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About Laws.Africa

We believe that the traditional approach to promoting free access to the law requires a fundamental shift. Firstly, putting documents online does not enable value creation and is not enough. Secondly, sourcing, consolidating and providing open access to the law sustainably requires a new business model for collaboration and partnerships.

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Our Principles

  • People own the laws which govern them.
  • Access to the law directly and indirectly enables access to justice.
  • Government is responsible for making the law freely and openly available.
  • A legislation commons improves access to the law for everyone.
  • A legislation commons promotes justice sector innovation by lowering barriers to entry and reducing undifferentiated heavy lifting.
  • Such a commons must be machine-friendly and, ultimately, openly licensed.
  • Such a commons can only be sustainably built in mutual collaboration with those who benefit from it.
  • Such a commons can be built sustainably through appropriate licensing and the offering of value-added features and services, without limiting the usefulness of the open commons.

Our Goals

  • Improve access to African law, stimulate innovation, and lead by example, by
  • creating a machine-friendly, openly licensed legislation commons, through
  • building mutually beneficial relationships with African governments and a contributor community, that is
  • sustainable through licensing and charging for value-added services and expertise.

The Laws.Africa Team

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Greg Kempe
Co-founder and Head of Technology
greg@laws.africa

Greg is a co-founder of Laws.Africa and is passionate about using technology for the benefit of society. Greg previously worked at OpenUp, a civic technology organisation, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Greg has an MSc in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

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Mariya Badeva-Bright
Co-founder
mariya@laws.africa

Mariya leads the AfricanLII project at the University of Cape Town. Mariya is a veteran open access activist having worked on free access to law in Africa since 2004. She was involved in the set up and development of SAFLII. Since 2010 Mariya has helped build free access law portals in 13 African countries and co-founded the AfricanLII as a resource and a community hub for free access to law in Africa. Mariya is a technology lawyer with an LL.M in Law and Information Technology from Stockholm University.

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Edith V
Legislative Informatician
edith@laws.africa

Edith has a background in legal publishing, a passion for open access to information and a growing set of programming skills.

She has worked as a legal proofreader, a statutes editor, a project manager, and a Python developer.

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Sibulele Mdleleni
Project Administrator
sibulele@laws.africa

Sibulele has worked at a Central Records Management Centre for three years, and has a bachelor of Arts degree and Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She is passionate about bringing knowledge, managing and safe keeping of documents and administration at large.

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Nicky du Preez
Content and Research Lead

Nicky has a experience in legal publishing, working as a statutes editor. Her role entailed proofreading, editing, researching and maintaining databases of legislation. She has a passion for information management and for open access to information.

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Robley Gori
Software Developer

Robley is a software developer from Nairobi, Kenya. He is passionate about all things technology, especially when used for societal greater good and benefit.

Robley has a BSc in Information Technology from The Multimedia University of Kenya.

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Musango Wope
Software Developer

Musango is a software developer from Cape Town, South Africa. He is a front end and UI enthusiast, with a passion for building applications with great experiences.

Musango has a BSc in Information Systems (Honours) from the University of Cape Town.

Contributors

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Chikomborero Gudlanga
Legislation Content Editor

Chikomborero is a final year law student at the University of Johannesburg. He is passionate about social justice and is very excited to be making his contribution toward making the law accessible to all.

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Elkanah Babatunde
Legislation Content Editor

Elkanah has a background in litigation and worked in a boutique law firm before opting for postgraduate studies. He is passionate about equal access to law and information. He holds a Masters in Human Rights Law from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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Karen Shear
Legislation Content Editor

Karen previously worked in academic librarianship at Wits Medical School and Law School libraries. Since 2002 she has worked as a part time consultant to the Constitutional Court website. Her involvement with Free Access to law began in 2006 with her work as a Legal Content Analyst with SAFLII, where she still works on a part time basis.

BA (Hons) UCT, H Dip Lib (Wits), LLB (Unisa)

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Luck Mavhuru
Legislation Content Editor

Luck Mavhuru is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He holds an LLB from Wits University and LLM from UCT. Luck has worked as a teaching are research assistant at UCT for two years and he is also a part time researcher for Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU). He is passionate about human rights, commercial law and research. He believes that law is an instrumental is changing society.

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Marina Rubridge
Legislation Content Editor

I studied at the University of the Orange Free State where I obtained my Bachelor of Library Science (1982) and Higher Education diploma (1983). Since 2015 I have been Manager of the Legal Knowledge Centre and Web Portal at FNB Legal. I have been an active member and committee member of OSALL. Nothing gives me a bigger thrill than being able to source some obscure piece of information.

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Maulline Gragau
Legislation Content Editor

Maulline Gragau has studied law, Criminology and Forensic Science, and has 5+ years experience in law and forensic science. She is passionate about law, science and technology, youth and women empowerment through entrepreneurship, responsive leadership, sustainable development and environmental conservation. She believes that Africans have the capability to find their own solutions to all the undeniable problems which confront them.

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Rayno Mapoe
Legislation Content Editor

I am currently PGDip Library and Information Studies student at UCT. I am passionate about open access and having information at the disposal of those who need it, especially relating to legislation. Through my time at Laws.Africa I have learnt a great deal about legal information as well as proofreading and editing, furthermore it has sparked an interest in software technology. I have a background in Political Science and International Relations.

