The Department of Public Law focusses on those areas of the law that traditionally fall within the Public Law domain. This includes the areas of Criminal Law, Human Rights, Legal Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and International Law. Flowing from these are a number specialised areas, including Media Law, Statutory Crimes, Land and Land Reform, Environmental Law, Medical Law, International Humanitarian Law and Municipal Law.
Members of the Department actively contribute to these areas through teaching on the undergraduate LLB course, as well as a variety of postgraduate coursework and research courses, including LLM, MPhil and LLD. These include International Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Socio-economic Rights, Human Rights and Constitutional Practice, International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law, Extractive Industries Law in Africa and International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Military Operations. Members of the Department are also involved in other coursework LLM degrees: the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa and the LLM in International Trade and Investment Law (both offered by the Centre for Human Rights).
Through its academics, the Department is also involved in various certificate courses. Prof Christo Botha is the course leader of the UP Certificate in Legislative Drafting, offered through Enterprises University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd. Prof Pieter Carstens is the Director of the Centre for Law and Medicine which offers a Certificate in Medical Law. Dr Melanie Murcott is the course leader of the UP Certificate in Environmental Law offered through Enterprises University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd. Prof Bernard Bekink is the course leader of the UP Certificate in Municipal/Local Government Law.