The EELC provides a walk-in clinic, offering legal support to individuals and communities where learners’ rights are prejudiced. In addition, the Centre acts as a source of referral for EE members and supporters who encounter prejudicial or otherwise unlawful conduct in their schools. Through its clinic, EELC’s lawyers provide legal support, litigation and, where necessary, on the ground interventions to assist marginalised learners and community members in realising the rights to equality, dignity and education.
The EELC provides support for campaigns led by members of our sister organisation, Equal Education (EE), around the country. Through collaboration, EE and the EELC work to address systematic inequalities in the South African education system and to coordinate strategies, advocacy and action to bring about sustained change. EELC lawyers are activists and remain actively engaged in the struggles of EE, and are on hand to provide legal materials, and strategic litigation to advance the movement equality and quality education.
Founded in 2012, the EELC is registered as a law clinic with the Cape Law Society and its staff of social justice lawyers specialise in education policy, legal advocacy, community lawyering and public interest litigation. The EELC engages in strategic litigation regarding major issues surrounding long-term educational reform, as well as working on individual cases arising from experiences of learners, parents and teachers, such as expulsions, disciplinary matters and access to schools. The EELC provides legal services and representation free of charge to persons who would not otherwise be able to afford them. The legal processes pursued by the EELC seek to create systemic change in the education sector.