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November 10, 2017

I am grateful to have had my paper selected as one of ten papers to be presented at the annual Stanford-Penn International Junior Faculty Forum held at Stanford Law School, USA last month (26-28 October 2017). The paper I presented is titled ‘The Rising Cost of Twin Peaks for South Africa: The Financial Sector Levies Bill and Bank Levies’

Just some information on the Stanford-Penn International Junior Faculty Forum:

Sponsored by Stanford Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the International Junior Faculty Forum (IJFF) was established to stimulate the exchange of ideas and research among younger legal scholars from around the world. We live today in a global community– in particular, a global legal community. The IJFF is designed to foster transnational legal scholarship that surmounts barriers of time, space, legal traditions and cultures, and to create an engaged global community of scholars.,.

…Papers may be on any legally relevant subject and can make use of any relevant approach: they can be quantitative or qualitative, sociological, anthropological, historical, or economic. The host institutions are committed to intellectual, methodological, and regional diversity, and welcome papers from junior scholars from all parts of the world.” (For more on the Forum visit the Stanford Law School website here )

The Forum was set up as a workshop style whereby the two professors assigned to review your paper begin by presenting your paper as they understood it, and thereafter providing their critique of your paper. You are then afforded an opportunity to defend your paper and respond to your reviewers’ comments. Thereafter, comment is opened up to the floor and others are given an opportunity to give their critique of your paper, and you are once again afforded opportunity to respond to the comments. This workshop style was quite different to the conference style I was used to (where you ordinarily present your paper within a given time frame with a ten minute Q&A session afterwards), however I thoroughly enjoy and prefer the Stanford Forum style as it was definitely developmental for a junior academic like myself. It requires you to know your paper really well to enable you to defend it, and it also offers you an opportunity to  reflect on how your ideas have been understood by the reader. You are able to assess whether the reader’s understanding of your paper matches the argument you intended to convey. And where there is a mismatch it provides with a learning opportunity of how better to structure your arguments so to ensure that your ideas come across to the reader as you intended.

The Forum was such a learning experience, and given how competitive the selection process is, I am quite honoured to have my paper selected as one of the final 10 papers.

The Stanford Law School campus is beautiful and if I could get an opportunity to return for SJD study, I would be happy.














Silindile N. Buthelezi

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Silindile N. Buthelezi