Who are the Virtual Clerks?
The DGRU employs a team of post-graduate students (Masters and PHD level), based at the University of Cape Town, who act as virtual legal clerks for judges in other countries.
The students have all had work experience - some have been in practice, or have been magistrates or legal clerks. They all sign confidentiality agreement with the DGRU and their work is vetted by our senior research team before being sent to the judge requesting support.
Research projects can include legal opinions, searching for relevant journals judgements, case law and articles, comparative analysis of a specific legal issue, background research for speeches and the like.
The University of Cape Town has one of the best resourcesd legal libraries in Africa which can be made available to you, an African judge, wherever you are!
How it works?
You, the Judge, would send a research request to Vanja Karth at the DGRU, providing details of what type of research you require and the timeliens in which you need it done. She will then assign the job to the most appropriate clerk (or team of clerks). Once they have completed the job, the DGRU senior research team checks the work and it is then forwarded to you, the Judge.
If the request concerns an international human rights or public law issue, we will work in partnership with Oxford University's "Pro Bono Publico" group in their Faculty of Law.