Rhodes>Law>People>Academic Staff>Professor Helena van Coller

Professor Helena van Coller

LLB, LLM (UFS), LLM (Utrecht), PGDHE (Rhodes), LLD (UJ)

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

Email: h.vancoller@ru.ac.za


Helena van Coller is an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Law at Rhodes University, South Africa. She joined the Faculty in 2005. She obtained the degrees LLB and LLM from the University of the Free State and an LLM from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. She was admitted as an advocate in 2004. She obtained her LLD on the topic of Administrative Law and Religious Organisations in 2012. Her main field of research is Administrative Law and aspects of Law and Religion. She is a member of ICLARS (The International Consortium for Law and Religious Studies), Member of the Board of Directors of ACLARS (The African Consortium for Law and Religious Studies), The SA Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms (founding member) and Council member of Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. Her book on Regulating Religion: State Governance of Religious Institutions in South Africa was published by Routledge in 2020 as part of the ICLARS Series on Law and Religion.

Publications (2015-date)

Journal articles:

  • Van Coller EH ‘Freedom of expression: Blasphemy and the prohibition against religious hate speech’ Journal of Humanities (2021) 61(1)
  • Van Coller EH ‘Ritual Slaughter: a Religious Right? Recht, Religie en Samenleving (RRS)/Droit, Religion et Société/Law, Religion and Society (2018)1: 117-138
  • Van Coller EH ‘Administrative Law’ 2017 Annual Survey of South African Law (2019) 36-72. ISSN 0376-4605, ISBN 978 1 48513 300 1
  • Van Coller EH & Idowu A Akinloye ‘The State v Twynham: The (Ir) Relevance of further Regulation of Religious Organisations in South Africa’ Stellenbosch Law Review (2019) 30(2) 299-313.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Let the Bells Ring! Is the Ringing of Bells a Noise Nuisance or the Legitimate Exercising of a Religious Conviction? LitNet Akademies (2018) 15(3) 769-787.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Administrative Law’ 2016 Annual Survey of South African Law (2018) 49-91. ISSN 0376-4605, ISBN 978 1 48512 085 8.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Religious Institutions and the Review Jurisdiction of the Court’. LitNet Akademies (2017) 14(3) 991-1039.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Legal Disputes and What the Church can Learn from the Case of Fortuin v Church of Christ Mission of the Republic of South Africa and Others’ LitNet Akademies (2017) 14(3) 592-617.
  • Van Coller EH ‘The Church, the Bishop and the Missing Money. A reflection on the Case of Bishop Ngewu and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’ Oxford Journal of Law and Religion (2017) 6(3) 610-618, available at https://doi.org/10.1093/ojlr/rwx033
  • Van Coller EH ‘Administrative Law’ 2015 Annual Survey of South African Law (2017) 51-76. ISSN 0376-4605, ISBN 978 1 48511 878 7.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Religious Ministers – Working for God or Working for the Church? A Reflection on Universal Church of the Kingdom of God v Myeni and OthersOxford Journal of Law and Religion (2017) 6(1), 187-193.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Geloofsinstellings en die Toepassing van die Leerstuk van “Nie-inmeninging” en “Marginale toetsing” deur die Howe: ‘n Regsvergelykende Perspektief’ (2016)2 Journal of South Africa law/ Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg 205-219.


Books /monographs

  • Van Coller EH Regulating Religion: State Governance of Religious Institutions in South Africa, 1st Edition (2019) London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN: 978 1 13829871 2

Chapters in books

  • Van Coller EH & A Akinloye ’The Perspective of Religion, Law, and CoVID-19 in South Africa and Nigeria’ in F Sibanda (ed) Facing a Global Pandemic: Religion, Politics, and Health in the Shadow of COVID-19 in Africa [forthcoming]
  • Van Coller EH ‘Ritual Slaughter and Religious Freedom: The Impact on the Flourishing of Religious Communities in South Africa’ in M Christian Green (ed) Law, Religion and Human Flourishing in Africa (2019) 345-362. SUN Media, Stellenbosch South Africa. ISBN: 978-1-928314-58-5.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Administrative Law’ in L Meintjes-van der Walt (ed) Introduction to South African Law 3rd edition (2019), 271-280, Pearson Education South Africa, Cape Town. ISBN: 978-1-776-10223-5.
  • Van Coller EH ‘Burial Rights: Protecting the Religious and Cultural Heritage of Communities in South Africa’ In M Christian Green et al (eds) Religious Pluralism, Heritage and Social Development in Africa (2017) 333-351. SUN Media, Stellenbosch South Africa. ISBN 978‑1‑928314-27-1.
  • Van Coller EH. ‘Homosexuality and the Churches: Controversies and Challenges’ in P Coertzen (eds) Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations (2016) 307-324. SUN Media, Stellenbosch South Africa. ISBN: 978-1-928357-03-2.
  • Van Coller EH ‘The Role and Duty of Religious Organisations in Civil Society’ in P Coertzen et al Law and Religion in Africa. The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies (2015) 331-346. SUN Media, Stellenbosch South Africa. ISBN: 978-1-919985-63-3.


Academic opinion pieces


  • Van Coller EH, ‘South African High Court Prohibits Muslim Call to prayer. Why it got it wrong’, The Conversation (12 October 2020), available at:




  • Van Coller EH, Comment on the Civil Union Amendment Bill, opinion piece for OIL on request by the advocacy organisation Freedom of Religion South Africa (FORSA)(30 July 2020), available at:



  • Van Coller EH, ‘Kerk en Hof: Lidmate se Kans op Sukses?’ E-Kerkbode (4 Julie 2017), available at: 



  • Van Coller EH ‘The Pastor Who Took his Church to Court’ Law Report Supplement to the Mail & Guardian (28 August – 3 September 2015).


Last Modified: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 13:56:25 SAST