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Robin Palmer

Director Clinical Legl Studies


Faculty of Law

17 October 2023

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Bachelor of Arts (University of Witwatersrand)

  • Bachelor of Laws (University of Witwatersrand)

  • Master of Laws (University of Natal)

  • Postgraduate Diploma (University of Natal)

  • Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) (Professional Organisation): Member

Research Interests

•Forensic Brainwave Analysis (FBA) Projects: Project leader of the multi-university NZLF-funded FBA Project (2018-2019), investigating FBA technology with US and local ( Police and Corrections) partners.

•Corruption studies: focusing on systemic international responses: My anti-corruption work has four distinct focuses: One, the analysis of international strategies to fund corruption and hide the proceeds of corruption through the use of tax havens, bank secrecy and illicit financial flows (resulting in ab IBA Report on these issues co-authored by me). Two, the potential use of International Criminal Law (ICL) to counter Grand Corruption. Three, the international regulation of civilian private security services (CPSS) and private military and security companies (PMSC) to assist state security services and prevent the abuse of these CPSSs and PMSCs for illegal purposes. Four, the regular overview and analyses of the current grand corruption (‘state capture’) crisis in South Africa.

• Organ trafficking and abuses internationally: From 2007 to 2013, I was the special prosecutor on Operation Life (South Africa), an investigation into and prosecution of an international syndicate involved in illegal organ trafficking. This resulted in the conviction of the main perpetrators. From 2014 to the present- initiatives to promote law reform to increase organ donation rates, and Vice-Chair of ETAC, New Zealand.
• Access to Justice initiatives: Research into options to make court and dispute resolution mechanism more accessible, and using Clinical Law initiatives to promote and implement law reform.
• Legal education reform: Initiatives promoting the integration of legal skills in law and criminal justice degrees, and reconsidering traditional assessment methods.

  • Forensic Investigation
  • Clinical Legal Studies
  • Corruption Studies
  • Tax abuses
  • Evidence
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Legal Writing
  • International Criminal Law
  • Procedural Law
  • Transnational Criminal Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Cyberlaw

Recent Publications

  • Palmer RW. (2018) South Africa – Last bulwark on the road to a failed state: the Courts, Public Protector, State Capture and the battle for the Presidency. Public Law 1: 159-171.
  • Palmer RW. (2018) Using University law clinics to promote law reform: from law clinic to legislation.. Melbourne: International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Conference (2018), 29-30 Nov 2018.
  • Palmer RW; Bellengere A; Theophilopoulos C (Ed.) Palmer RW. (2018) The Law of Evidence in South Africa (Second edition). .
  • Palmer RW. (2017) South Africa - State Capture, Local Government Elections, "Fallists" and governance by litigation. Public Law: the constitutional and administrative law of the commonwealth 2017(1): 159-162.
  • Palmer RW. (2017) Time to Take Brain-Fingerprinting Seriously? A Consideration of International Developments in Forensic Brainwave Analysis (FBA), in the Context of the Need for Independent Verification of FBA’s Scientific Validity, and the Potential Legal Implications of its Use in New Zealand. The Wharenga - New Zealand Criminal Law Review 6: 330-356.
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