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Dr Emma Fergus

After completing her LLB in 2006, and her articles of clerkship in 2009, Emma practised as an attorney at Bowman Gilfillan 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 primary research interests include organisational rights and collective bargaining, corporate governance in the workplace and judicial review of employers' and the CCMA's 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 PG level), Collective Labour Law (at PG level) as well as selected aspects of labour law to non-law students (at UG level). Emma is also a member of both the Institute of Development and Labour Law at UCT and the South African Society of Labour Lawyers.



  • Emma Fergus ‘Can Obviously Wrong be Right? Notes on Coega Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration & others (2016) 37 ILJ 923 (LC) and a Brief Response to Myburgh SC’ (2017) 38 ILJ 1488
  • Emma Fergus ‘Pickets, socio-economic protest action, gatherings and demonstrations’ in D Du Toit et al (ed) Strikes and the Law (2018) 155
  • Debbie Collier & Emma Fergus (Eds) Labour Law in South Africa: Context and Principles (2018)
  • Emma Fergus ‘The Disorganisation of Organisational Rights — Recent Case Law and Outstanding Questions’ (2019) 40 ILJ 685
  • Emma Fergus ‘Labour-Management Relations: The 1995 LRA’s approach to regulating labour-management relations’ in C Thompson & PS Benjamin Labour Law in South Africa (loose-leaf; 2019).
  • 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)