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Ann Skelton

South Africa - English

Professor Ann Skelton has worked as a children’s rights lawyer in South Africa for 25 years. She has effectively lobbied for the rights of children in the criminal justice system throughout her career. She chaired the SA Law Reform Committee that drafted the Child Justice Act, and led a UN technical assistance project to prepare for its implementation. Ann is currently the Director of the Centre for Child Law, University of Pretoria. She is an advocate who often appears in the South African superior courts arguing children’s rights issues in public interest law matters – such as Centre for Child Law v Minister of Justice (which abolished minimum sentences and life imprisonment for children) and J v National Director of Public Prosecutions (which abolished automatic placement of child offenders on the sex offenders register). She has published widely on child law both locally and internationally, and is acknowledged as an expert in the field by various UN bodies. She was involved in the drafting of the Model Law on Juvenile Justice for the UNODC in Vienna in 2013. Ann was recently elected as a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, her term of office starting in 2017.