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Sibongiseni Mrwashu
South African Community Coordinator and Legislation Enthusiast

Sibongiseni is a qualified Law Librarian and a trainee Statutes Editor. She was involved in SAFLII from 2014 until 2018, where she learned a great deal about legal information, editing and consolidating legislation, and the software tool to make it available for open access. Sibongiseni is passionate about all things Law, IT and information.

Sibongiseni is currently pursuing her LLB via UNISA.

Sibongiseni codes at times.

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Yakubu Idisire Nagu
Legislation Content Editor

Yakubu is a lawyer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public and international law and a Master’s degree in international Trade law from the university of Cape Town. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in Commercial law, specializing in International Trade and Economic integration in Africa. His research examines the intersections between law, trade theory and development economics in the creation of institutional frameworks for African development and prosperity. A firm believer in the potential of Africa, he looks towards applying his legal knowledge and skills in projects that contribute to sustainable development on the African Continent.

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Zodwa Simakani
Legislation Content Editor

Ntombizodwa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, Media and Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has also commenced her LLB studies at the University of Cape Town and is passionate about Human Rights, particularly Refugee Law. Furthermore she truly believes that law should be equally accessible to all.

Advisory board

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Vidhu Vedalankar

Ms Vidhu Vedalankar brings extensive experience from the NGO and public sectors. She has worked in a variety of roles focusing on building the capacity of the state to deliver services at scale to the public, in particular to the most vulnerable and marginalised people of our communities.

Most recently she served as the CEO of Legal Aid South Africa managing the delivery of professional legal services through a national footprint to reach clients thus increasing access to justice for millions of South Africans. She also served at Executive and CEO levels in local government in the Durban metropolitan area. This speaks to her many years of experience in executive management.

Ms Vedalankar has skills and expertise in Leadership and Management, Strategic Planning, Business Planning, Sustainability planning and practice, Operationalising and execution of strategy, delivery of services at scale as well as Engagement with and Accountability to internal and external stakeholders

She is committed to sustainable performance excellence, leveraging available resources to optimise efficiency and effectiveness, ethical leadership, good governance and being informed in all decisions by a scientific data driven approach.

Ms Vedalankar has a Masters degree in Town Planning, a Bachelor of Science degree as well as an Executive Development certificate.

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Ndidi Ezenwa

Ms. Ndidi Ezenwa is a member of the Advisory Board of Laws.Africa and is passionate about the use of technology to improve access to justice. Ndidi is the General Counsel at Juven, a private investment firm which invests in technology enabled and consumer businesses operating in Africa. Ndidi previously worked as a private equity lawyer at international law firm White & Case in London and Singapore where she advised a diverse range of financial sponsors on cross border transactions, with a focus on emerging market transactions. She was also seconded to work as Head of Legal and Investor Relations for Kobo360, a Lagos based tech startup. Ndidi has a LLB in Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Justice Isaac Lenaola

Justice Isaac Lenaola is a Justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya. Following a successful career at the Kenyan bar, he joined the judicial service in 2003 and worked as Resident Judge in several seats of the High Court of Kenya. Until his appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court, Judge Lenaola was the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional and Human Rights Division at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi.

Justice Lenaola has served as Judge and Deputy Principal Judge of the Court of First Instance of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) from 2011 to 2018 and as a Judge at the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCL) from 2013 to date.

He was previously a Member of the Board, Judicial Training Institute (JTI) and Chairman and member of various Judiciary Committees as well as Chairman of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) and Treasurer of the East African Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA). He is President of the Advisory Council of the Strathmore Institute for Advanced Studies in International Criminal Justice (SIASIC) and President of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ).

Justice Lenoala’s contributions to the administration of justice in Kenya and the East African region has been recognised through numerous awards from national and regional justice sector institutions, including the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) from the President of the Republic of Kenya for distinguished service in the administration of justice in Kenya and the East African Region. He has also been named Jurist of the Year by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)—Kenya Chapter (2019).

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Robert Buergenthal

Mr. Robert M. Buergenthal has worked for thirty years to implement international development programs and support initiatives that create the underlying conditions for sustainable global development. Specializing in governance, justice sector reform, conflict resolution, and civil society development, Buergenthal has worked in over seventy-five countries. Throughout his career Buergenthal has led projects to support the dissemination of public legal information and academic scholarship. Since serving as an observer to the Law via the Internet Conference and the preparation of the Montreal Declaration in 2002, he has regularly partnered with Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) and universities worldwide; and championed public information technology and public-private partnerships to address development challenges and achieve shared goals. Buergenthal most recently served as Senior Director, International Strategy, Global Government Affairs for Thomson Reuters Corp. and previously worked with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO); World Bank Group; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights. Buergenthal holds a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Minnesota School of Law.

Alumni

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Anesu Manamike
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Cammy Subbrayan
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Lois Chisompola
Nontsikelelo Jacobs headshot
Nontsikelelo Jacobs
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Tamar Glanger

Funders

We're grateful to our funders for helping us to achieve our goals.

The Indigo Trust

With thanks to

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