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Ms Sheetal Soni – UKZN School of Law
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School of Law

Ms Sheetal Soni

Telephone: +27 33 260 5383
Campus: Pietermaritzburg
Building & Room: Law Building – Room 7, 1st Floor


Ms Sheetal Soni is the Deputy Academic Leader for Teaching and Learning in Pietermaritzburg, and a lecturer in the field of Bioethics, International Law, Security & Insolvency and Intellectual Property Law. She holds LLB and LLM degrees and is currently a PhD candidate. She is also an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. Her research interests are reproductive technology and preimplantation testing of early embryos. She has done consultancy work for the HIV/AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group (HAVEG), the AIDS and Rights Alliance of South Africa (ARASA), and the National Department of Health.

She is also a collaborator on projects with Next BioSciences, the UKZN African Health Flagship and on the South African site of the Sustainable & Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) project. She is currently assisting with the drafting of Clinical Guidelines for Genetic Services, and the drafting of guidelines for the regulation of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. She is an active member of the Association for Responsible Research in Genome Editing (ARRIGE); the South African Society of Human Genetics; and the Human Cell Atlas. She is also the South African Ambassador to the Association of Ethics and Integrity (Association Ethique & Intégrité).

Academic Qualifications

  • LLB (UN)
  • LLM (UKZN)
  • PHD (under examination)

Professional Qualifications:

  • Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa

Research Interests:

  • Reproductive Technology and Gene Editing
  • Bioethics and Medical Law
  • Intellectual Property

Recent Publications and Papers

  • Carnelley C. & Soni, S. A Tale of Two Mummies. Providing a womb in South Africa: Surrogacy and the legal rights of parents within the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. A brief comparative study with the United Kingdom. Speculum Juris, Issue 2008(2)
  • Soni S. Am I my sister’s keeper? The new assisted reproductive technologies and the law. The Natal Witness. February 2010
  • Soni, S. Regulating Human Cloning – A Commonwealth Comparison. Speculum Juris, Issue 2010(2)
  • Strode, A & Soni, S. Pre-implantation diagnosis to create ‘saviour siblings’: A critical discussion of the current and future legal frameworks in South Africa. South African Medical Journal Volume 1 (2012)
  • Soni, S. Q & A: Can I select my baby’s gender? Your Pregnancy August/September (2018)
  • Soni, S. NIPT – What does the law say? Next Biosciences News (2019)
  • Thaldar, T, Kinderlerer, J & Soni, S. An optimistic vision for biosciences in South Africa: A response to the ASSAf report on human genetics and genomics South African Journal of Science July/August (2019)
  • Soni, S. Yes, edit our genes – but do it cautiously. The Mail & Guardian November (2019)
  • Strode, A; Bhamjee, S; Soni, S & Badul C. Proposed legislation on enduring powers of attorney for health care decisions and living wills: A legal lifeboat in a sea of uncertainty? South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 22(2) 84-86 (2019)
  • Soni, S. Prêt-à-Porter Procreation: Contemplating the Ban on Preimplantation Sex Selection. The Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Volume 22 1 – 36 (2019)
  • Soni. S. Ethics of gene editing must be decided by each one of us. The Mail & Guardian January (2020)
  • Soni, S. Human gene editing: who decides the rules? The Conversation January 2020
  • Soni, S. Cautious progress towards clinical application of human gene editing. The CRISPR Journal February (2020)
  • Soni, S. Life 2.0 – ethical and legal norms in an era of human gene editing. (2020) – pre publication