School of Law lecturers Dr Dusty Donelly and Dr Lindiwe Maqutu have graduated with Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Law.

Donnelly was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree summa cum laude in 1999 and began her legal career in the then male-dominated world of shipping.  After more than a decade of experience as a legal practioner in the specialist field of Maritime Law, she returned to UKZN to lecture in the School of Law.

Her doctoral thesis titled: Privacy by (re)Design: A Comparative Study of the Protection of Personal Information in the Mobile Applications Ecosystem under United States, European Union and South African Law, analysed the protection of personal data in the mobile applications eco-system. 

Donnelly’s research drew on a comparative analysis with legal regulation in the US and the EU to put forward recommendations for controls over how personal data collected by apps can be shared with third parties.

She is determined to combine her passion for Maritime Law with her research into the new frontiers of big data and artificial intelligence.

‘Data-driven insights hold great promise for improving efficiencies and competitiveness in the shipping logistics sector, in particular. And unmanned autonomous ships are already a reality.  These new technologies must be carefully regulated so that we prevent harm but do not stifle innovation and growth.  I hope that my research makes a valuable contribution to the creation of a society in which both aims can be achieved,’ said Donelly.

Lecturer and an Advocate of the High Court, Maqutu obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees in 1994 and 1996 respectively from the then University of Natal. She went on to complete a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Medical Law 2010 and another LLM degree in Constitutional Law in 2012 at UKZN.

‘I have a keen interest in the plight of the marginalised members of South African communities and the manner in which the law has historically been a barrier to their access to resources and to the realisation of their full potential,’ she said.

‘I am committed to scholarship that is bent on disrupting the supposed neutrality of the law in its intent and application, thereby revealing the structural violence it has installed and continues to inflict on vulnerable members of the South African society. To this end my area of specialisation has become Labour Law,’ added Maqutu.

Her thesis investigated the post-apartheid hegemony of labour law and considered whether the retention of Eurocentric structures, under which labour relations are consigned to operate, is legitimated by the apparent incorporation of Africans into the scheme.

‘Having registered in August 2018, I completed my PhD thesis while I was in full-time employment and a lone parent to my two teenage children,’ said Maqutu.

Congratulating Dr Donnelly and Dr Maqutu on their excellent achievement, Professor Managay Reddi, Dean of the Law School, stated that both women are remarkable academics who had completed their PhD studies in the minimum time while continuing with their demanding job and other responsibilities. Reddi said that both PhD studies are in dynamic areas of specialisation covering topical legal issues that are the subjects of intense scholarly interrogation.

‘I am confident that the relevance of both PhD studies will result in my colleagues emerging as national and global experts in their respective fields’, she said.     

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied