Ethics in Essence


Research Ethics Committee 

Ethics in Essence 

According to the University of Pretoria’s Senate Committee for Research Ethics and Integrity, each faculty is required to comply with legal and ethical practice when their staff members and students engage in research activities (Rt429/99, S4083/00). The Faculty of Humanities Research Ethics Committee (ResEthics) processes and approves all postgraduate and staff research applications in compliance with Faculty regulations.

In 2013, the Faculty postgraduate structure underwent a process of reorganisation. It was decided that the quality and content of postgraduate student research proposals would be reviewed and approved at Departmental Research Committee level and thereafter by the respective Clusters, instead of by the Faculty’s Postgraduate Committee as was previously the protocol. This change was effected so that the decision-making on the scientific content of the research proposal would be closer to the student and supervisor, as well as specialists within that specific field. The full research application, including the ethical clearance application would then be directed to this Committee for review of the ethical implications.

All research involving human, institutional and/or organisational participation necessitates the acquisition of written permission prior to the commencement of data collection. While all research needs to be ethically cleared at Faculty level, the following potential research populations have to be approached with particular sensitivity:

1. Minor children [Paeds] (up to the age of 18 years old)
2. Minority groups
3. Marginalised and disadvantaged groups
4. Disabled people and those under health-care treatment
5. Incarcerated and institutionalised people
6. Vulnerable people

The applications must also comply with any Acts approved by parliament especially the following national legislative frameworks and Acts:

1. Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000
2. Protection of Private Information Act 4 of 2013
3. National Archives
4. White Paper on Corrections in South Africa, 2005
5. Children’s Act 38 of 2005
6. Child Justice Act 75 of 2008
7. Criminal Law Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act 32 0f 2007
8. Mental Health care Act

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