Yearbooks

Programme: LLM (Extractive Industry Law in Africa) (Coursework)

Code Faculty Department
04252118 Faculty of Law Department: Public Law
Credits Duration NQF level SAQA ID
Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 200 NQF level:  09 SAQA ID:  83934

Programme information

Closing date for both SA and non-SA applications: 30 October

This is a selection-based programme and only selected applicants will be admitted to the programme and respective modules.
A limited number of between 10 and 20 students are selected per year according to the general selection guidelines.
This programme is structured to allow for one year of study; therefore, the programme may be completed within two semesters (1 year), subject to fulfilment of all the requirements for the degree and payment of the full amount prescribed for the LLM degree.

Also consult General Academic Regulations G30-G55 as well as the LLM/MPhil Guideline Document of the Faculty of Law and the programme-specific regulations set out in respect of each programme.

The minimum duration of a programme is 1 year (2 semesters) and the maximum duration is 2 years (4 semesters). The study period may only be extended in an individual case with the approval of the Faculty Postgraduate Committee on recommendation of the relevant head of department, based on good reason shown and if the student has a reasonable prospect of completing the programme in a further year of study.

Unless the specific requirements listed for a particular programme indicates otherwise, the Master of Laws degree by Coursework is awarded once a student has successfully completed courses in research methodology, three 30-credit modules prescribed for the particular programme, the submission of a research proposal and the submission of a mini-dissertation. 

Also refer to the Postgraduate Brochure for the complete study programme as well as the Postgraduate administrative processes after registration.

The curriculum will generally consist of:

  • Three modules counting 30 credits each (at least one of these modules must be completed during the first year of registration).
  • A module in research methodology (RHP 801 - (non-credit-bearing)) (this module must be completed during the first year of registration).
  • A research proposal (RHP 803 - (non-credit-bearing)). 
  • A mini-dissertation. 

Admission requirements

  1. LLB degree or BProc degree or relevant degree from a foreign university that allows entrance to the formal legal profession
  2. A weighted average of at least 65% at final-year level
  3. An example of a piece of academic writing relevant to the field
  4. A cover letter:
  • motivate the desire to study in the field
  • previous experience in the field, if any
  • explain how the degree will be applied to contribute to sustainable development in Africa

Other programme-specific information

Mini-dissertation
In addition to the relevant prescribed coursework modules, a mini-dissertation is required for fulfilment of the Master of Laws degree by Coursework in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. The mini-dissertation must generally comprise 13 000 – 15 000 words – including footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography.

The mini-dissertation in the Faculty of Law must be dealt with on the following basis: 

1. Designation of supervisors 

  1. The head of department, in consultation with the programme coordinator should, designate a supervisor from within the faculty for a particular master’s study candidate. The head of department may also, in consultation with the programme coordinator and the supervisor, designate a co-supervisor for a particular master’s study candidate. The designation by the head of department must be confirmed by the Faculty Postgraduate Committee. 
  2. A person designated as supervisor or co-supervisor, should hold at least a Master’s degree. 
  3. A person designated as the supervisor should be appointed to an academic or related position in the University. 
  4. On the retirement or resignation of a supervisor from the University’s service, he or she may, with approval of the head of department concerned, still act as supervisor for the student for whom he or she was appointed as supervisor, in order to enable such a student to complete his or her mini-dissertation. For this purpose and for this period such a supervisor will be deemed to be an accredited lecturer of the University. This arrangement is allowed to continue until such time as the head of department deems it to be no longer appropriate or necessary. If on the retirement or resignation of a supervisor from the University’s service, he or she is no longer prepared to act as supervisor for the student for which he or she was appointed as supervisor, a new supervisor is appointed. 
  5. The designation of supervisors and co-supervisors is submitted to the faculty board for notification.

2. An agreement between the student and the supervisor 

  1. An agreement between the student and the supervisor must be signed. The document serves as the basis for the interaction between the student and the supervisor. It indicates their individual roles, responsibilities and expectations and makes it clear that they are entering into a binding undertaking with each other. 
  2. It is the responsibility of the programme coordinator concerned to monitor the progress of a candidate in regard to his or her signed agreement. 

3. Approval of topic and title 

  1. Applications for approval of a topic and title of a mini-dissertation, as well as changes to titles, are submitted to the head of department, for approval by the Faculty Postgraduate Committee. The Faculty Postgraduate Committee approves the application or refers it back to the head of department for amendment by the student.
  2. The mini-dissertation must deal with the subject content of one of the modules or a combination of the modules registered for by the student for the LLM/MPhil degree. Any request for an extension of the period for submission of the mini-dissertation may only be granted by the Faculty Postgraduate Committee on recommendation of the relevant head of department.
  3. Approved titles of mini-dissertations are submitted to the faculty board for notification. 

