Academic Staff

Dr Emma Fergus

BPsych cum laude (Stellenbosch) LLB (UCT)

PhD (UCT) Admitted Attorney of the High Court


After completing her LLB in 2006, and her articles of clerkship in 2009, Emma practised as an attorney until May 2010. She then left practice to pursue a PhD, entitled ‘From Sidumo to Dunsmuir: Judicial Review of CCMA Arbitration Awards', which she completed in 2013. Her research interests include employment equity and discrimination law, corporate governance in the workplace and judicial review of both employers' and administrators' decisions.She is a full time senior lecturer in the Commercial Law Department at UCT, and she currently teaches Company Law, Corporate Governance and Labour Law (at Masters level), Collective Labour Law (at Masters level) and Business Law (to undergraduate students).



  • Emma Fergus ‘The Distinction between Appeals and Reviews – Defining the Limits of the Labour Courts’ Powers of Review’ (2010) 31 ILJ 1556
  • Emma Fergus ‘Dismissal for Incapacity’ in Adriaan van der Walt, Rochelle Le Roux & Avinash Govindjee (eds) Labour Law in Context (2012) 123
  • Emma Fergus ‘Circumventing review – When is a question jurisdictional?’ (2012) 129 SALJ 504
  • Emma Fergus & Alan Rycroft ‘Refining Review’ 2012 Acta Juridica 170
  • Emma Fergus ‘The Reasonable Employer’s Resolve’ (2013) 34 ILJ 2486
  • Emma Fergus ‘Reviewing an Appeal: A Response to Judge Murphy and the SCA’ (2014) 35 ILJ 47
  • Emma Fergus ‘Towards unity — reconciling fairness and rationality in affirmative action disputes’ (2015) 36 ILJ 40
  • Emma Fergus & Debbie Collier ‘Race and gender Equality at Work: The Role of the Judiciary in Promoting Workplace Transformation’ (2014) 30(3) SAJHR 484
  • Jan Theron, Shane Godfrey & Emma Fergus ‘Organisational and Collective Bargaining Rights through the Lens of Marikana’ (2015) 36 ILJ 849
  • Luisa Corazza & Emma Fergus ‘Representativeness and the legitimacy of bargaining agents’ in R Le Roux, B Hepple & S Sciarra (eds) Laws on Strikes (2015) 87-107
  • Emma Fergus & Thierry Galani Tiemeni 'Asymmetries, Adversity and Labour Rights: Thoughts from a Developing Region' in R, Blanpain, F, Hendrickx & D, Du Toit (eds) Labour Law and Social Progress - Holding the Lines or Shifting Boundaries? (2016) 92 Bulletin for Comparative Labour Relations 115-144
  • Emma Fergus ‘The Limits of Lockouts in South Africa: The Constitutional Court’s decision in Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa v Putco Limited’ International Labor Rights Case Law (2016)
  • Emma Fergus ‘Reflections on the (dys)functionality of strikes to collective bargaining: Recent developments’ (2016) 37 ILJ 1537
  • Emma Fergus & Shane Godfrey ‘Organising and bargaining across sectors in South Africa: recent developments and potential problems’ (2016) 37 ILJ 2211
  • Emma Fergus ‘Incapacity Dismissals’ in A van der Walt & A Govindjee (eds) Labour Law in Context 2 ed (2016)