Current LLM Students

1. Susan Bowden

Topic of Dissertation 

The Legal Aspects of Autonomous Vehicles on and below the Sea for Marine Scientific Research 

Relevance of Topic 

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV’s) are a vitally important group of ocean robotics which are used to explore the world’s oceans and collect scientific data in order to perform assessments without human control. The data is used in order to determine the health of the ocean’s ecosystems. Despite their importance, little is known about their legal classification. This is due to the fact that AUV’s are not explicitly mentioned in international instruments, thereby making it difficult to classify them as a ship, vessel, equipment or installation. Consequently, the rights and obligations of AUV’s are unclear. Thus, this paper attempts to classify AUV’s and determine their legal status both on and below the sea

Additional research done under Chair: Tourism Law

Previous Qualifications

  • LLB, Nelson Mandela University, April 2018

  • LLM (coursework), Nelson Mandela University, due to graduate in December 2019, A Critical Analysis of South African Anti-Money Laundering Legislation regarding Cryptocurrency.


2. Mmusho Mokgwetsi 

Topic of Dissertation

The Implementation of the FAO Port State Measures Agreement into South African Law.

Relevance of Topic 

The purpose of my research is to assess the extent that South Africa has incorporated the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) into South African law including investigating the issues relating to incorporating the PSMA into South African law. The PSMA seeks to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing through the implementation of port State measures.

Additional research done under Chair: None

Previous Qualifications

LLB ( completed 2017) awarded by the Nelson Mandela University.


3. Ms Bathobile Vilakazi

Topic of Dissertation

Marine Plastic Pollution in South African Law

Relevance of Topic

Plastic production and consumption has increased significantly over the years, due to its cost effectiveness, versatile usage and durability. In recent years however, plastics have become an environmental issue, more so, in the marine environment. 80% of plastic materials found in the ocean come from land-based sources and activities, whilst 20% from sea-based sources and activities. The presence thereof negatively impacting on marine biodiversity and ultimately human health. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides guidance to States on the protection of the marine environment by placing a duty on States to implement measures to achieve this goal. As such, this dissertation aims to investigate whether South African environmental laws are sufficiently addressing marine plastic pollution in line with international standards.

Additional research done under the Chair: None

Previous Qualifications

LLB (completed 2017) awarded by the Nelson Mandela University.






Last updated on 3 July 2020 - AA


Contact information
Ms Ammaarah Abrahams
Administrative assistant