Message from Dean André Boraine
The purpose of this message is to introduce you to the Faculty of Law, of which we are very proud and which ranks as the best in the country, Africa and Top 100 in the world [THE ranking 2018]. Every year we are inundated with applications from prospective students, and employers are keen to obtain the services of our graduates.
The Faculty currently employs 60 plus dedicated full-time academics, half of whom have doctoral degrees in various fields of law. They are supported by highly motivated administrative and support staff, and together they serve and prepare our student community for the legal profession and its rigorous demands.
Members of the academic staff of the Faculty have contributed significantly to the development of various fields of law over the years and have published a substantial number of textbooks that cover a wide range of topics. The Faculty currently boasts 15 National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated researchers. It is imperative that our academic staff continue to contribute to legal scholarship, inter alia, by assisting with the development of emerging areas of the law.
During the period of political turmoil and the transition to a constitutional democracy, the Faculty formed the Centre for Human Rights. Some Faculty members participated in the drafting of the final (1996) South African Constitution.
As the law is increasingly becoming multifaceted and in certain areas more global, the Faculty maintains professional relations with many international bodies, such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the World Bank and foreign universities. Leading international academics regularly visit us for research or teaching purposes and, in turn, our academics visit foreign universities. The Faculty maintains a strong focus on Africa, in particular, and has established a network with several universities on the continent.
Over the years, the Faculty has produced alumni who have reached the apex of careers in law, some serving as judges in the high courts, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court, where they have played a significant role in strengthening our judiciary.
At the undergraduate level, the Faculty offers a four-year LLB degree. However, the majority of our students first enrol for a BCom (Law) or BA (Law) degree. We aim to produce LLB graduates who are thoroughly equipped with the required knowledge and skills to follow any of the established career paths in law. With this aim in mind, the Faculty reviewed the LLB curriculum in 2012 and decided to place greater emphasis on an enquiry-led approach in teaching with a view to improving the research skills of our students in order to align our teaching focus with the UP 2025 academic plan. In short, emphasis is placed on legal skills training, which includes written and oral communication, legal research, drafting and mooting.
At the postgraduate level, we offer extensive LLM/MPhil study programmes (coursework or research) and an LLD/DPhil study programme. In view of the critical importance of the further development of research in the Faculty, considerable efforts are made to attract top students and to improve their postgraduate experience in the Faculty. To develop research skills among postgraduate students, an extensive programme in research methodology was introduced a few years ago.
In order to instil social consciousness and develop practical skills among our students, the Faculty boasts a Law Clinic that ranks among the best in the country. The Law Clinic provides basic legal services to indigent members of society and is serviced by senior law students under the expert guidance of qualified attorneys. Final-year LLB students may enrol for a practical course at the Clinic, thereby acquiring legal skills and obtaining credits for two final-year LLB electives. The Faculty is also very proud of its Centre for Child Law, the members of which have argued seminal cases dealing with the rights of children in the Constitutional Court.
Writing and publishing are foremost on the Faculty’s agenda. Much time is therefore invested in improving the writing skills of students, and academic staff are supported and encouraged to publish. The Faculty houses accredited legal journals and publications, such as De Jure, the Journal for Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law (THRHR), the African Human Rights Law Journal and the African Human Rights Law Reports. The Pretoria Student Law Review, which publishes articles by law students, is funded and supported by the Faculty and is managed by law students. Academic books and publications may also be published via the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP).
The Faculty is housed in the Law Building, which is a modern and impressive feature on the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria. The Law Building also accommodates the well-equipped Oliver R Tambo Law Library, which includes the unique Law of Africa Collection and is designated for TuksLaw students.
The Faculty offers many opportunities for students to develop themselves in all spheres. Law House, the Faculty’s student house, is responsible for a range of extramural activities, including academic, sports, cultural and social events, such as the annual Law Faculty Festival. This event has become a celebrated feature on our calendar and a platform for students and staff to showcase their talents. The Festival has proven that a positive experience of student life, linked to quality legal education, facilitates good and lasting relationships with the alumni of the Faculty. Members of the Faculty’s Moot Society excel in local and international moot court competitions and our teams regularly achieve top honours at these events. TuksLaw students serve the University of Pretoria’s student community through the Constitutional Tribunal and Student Disciplinary Advisory Panel. As a TuksLaw student, you will be part of a vibrant and growing Faculty of Law, University and community.
Each member of the Faculty of Law shares in the responsibility to further the interests of the Faculty by contributing to the development of the legal minds and researchers of tomorrow, and by promoting a sense of social responsibility in its students. The values of the current generation will determine the future of our beloved country, and legal education is of paramount importance to guarantee a prosperous society that wholeheartedly embraces the notion of the rule of law.
We look forward to our 2019 intake of students and the contributions they will one day make as TuksLaw graduates in the national and international legal arena by fusing our high standard of legal education and their professional conduct, and the knowledge and skills gained as they dedicatedly serve their clients, communities and the legal profession, protecting legal rights and ensuring a just society for all.
Our aim remains to equip our students with the required knowledge, skills and perspectives in order to produce highly sought-after graduates who display leadership and critical thinking abilities and are aware of their social and ethical responsibilities. Our graduates are not only leaders in the community and protectors of legal rights, but also proud alumni of the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria.
Dean: Faculty of Law
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