Biandri Joubert

Applying computational methods in legal research in South Africa



24 August 2023




Case-studies: Showcasing examples of humanities/social sciences research projects with computational/digital element


This lightning talk focuses on the computational aspects of PhD research that I concluded in 2022. I applied a content analysis to South African legislation as part of a mixed-methods approach to understanding the role of legislation in the resolution of non-tariff barriers in agricultural trade. This presentation explores the exciting opportunities that computational methods present in legal research in South Africa. I also share further information about two ongoing projects on the topic. One OER for people with legal backgrounds and one application of computational methods to academic research in my field of law.


I am a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in the School of Law. I completed my PhD titled “Sanitary and phytosanitary measures as barriers to trade: a South African perspective” in 2022. My interest in applying computational methods has grown since 2020 and I applied an aspect thereof in my PhD research. I code in R and I am very interested in the building of community and sharing knowledge in the field of computational methods in law and the broader digital humanities. I am currently exploring further application of computational methods in international trade during my post-doc. When not writing or researching I am likely outdoors fly-fishing.