4. Non-disclosure of the contents of a study 

  1. Where part or all of the contents of the master’s study must remain confidential, the supervisor will be required to submit an application to the dean setting out the grounds for such a request and indicating the duration of the period of confidentiality. This period would normally not exceed 2 (two) years. 
  2. The dean considers the application and either approves it or refers it back to the supervisor. 

5. Preparation and submission of the mini-dissertation 

  1. The supervisor is responsible for advising the student with regard to the proper preparation of the mini-dissertation. 
  2. A mini-dissertation should only be submitted with the written permission of the supervisor. Should the supervisor refuse to grant permission for submission, the candidate may request permission to submit from the dean. The dean, in consultation with the Faculty Postgraduate Committee, may allow the mini-dissertation to be submitted for examination or may turn down the request. Should the dean turn down the request, the candidate may refer the matter to the Vice-Principal responsible for research and postgraduate studies, who should convene the Postgraduate Appeals Committee to consider the matter based on reports from the candidate, the supervisor and the Faculty Postgraduate Committee. The decision of the Postgraduate Appeals Committee is final. Should the Postgraduate Appeals Committee agree to the request of the candidate, the supervisor has the right to remove his or her name from the mini-dissertation if he or she so wishes. 
  3. A mini-dissertation is submitted to the Head: Student Administration –
  • Before 30 October in any year to be considered for the next ensuing Autumn graduation.
  • Before 31 March in any year to be considered for the next ensuing Spring graduation.

If a mini-dissertation is submitted after the due date specified above, the student takes the risk that the examination of the mini-dissertation may be delayed and the student will not be considered for the graduation concerned. A student will only be allowed to graduate if the student has successfully complied with all the requirements for the particular programme.

  1.  On submission of the mini-dissertation, the student must declare the following in writing: “I declare that the mini-dissertation, which I hereby submit for the degree ……………………………at the University of Pretoria, is my own work and has not previously been submitted by me for a degree at this or any other tertiary institution.”
  2. For examination purposes, a student must, in consultation with the supervisor, submit the dissertation in electronic format. If a particular examiner requests a paper copy of the dissertation, the Head: Student Administration will inform the student and supervisor accordingly and request the student to submit a bound paper copy for such examiner. 
  3. Should the supervisor deem it appropriate, an electronic copy of the mini-dissertation must be submitted to the Head: Student Administration in the format specified by the faculty and in accordance with the minimum specifications set by the Department of Library Services. The head of department may determine whether the electronic copies should be submitted instead of or in addition to paper copies. 
  4. If a mini-dissertation is accepted, but the student is required to make certain amendments in accordance with the external examiner’s decisions, the amendments should be made to all copies to the satisfaction of the Faculty Postgraduate Committee. 

6. Intellectual property 

  1. All rights in regard to intellectual property that is produced by a student during his or her studies or as a result of any research project conducted at the University or through the use of the equipment of the University, vest in the University, in terms of the contract entered into by the student and/or his or her parents or guardians at registration. The University and the student may, however, agree in writing to another arrangement. 
  2. A student and the University may conclude an agreement regarding the publication of a mini-dissertation. Should the copyright of the mini-dissertation be the only exploitable intellectual property that arises from such mini-dissertation, the University would normally transfer the copyright to the student, subject to the Faculty guideline on co-authorship with students. 
  3. In the absence of any agreement, the University has the right to reproduce and/or publish, in any manner it may deem fit, the mini-dissertation, and to distribute such reproduction.
  4. On publication of the mini-dissertation, or an adaptation thereof, it should be stated that it emanates from a master’s study at the University. The name of the supervisor and the department, in which the study was completed, should also be acknowledged. Reprints should state the title and date of the original publication. 
  5. A student may not submit an article reflecting the content of the mini-dissertation for publication without the permission of the supervisor. An article reflecting the content of the mini-dissertation is subject to the Faculty guidelines on co-authorship with students.
  6. The above should be read in conjunction with the University’s Intellectual Property Law Policy: Personnel and Students, as amended from time to time. 

7. Technical editing of the mini-dissertation 
The technical editing of a mini-dissertation must comply with the following requirements: 

  1. Title page 

The title page of the mini-dissertation which is submitted must contain the following: 

  1. (The full title of the mini-dissertation) 

by 

  1. (Full name of the student) 
  2. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree (title of degree programme) in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
  3. (Year and date of submission). 
  4. Prepared under supervision of (title, initials and surname of supervisor and co-supervisor (where relevant)).
  1. Format and cover 

The mini-dissertation should be submitted in A4 format. 

