Dr Jacintha Toohey 

Dr Jacintha Toohey 
School of Law, 2nd Floor, Room 13


Dr. Jacintha Toohey is a legal scholar with a comprehensive academic background and over 15 years of experience in externally funded research environment. Holding an LLB, LLM from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and a Ph.D. from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), she brings a deep understanding of law to her role as a law academic at UKZN. Additionally, she holds a Diploma in Information Systems and Project Management, enriching her interdisciplinary expertise. 

Dr. Toohey conducts research on international collaborative projects, focusing on data governance, privacy protection, and intellectual property rights. She also teaches courses in bioethics, human rights, and legal philosophy. Her research covers various topics, including adolescent sexual health rights and ethical issues in child participation in health research. She has published work on informed consent, privacy, and equitable research contracting. 

Actively engaged in advancing research ethics, Dr. Toohey serves on committees such as the Higher Degrees Research Committee at UKZN and the Research Ethics Committee at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). She is also a Committee Member for CODATA’s International Data Policy Committee under the International Science Council (IDPC-ISC).  Toohey’s expertise extends to roles such as Deputy Chair for School of Law, Human and Social Sciences Ethics Committee, the Eastern Region Community of Practice for Research Ethics and Integrity (for the SARIMA), and the African Medicine Regulatory Harmonization-NEPAD: Partnership Platform. 

Academic qualifications

  • Ph.D. University of Central Lancashire(UCLan), UK, 2024 
  • LLM (Medical Law), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), SA, 2017 
  • LLB, University of KwaZulu-Natal, SA, 2012 

Professional qualification

  • Online Certificate, E-learning Course: Introduction To Informed Consent, The Global Health Network
  • Certificate, European Academy for Taxes, Economics & Law. The European Knowledge Network. Berlin, Germany: How to design research & development contracts in practice
  • Certificate, Southern African Research & Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), Durban, South Africa: Intellectual property workshop for researchers
  • Diploma in Information Systems
  • Diploma in Project Management

Research Interests

  • Health law 
  • Research Ethics 
  • Bioethics 
  • Human rights 
  • Equitable research contracting 
  • Data governance, incl. privacy protection 
  • Intellectual property rights 
  • Ethical issues in health research, incl. adolescent sexual health rights and informed consent 


  • Strode, A., and Toohey, J., et al. (2013).Reporting underage consensual sex after the Teddy Bear case: A different perspective. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 6(2): 40-42.
  • Marais, D., Toohey, J and IJsselmuiden, C. (2013). Where there is no lawyer: Guidance for fairer contract negotiation in collaborative research partnerships. COHRED. Geneva & Pietermaritzburg. P1-46. ISBN: 978-92-9226-059-0. Guidance booklet.
  • Strode, A., Richter, M., Wallace, M., Toohey, J., and Technau, K. (2014). Failing the vulnerable: Three new consent norms that will undermine health research with children. Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine, 15(2), 46-49.
  • Edwards, D., Toohey, J. and IJsselmuiden, C. (2014). Negotiating Research Contracts: Creating Opportunities for Stronger Research and Innovation Systems. COHRED. Geneva & Pietermaritzburg. P1-39. ISBN: 978-92-9226-062-0. Guidance Booklet.
  • Strode, A. E., Toohey, J., Singh, P., and Slack, C. M. (2015). Boni mores and consent for child research in South Africa. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 8(1), 22-25. Musolino, N., Lazdins, J., Toohey, J., and IJsselmuiden, C. (2015). COHRED Fairness Index for international collaborative partnerships. The Lancet, 385(9975), 1293-1294.
  • Essack, Z., Toohey, J., and Strode, A. (2016). Reflecting on adolescents’ evolving sexual and reproductive health rights: canvassing the opinion of social workers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Reproductive Health Matters, 24(47), 195-204.
  • Strode, A., Toohey, J., and Slack, C. (2016). Addressing legal and policy barriers to male circumcision for adolescent boys in South Africa. South African Medical Journal, 106(12), 1173-1176.
  • Essack, Z., & Toohey, J. (2018). Unpacking the 2-year age-gap provision in relation to the decriminalisation of underage consensual sex in South Africa. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 11(2), 85-88.
  • Strode, A., Slack, C. M., Essack, Z., Toohey, J. D., & Bekker, L. G. (2020). Be legally wise: When is parental consent required for adolescents’ access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)? Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine, 21(1), 1-5.
  • Toohey, J. & Strode, A. A critical review of the South African legal framework on adolescent access to HIV prevention interventions. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 1, p. 16, apr. 2021. ISSN 1999-7639. Available at: http://www.sajbl.org.za/index.php/sajbl/article/view/671/666. Date accessed: April 21. 2021. doi:10.7196/SAJBL.2021.v14i1.00716.