Professor Francois du Bois

Professor of Law

Francois du Bois

School/Department: Leicester Law School



I joined the University of Leicester in July 2012 having previously held appointments at the Universities of Nottingham (2007-2012) and Cape Town (1995-2005) as well as at SOAS (1991-1995). I was Head of Leicester Law School between Sept 2014 and Sept 2019. 


My research concentrates on three intersecting themes:

• Theoretical reflection on the concepts and doctrines of private law particularly in light of the growing impact of human rights;

• The structure of South Africa’s post-1994 legal system and its institutions in historical and comparative perspective;

• Jurisprudential evaluation of the tension between private and public modes of redress for individual injuries.

I have held research grants from the British Academy (2010; 2013-17) as well as a grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (2010) and a Fellowship of the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies (2019-2020). 


  • 'Punishment, reparation and the evolution of private law: The actio iniuriarum in a changing world' 2019 Acta Juridica 229-282
  • 'The Impact of Human Rights on English Contract Law' in Luca Siliquini-Cinelli & Andrew Hutchison (eds) The Constitutional Dimension of Contract Law: A Comparative Perspective (New York: Springer Publishing, 2017) 1-37
  • 'Contractual Obligation and the Journey from Natural Law to Constitutional Law' 2015 Acta Juridica 281-312
  • 'Tort Law Recovered? From Alan Brudner's Revised Case for Tort Law to the Ethical Underpinnings of Liberal Democracy' (2014) 1:2 Critical Analysis of Law 285-304
  • 'Harassment: A Wrong without a Right' in E Descheemaker & H Scott (eds) Iniuria and the Common Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2013) 215-240.
  • 'Private Law in the Age of Rights' in Daniel Visser and Elspeth Reid (eds) Private Law and Human Rights in Scotland and South Africa (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013) 12-36.
  • 'Social Purposes, Fundamental Rights and the Judicial Development of Private Law' in D Nolan and A Robertson (eds) Rights and Private Law (Hart) (2011) 89-114
  • 'Human Rights and the Tort Liability of Public Authorities' 127 Law Quarterly Review 589-609
  • Justice and Reconciliation in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Cambridge University Press) (2008) 321pp (co-edited with Antje du Bois-Pedain)


I supervise PhD students on Private and Commercial law especially Contract and Tort. My PhD students have completed theses on: Buyers' Remedies in International Sales of Goods; Stabilization Clauses in International Investment Contracts; International Commercial Arbitration; The Duty to Co-operate in Contract Law; Third Party IP Rights and Sellers' Liability in International Sales of Goods; Protecting Property Through Tort; Mitigation of Loss; Good Faith in Contract Law.


Law of Contract

Tort Law

Commercial Law

Press and media

Business and Human Rights. Legal liability of the Police to victims of crime. Legal liability of European states (including the UK) for harms inflicted on colonized and enslaved people.
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