s domestication of Article 34 of the UN Refugee Convention. Moreover, it concludes that the current system is complicated and hinders refugees from accessing naturalisation, and therefore is not in the spirit of the UN Refugee Convention.

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