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Professor of Private Law, University of Cape Town

Helen Scott is a professor in the Department of Private Law at the University of Cape Town, having joined the UCT Law Faculty permanently in May 2009. Between 2005 and 2009 she was a University Lecturer in Law at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Tutor in Law at St Catherine's College Oxford, and before that a Fixed Term Fellow in Law at Trinity College Oxford. She studied classics and law at the University of Cape Town (BA with distinction in Latin and distinction overall, 1995; Honours in Latin, first class, 1996; LLB magna cum laude, 1998) and subsequently completed BCL (with distinction, 2000), MPhil (with distinction, 2001) and DPhil (2005) degrees at Oxford. She is an occasional lecturer in Roman law in the Oxford Law Faculty and from 2008 to 2014 was a visiting professor at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) where she taught a course in the common law of tort. At UCT she teaches courses on unjustified enrichment (RDL4506S), delict (RDL3003H), advanced Roman law (RDL4503F) and comparative legal history (RDL1004/7H). Her research interests fall within the comparative law of obligations (particularly tort/delict and unjust/unjustified enrichment) and civilian legal history (particularly Roman law).

She has recently finished updating the chapters on harms to personality, strict liability and unjustified enrichment in Wille's Principles of South African Law (10th edition to be published by Juta in 2016), and is currently working on a textbook provisionally entitled The South African Law of Delict with Anton Fagan and Alistair Price, also for Juta. Her major research interest at the moment is the history of the foreseeability concept which dominates both Aquilian liability in South African law and the tort of negligence in the common law. In January 2012 she received a Y1 rating from the National Research Foundation, and in October 2014 she received the UCT College of Fellows Young Researcher Award.


  • –present
    Professor of Private Law, University of Cape Town

Grants and Contracts

  • 2014
    Professor of Private Law
    Funding Source:
    National Research Foundation