My name is Esther Gumboh. I am a researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), a public interest law organisation based at the School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand. I work across three programmes: Business and Human Rights, Rule of Law and Basic Services. I hold a PhD from the University of Cape Town (UCT) for a thesis entitled: A critical analysis of the impact of the Bill of Rights on punishment in Malawi. I also have an LLM in Criminal Justice from UCT and an honours degree from the University of Malawi in 2008.
I previously worked in the Department of Public Law at UCT as a teaching and research assistant where I tutored students in Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and International Law. I have worked as a Senior Resident Magistrate in Malawi, dealing mainly with criminal cases. It was my judicial work which sparked my interest in criminal justice. I have consulted for the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit. I completed an internship at the Centre for Constitutional Rights and the Centre for Study of Violence and Reconciliation, and have worked as a researcher at the Centre for Social Concern and the Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation in Malawi.
The ACCA is doing great work on the continent, and I am proud to represent CALS on the ACCA Steering Committee. I envision an ACCA that spearheads capacity-building exercises across the continent in conjunction with other organisations to equip communities with necessary skills and knowledge that will enable them to hold corporations accountable. I also envision an ACCA that will continue representing African communities in regional and international fora, bringing their needs to the attention of influential stakeholders who can urge our governments to play a greater role in alleviating the problems faced by communities at the hands of corporations.