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Nigel H.

Lawyer - Chairperson of the Refugee Appeals Board of South Africa

Master's DegreeUniversity of the Western Cape

South Africa


Nigel graduated with an LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 2004. In 2008 he received an LLM degree from the same institution. He was one of the first Graduate Lecturing Assistant’s (GLA) at UWC which gave Nigel the ability to complete his Masters. As a LLM student he was invited to attend the International Human Rights Academy held by University of Ghent, Utrecht and the American University together with UWC. His LLM degree focused on Constitutional and Criminal Justice, The Law of Unfair Dismissal and a thesis titled “The Impact of Economic Sanctions on South Africa compared to Iraq” was completed under the supervision of Constitutional Law Expert, Prof Pierre De Vos. After completing his second year as a GLA, Nigel worked the University of Western Cape where lectured Family Law and the Law of Delict he also lectured at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where he lectured Corporate Law. He received experience in adult learning having lectured Labour Law to NEHAWU representatives who completed a Higher Certificate in Economic Development in association with the UWC School of Government under the supervision of Professor Darcy du Toit. In addition to the above, he was asked to conduct research for academic institutions, such as the Institute for Development and Labour (University of Cape Town) in 2006 and the Social Law Project (UWC) in 2007 reporting on issues within the Labour Law environment. In 2008, Nigel left UWC and became a legal advisor at Deloitte specializing in private and public sector consulting and forensics. He has experience and exposure to the application and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and became aware of the role and mandate of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He developed proceedings at local government level to discipline and black listing fraudulent service providers, a first of its kind. During his time at Deloitte he was also seconded to the Forensic Investigative Unit (FIU) at the Provincial Government of the Western Cape under the Department of the Premier where he worked with a team to eliminate the backlog in investigations in the region. While at Deloitte, he worked within all levels of government, including foreign government corporations and NGO’s including UNAID and large corporations. During this time, Nigel completed a Certificate in Forensic Examination at the University of Pretoria and became a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (SA Chapter), the International Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Institute of Commercial Forensic Practitioners. In May 2014, Nigel became a Commissioner at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration as a result of his exposure to the labour spheres during his studies at UWC. The CCMA training involved an intensive training programme in respect of social justice and skills required for mediation and arbitration of disputes and the management of these proceedings. He was appointed a Commissioner for a period of six years however in 2017, he was approached by the Ministry of Home Affairs to apply for a post. He was appointed as the Chairperson of the Refugee Appeal Board of South Africa by the Minister of Home Affairs with a mandate to transform the tribunal into a world class institution. This position is at a level of senior management in government and comes with wide ranging supervisory responsibilities. He is currently a member of the Association for Refugee Law Judges, an association of Judges around the world. During this time, he is constantly engaging the representatives of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in particular in its efforts to reduce the backlog in asylum determinations and to reduce widespread fraud and corruption associated with the asylum regime. He also engages non-governmental organisations as well as the Judiciary, Parliament, and civic society as a whole.


  • bankruptcy
  • law
  • torts / conflict resolution
  • refugees
  • economic policy
  • south africa
  • iraq
  • botswana
  • united states
  • Sectors
  • Funders
  • Countries
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