CLC’s colloquium unpacks doctoral thesis chapters

The Community Law Centre in partnership with the University of Western Cape Law Faculty hosted the fifth doctoral colloquium to give 20 doctoral students a chance to present chapters of their thesis.

8 April 2013: In order to shape their doctoral thesis and clarify the purpose of the chapter to the overall study, 20 doctoral candidates at the Law Faculty of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) were given a rare opportunity, in the academic arena, to present a chapter of their thesis to experts and their fellow students at the doctorial colloquium, this month.

The colloquium organised by the Community Law Centre in partnership with the Law Faculty took place on the April 5 to 6 at Lagoon Beach hotel. The event assessed the coherence and flow of the candidates’ thesis as well as the adequacy of research materials used in their thesis by analysing the chapter which is presented.

The colloquium was divided into different sessions being; human rights law, trade law, governance and international criminal law. Doctoral candidates present their chapters, receive a response from a senior scholar (who is not their supervisor) and then engage with their peers and supervisor on the topic.

Maria Assim, a doctoral student who presented during the human rights law session says since the inception of the doctoral colloquia, she has participated in and presented at three of them. “For me, the colloquium has become a useful forum for receiving further guidance and direction into my research. The feedback from the respondents and other participants has been invaluable towards reshaping the structure and content of my thesis.”

According to the director of the Community Law centre, Professor Jaap de Visser, “Doing a doctoral research can be a lonely and daunting exercise. The colloquium gives the candidates an opportunity to interact and share ideas with other candidates as well as to consult experts other than their supervisor. This gives candidates a clear path to move forward with their thesis. When I did my thesis it was just me and my supervisor for three years. These candidates are lucky to get an opportunity to engage regularly with peers and experts.” This is a great and unique opportunity for the doctoral candidates that the university is offering, he adds.

The colloquium also give an opportunity for networking among doctoral candidates so that they can share information, discussing common challenges and address common concerns. The first doctoral colloquium was held on 18 November 2012.

About: The Community Law Centre

The Community Law Centre is founded on the belief that constitutional orders must promote good governance, socio-economic development and the protection of the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Through engaged research, engaged teaching and advocacy, the Centre supports processes in South Africa and the region to build inclusive, resilient states that are accountable to citizens and responsive to human rights. The Centre aims to be the leading think tank on multi-level governance and human rights in Africa.

Editorial contacts:

Jacob Nthoiwa
Information Manager, Community Law Centre
University of the Western Cape
+27 21 959 2950