Message from the Head of Department Jurisprudence
‘… It’s jurisprudence, ultimately that creates law …’
– Gilles Delueze in conversation with Toni Negri.
The Department of Jurisprudence, like probably all other departments, aims to contribute to the development of South African jurisprudence and legal theory through teaching and research. What makes us different from others is that our core discipline, jurisprudence encompassing theory, skills, history, philosophy and ethics, urges all of us to go beyond mere institutional structure, sources and policy to search constantly for more. We agree with commentators who view Max Weber’s description of modern disenchantment as a call for critical responses and attempts to re-enchant and imagine.
Research lies at the heart of the Department’s activities. Individual members are involved in their own research that includes publishing articles, chapters in books and scholarly monographs.
Concerning undergraduate teaching we are responsible for foundational courses such as Jurisprudence 110 and 120, that introduces first years to questions such as what is the law, where do we find it and how does it function; Roman 120 that leads students into the origins of the South African common law; and Jurisprudence 310 that exposes students to the relationship between law and politics, the social, ethics and much more. Students can choose from a number of electives linked to the research areas of members in the Department and the Department’s general concern with transformation.
One LLM/MPhil programme (Law and Political Justice) and three LLM MPhil modules (Post-apartheid Jurisprudence, The History and Philosophy of Human Rights and Global Perspectives on Law, Rights and Development) are hosted by the Department. The Research Methodology courses on undergraduate and postgraduate level are all coordinated by the Department.
Members of the Department also accept students for postgraduate research on masters and doctoral level in their fields of interest to work under their supervision.
(Prof) Karin van Marle
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