The 14th Annual Private Law and Social Justice Conference will be held on 7 and 8 August 2023 at Nelson Mandela University in a hybrid format.

The theme for this year's conference is "Rights, relationships, resources and remedies". Prospective presenters have to pay attention in particular to the notion of constitutional subsidiarity as described in the recent Constitutional Court case of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd v Vaal River Development Association (Pty) Ltd [ (CCT 44/22) [2022] ZACC 44 (23 December 2022):

"The principle of subsidiarity, repeatedly recognised by this Court, has a number of applications.  One application of the principle is that a litigant cannot directly invoke a constitutional right when legislation has been enacted to give effect to that right.  The litigant must either challenge the constitutionality of the legislation so enacted or rely upon the legislation to make its case."

The organisers invite academics to submit proposals for papers dealing with social justice issues in the following areas of private law:

Family Law
Law of Persons
Customary Law
Consumer Law (linking to private law and social justice)
Law of Contract
Banking and Finance Law (linking to private law and social justice)
IT Law (linking to private law and social justice)
Law of Unjustified Enrichment

Law of Delict
Insurance law (linking to private law and social justice)
Freedom of expression and hate speech (linking to private law and social justice)

Proposals for papers are due by 15 JUNE 2023. No late proposals will be accepted.

A proposal should include the following: The title of the paper and an abstract of no more than 250 words; author(s) name(s), institutional affiliation and contact details; three to four keywords. Please indicate how your proposal relates to theme.

The presentation of completed papers may not exceed 20 minutes. Please note that all abstracts will be reviewed. Abstracts must be sent to Please copy Prof A Mukheibir at

The following prizes will be awarded for papers presented at the conference:

  • The Eltjo Schrage prize for the best over-all paper (R5000)
  • The Frans Marx prize for the best paper in IT Law (R3000).

In order to be eligible for these awards, the full paper has to be submitted by 15 June 2023 to enable us to adjudicate the papers. We also reserve the right not to award a prize.