Professor B Bekink

Position, academic & professional qualifications

Bernard Bekink is a full professor in the department of Public Law, law faculty, University of Pretoria and he holds the degrees BLC LLB LLM (Constitutional Litigation and Practice) LLD (all obtained from UP). The title of his LLD thesis was “The constitutional restructuring of local government in South Africa”. He is also a practising attorney of the High Court of South Africa with more than 20 years’ experience.

Academic & professional experience

After completion of his LLB degree Prof Bekink joined Couzyn, Hertzog & Horak Attorneys as candidate attorney from 1991-1993. From 1993 to 1997 he acted senior legal advisor for the then City Council of Pretoria and in 1997 he joined the University of Pretoria as senior lecturer in the Department of Public Law. He obtained the LLM degree in 1996 and the LLD degree in 2006 and was promoted to professor from 1 January 2012.

Teaching activities

Prof Bekink predominantly teaches Constitutional Law (PBL 200/SRG 210) and Municipal Law (MRG 410) for the LLB, as well as aspects of Constitutional law and Municipal Law (MGR 881) for the coursework LLM in Constitutional and Administrative law.

Representative publications

  • B Bekink (2012) Principles of South African Constitutional Law LexisNexis.
  • B Bekink (2006) Principles of South African Local Government Law LexisNexis.
  • “Moving the seat of (SA) Parliament: To be or not to be?” (2003) Journal of Public Administration 386.
  • “Parental religious freedom and the rights and best interest of children” (2003) Journal for Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law 246.
  • “Presidential pardons: Constitutional necessity or political nuisance? Some points of critique” (2003) SA Public Law / Publiekreg 371.
  • “Balancing constitutional stability and flexibility: An evaluation of the constitutional amendment procedures” (2004) Journal of South African Law 657.
  • “A dilemma of the twenty-first century state: Questions on the balance between democracy and security” (2005) African Human Rights Law Journal 406.
  • “Aspects of rape, statutory rape and the choice on the Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996: Do we protect our minor women?” (2006) Journal for Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law 14 (co-authored with M Bekink).
  • “New legislative measures in South Africa aimed at combating over-indebtedness-Are the new proposals sufficient under the Constitution and the law in general?” (2006) International Insolvency Review 91 (co-authored with M Roestoff & S Renke).
  • “When do parents go too far? Are South African parents still allowed to chastise their children through corporal punishment in their private homes? (2006) South African Journal of Criminal Justice 173.
  • “Aspects of legislative drafting: Some South African realities (or, plain language is not always plain sailing)” (2007) Statute Law Review 34 (co-authored with CJ Botha).
  • “Considering the benefits of legal aid and legal representation as state expense for certain meritorious family institutions and their members: South African and International documents” (co-authored with M Bekink, Department of Mercantile Law, UNISA) accepted for publication in the special family law issue of Speculum Juris) (2010) (31 pages)
  • “Comments on the legal position regarding an application and request for legal representation at state expense, by an employee or councillor of a municipality in South Africa” submitted and accepted for publication in SAAPAM 2011.
  • “Maccsand v City of Cape Town…making sense of the interwoven legislative interplay of timelines, hierarchical status and spheres of government” De Jure (2015) 456-467 (11 pages) (co-authored with CJ Botha, UP.
  • “The participation of persons with disabilities in political and public law under SA contemporary constitutional law” De Jure (2016) Accepted for publication.
  • “The Mandament van Spolie, the restitution of unlawful possession and the impact of the Constitution of the RSA: Ngqukumba v Minister of Safety and Security 2014 (5) SA 112 (CC)” THRHR (2016) Accepted for publication. (co-authored with prof DG Kleyn, UP.

Areas of specialisation

His main areas of interest are local government law, constitutional law, aspects of Public International law and human rights law.

Academic & professional memberships

Professor Bekink is a full practising member of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, associated member of the Law Society of South Africa, a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), and a member of the International Association of Constitutional Law.


In 2012 he was elected as the chair of the Public Law Committee of the International Bar Association. Professor Bekink has attended and addressed various national and international conferences and he is also regularly active in training and educational initiatives.

Contact details

- Author Department of Public Law

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