Chris is a DPhil student, writing on the topic ‘What is Unfair Discrimination? A theory of the South African Constitutional Court’s unfair discrimination jurisprudence’. He is supervised by Dr Tarunabh Khaitan. Chris came to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship (South Africa-at-large, 2010) and has completed the BCL and MPhil, with distinctions in both degrees. He received his BA and LLB degrees from Rhodes University, South Africa, before clerking for Justice Jafta at the South African Constitutional Court. 

Chris is a former chairperson of Oxford Pro Bono Publico. He previously served as co-administrator of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and was one of the founding editors of the Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog.


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  • McConnachie, 'Human Dignity, "Unfair Discrimination" and Guidance' (2014) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1?21
    DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gqu002
    In Human Dignity: Lodestar for Equality in South Africa, Justice Laurie Ackermann, one of the 11 judges appointed to the South African Constitutional Court after the end of apartheid, presents the most extensive examination yet of the connection between human dignity, equality and the prohibition of ?unfair discrimination? under the South African Constitution. This article focuses on one of Ackermann?s central assumptions: that a deeper understanding of human dignity can provide South African courts with clear guidance in identifying unfair discrimination. I argue that human dignity cannot offer this type of guidance. Instead, I contend that the search for guidance should begin with a closer examination of the Constitutional Court?s reasoning in its unfair discrimination decisions. I proceed to develop a novel understanding of the Court?s reasoning which, I argue, offers a surer route to the guidance that Ackermann seeks and indicates where his important appeals for transparent, rigorous judicial reasoning are best directed
  • McConnachie, 'Concretising the Right to a Basic Education' (2012) 129 South African Law Journal 554
  • McConnachie and C McConnachie , '"With such changes as may be required by the context": the legal consequences of marriage through the lens of section 13 of the Civil Union Act' (2010) 127 South African Law Journal 424

Research Interests

Human Rights; Equality and Discrimination Law; Philosophy of Law

Research projects