Makwanyane Institute

Applications for the 2017 Makwanyane Institute are now closed

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The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide will host its first Makwanyane Institute, an intensive training workshop for capital defenders, from June 12 to 20, 2017. Named in honor of the South African Constitutional Court’s seminal decision abolishing the death penalty, the Institute will offer fifteen Fellows the opportunity to participate in specialized training, litigation support, and community-building.

In its first year, the Institute invited applications from criminal defense lawyers practicing in common law jurisdictions in Africa, including Botswana, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

These Makwanyane Fellows will travel from June 12 to 20, 2017 to Cornell University Law School in the USA for intensive training on how to best represent a defendant facing capital punishment, covering trial skills such as fact investigation, litigation strategy, and mitigation, and specialized topics such as international advocacy, mental health, terrorism, and ethics. After successfully completing the Institute, Makwanyane Fellows will join a network of innovative and collaborative capital defenders and are expected to build on the support they receive to spearhead training for advocates in their home countries.

Makwanyane Fellows join a network of lawyers dedicated to improving legal representation for clients facing a sentence of death. The ideal Makwanyane Fellow is:

  • an attorney who has represented or is interested in representing clients facing the death penalty;
  • passionate about providing quality legal representation to clients facing the death penalty;
  • committed to participating within a network of capital defenders in common law jurisdictions in Africa;
  • cognizant of challenges facing attorneys who represent clients facing a sentence of death;
  • innovative and willing to train and mentor other attorneys on topics covered in the Makwanyane Institute.

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