Global Forum on Law Justice and Development
Generating Innovative Legal Solutions to Development Challenges

Prof De Visser speaks at World Bank Law Justice & Development Week in Washington

Press Date: 
November 1, 2013
Press Source: 
University of Cape Town Faculty of Law (UCT), Center for Comparative Law in Africa, South Africa

The Community Law Centre also received a critical mention in Albie Sachs' keynote address, who is the former Community Law Centre associate and former Constitutional Court judge in South Africa. The event kicked off on 18 November and it concludes on 22 November in Washington DC in the United States of America. Prof De Visser speaks at World Bank Law Justice & Development Week in Washington Prof De Visser participated and made inputs into the World Bank Law Justice & Development Week (LJD). At this event Prof De Visser addressed two panel discussions at the LJD Week. Presentation 1 and Presentation 2. One session, convened by UN-HABITAT, entitled "Practicable and Enforceable Urban Law for Improved Development Delivery", addressed the issue of complexity in law and the impact of that on service delivery. Prof De Visser presented on the complexity in laws surrounding local government in South Africa, focusing on the reasons for complexity and some of the solutions. He highlighted three manifestations of complexity, namely; intergovernmental complexity, overzealous monitoring and, overlapping laws. Another session, convened by the African Centre for Cities, addressed Urban Law in African Countries and focused on the challenges posed by urbanisation on the African continent. Prof De Visser argued that, very often, it is difficult for African cities to assert their status and powers. Central governments are often reluctant to afford the city the space to develop innovative and response strategies to the challenges of urbanisation. The background to this phenomenon is the fact that African cities are often 'hotbeds of opposition' to central governments. The event’s keynote address was delivered by former Community Law Centre associate and former Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs. In his address, Justice Sachs focused on the role of the Constitutional Court in developing a jurisprudence around socio-economic rights. While narrating the story of the landmark Grootboom judgment to a packed Preston Auditorium, Justice Sachs made specific mention of the role of the Community Law Centre in arguing the case before the Constitutional Court, an accolade befitting of the role the Centre played in providing thought leadership on human rights and democracy. The event brings together practitioners from around the world around topics related to the role of law in achieving justice and development. It explores how law and justice concepts, tools and knowledge can be used to improve development delivery and help translate the values of voice, social contract and accountability into development impact. The theme of this year’s LJD Week is "Towards a science of delivery in development". The LJD Week 2013 is a World Bank Group-wide event organised by the legal functions of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). It also involves the active collaboration and participation of intellectual partners under the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development (GFLJD). The LJD Week 2013 will bring together major stakeholders from governments, international financial institutions (IFIs), the judiciary, academia and civil society to share creative ideas and brainstorm innovative ways on how legal and judicial tools can help build this science and integrate it into the existing development framework. Please visit the LJD Week 2013 website and check the videos, speeches, photos and other relevant material that are in the process of being uploaded.