Ann Skelton is the first holder the Rotating Honorary Chair: Enforcement of Children’s Rights, appointed for the academic year 2020-2021.
Professor Ann Skelton has worked as a children’s rights lawyer in South Africa for over 25 years. She played a leading role in child law reform through her involvement with the committees of the South African Law Reform Commission that drafted the Child Justice Act and the Children’s Act. Ann was the Director of the Centre for Child Law for ten years, and initiated its strategic impact litigation work. She is currently a Law Professor at the University of Pretoria, where she also holds the UNESCO Chair: Education Law in Africa. She is an internationally recognised researcher and has published widely on children’s rights, education law and restorative justice. In addition to teaching Child Law and Education Law at the University of Pretoria, she teaches International Children’s Rights in the Masters in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. She is a visiting professor of the University of Strathclyde and is the first holder of the Rotating Honorary Chair: Enforcement of Children’s Rights at Leiden University. She is an advocate and has appeared as counsel in many landmark child law cases in the South African superior courts, including 12 cases in the Constitutional Court. Her awards include the Honorary Worlds’ Children’s Prize, presented by Queen Sylvia of Sweden (2012) and the Juvenile Justice Without Borders award presented by the International Observatory on Juvenile Justice (2017) and she is currently an International Ambassador for the British Society of Criminology. She was the chairperson of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty. Ann is currently a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, her term of office started in 2017.