UP Law celebrates and congratulates its 2021 Autumn graduates

Posted on April 17, 2021

The Faculty of Law (UP Law) at the University of Pretoria (UP) extends hearty congratulations to all its students who virtually graduated (page 9 of the programme) on 15 April 2021 during the UP Autumn Graduation, which ceremony was live streamed on YouTube.  

In particular, we are very proud of our 440 LLB graduates, as we are sending them out into the big (legal) world with our well wishes and blessings.  Carry the UP Law flag high and remember to register as alumni of UP Law.1  Special congratulations goes out to Felix Ronald Schrõder, the recipient of the Award of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal for best performance in the 2020 LLB Class.

UP Law is further particularly proud of the 65 Master's degrees awarded.  The programme includes the conferment of 11 LLD and two PhD degrees.

During this ceremony, UP Law proudly awarded two honorary doctorate degrees to Professors Katharina Renate Susanne Dorothee Boele-Woelki and Yash Pal Gai.

In the words of UP Law Dean Professor Elsabe Schoeman, ‘Boele-Woelki is internationally recognised as a leading scholarly authority on Comparative Law, Family Law and Private International Law. She is the first woman elected as President of the International Academy of Comparative Law, founded in The Hague in 1924.  

Her declared mission is to reach out to and advance the study of Comparative Law in South Africa and the greater Africa continent. The comparative study of legal systems is the one legal method that is inclusive of all areas of law and therefore one of the most effective and far-reaching tools for law reform. Over the years, Boele-Woelki has invested knowledge, expertise and scholarly endeavour in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria and it is a huge privilege for us to bestow this honour on her.’

Professor Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights, states that  ‘Professor Yash Ghai is a Kenyan academic and constitutional lawyer. Ghai’s long and illustrious career covers academia, civic engagement, independent commissions, and international diplomacy. He has made immense contributions to the development of constitutions and constitutional law in Africa. Ghai’s leadership role in the Kenya Constitution development process remains one of his most notable contributions to constitution building in Africa.  His defense of the ideals of democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law has sometimes been at the risk of his own life and freedom, as demonstrated in the threats on his life and exile from Kenya based on standing up in defense of a credible and democratic constitution making process. In 2011, he co-founded the Katiba Institute in Nairobi, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to facilitate the implementation of the Constitution on Kenya.

The award of the honorary degree by UP Law recognises his vast contribution to the constitutional dialogue, particularly in the African region. While his scholarship and contributions have been honoured before, very little of this recognition has come from the Africa continent.’

UP Law's Dr Perekeme Mutu with left a proud LLB graduate and right a proud BA Law LLB graduate.

Another proud and exceptional April 2021 graduate is Dr Perekeme Mutu2, a doctoral student of Prof Ann Skelton, who simultaneously completed, i.e. obtaining his LLB and PhD degrees. What a feat!

Dean Professor Elsabe Schoeman extended congratulations to all graduates, stating that 'I am extremely proud as Dean of Law of all our UP Law students who have successfully completed their degrees during the disruptive wave of the Covid pandemic, forging their way to obtain their respective degrees under unusual and trying circumstances.  She also expressed her 'Appreciation to all UP Law staff members who diligently and under great pressure ensured the successful completion of the 2020 academic year for the sake of our students.  The vast research conducted by our LLB, Master's and Doctorate graduates, under supervision of UP Law academics, is a huge contribution to the field of law globally.'


1.  Graduates are reminded to update their contact details and register as UP alumni to enable them to benefit from and make use of UP resources post-graduation.

2. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more information on Dr Mutu’s exceptional achievement.  -  Ed.


Image sources: 
Prof Boele-Woelki: Bucerius Law School, Hamburg
Professor Yash Ghai, Edelstam Foundation
- Author Elzet Hurter

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