  1. Ethics statement 

The mini-dissertation should contain a statement by the student that he or she has complied with the University’s Policy on Research Ethics and Integrity and has in general observed the principles of honesty, objectivity, the duty of care and fairness in giving credit and appropriate acknowledgement to the work of others. 
The ethics statement, which should appear after the declaration and before the summary of the mini-dissertation, must contain the following: 
The author, whose name appears on the title page of this mini-dissertation, has obtained, for the research described in this work, the applicable research ethics approval. 
The author declares that he/she has observed the ethical standards required in terms of the University of Pretoria’s Code of ethics for researchers and the Policy guidelines for responsible research. 

8. Synopsis of the mini-dissertation 

  1. A summary of the mini-dissertation in English of not more than 250 words should be compiled by the student and included in each copy of the mini-dissertation. 
  2. A list of key terms to ensure recovery of the source should also be submitted together with the examination copies of the mini-dissertation. 
  3. The student submits the summary of the mini-dissertation for approval by the supervisor before final presentation thereof. 

9. Evaluation of the mini-dissertation 

  1. Appointment of the examination panel 
    1. A student should inform the Head: Student Administration, in writing, of the intention to submit the mini-dissertation at least three months prior to submission, in order that examiners can be notified accordingly. 
    2. The Head of Department, in consultation with the supervisor, compiles a list of names of potential examiners from which the Faculty Postgraduate Committee appoints at least two examiners, provided that at least one external examiner from outside the University is appointed. 
    3. The supervisor may be the internal examiner. 
    4. An external examiner should not be associated in any way with the candidate or in any way be involved in the research that the candidate has done previously, neither should a substitute examiner in any way be involved in the research that the candidate has done previously. 
    5. A summary of the mini-dissertation in English of not more than 250 words compiled by the student will be made available to potential examiners in order to enable them to decide whether they have the expertise to accept the nomination. 
    6. As soon as a potential examiner has accepted his or her appointment as examiner, he or she is supplied with a formal letter of appointment as well as the criteria for evaluation. Examiners must sign an acceptance form, which is to be returned to the Head: Student Administration. 
  2. Identity of members of the examination panel 
    1. The identity of the external examiner may not be revealed to the candidate until the examination process has been completed and then only with the consent of the examiner and the head of department. 
  3. Criteria for evaluation 
    1. A mini-dissertation must be proof of a candidate’s ability to work independently. 
    2. A mini-dissertation is also evaluated on the following: 
      1. scientific and academic standard of research; research procedures and techniques; methodology; definition and extent of research; theoretical foundation; coverage of literature and comprehension of field of research; 
      2. scientific and academic quality of processing; presentation, analysis and synthesis of data; structure and logical development and arrangement of content; as well as critical findings, conclusions and recommendations; 
      3. editing and use of language; 
      4. technical finish and layout which must meet the requirements set by faculties; and 
      5. whether the mini-dissertation or parts thereof is publishable. 
  4. Examiners’ reports
    1. Every examiner independently and individually submits a report to the Head: Student Administration. The reports are treated confidentially. 
    2. Every report has to contain one of the following recommendations: 
      1. that the mini-dissertation be accepted without any changes to the mini-dissertation by the candidate; 
      2. that the mini-dissertation be accepted as soon as minor changes have been made to the mini-dissertation by the candidate, to the satisfaction of the head of department; 
      3. that the mini-dissertation be accepted as soon as the candidate has made major changes to the mini-dissertation to the satisfaction of the external examiner; 
      4. that the mini-dissertation does not meet the required standard, but that the candidate be invited to review the mini-dissertation and to resubmit the mini-dissertation at a later stage for re-examination; 
      5. that the mini-dissertation be rejected and that the candidate does not pass;
      6. in addition to the above, the mark that the candidate has achieved: on condition that at least 50% be regarded as a pass mark and at least 75% as a pass with distinction. 
    3. The examiners’ reports are made available to the head of department by the Head: Student Administration. 
    4. If a mini-dissertation has been rejected the student may submit an amended version or another mini-dissertation within two years, and in such a case the student must bear the full cost of the examination. 
  5. Treatment of examiners’ reports
    1. Under no circumstances shall any party modify any examiner’s report.
    2. The contents of the examiners’ reports, other than the changes recommended by the examiners, or the consolidated report may only be revealed to the candidate with the permission of the head of department and with the consent of the examiners. 
    3. In the event that the candidate has to make changes to the mini-dissertation, the relevant section(s) of the examiners’ reports will be made available to the candidate by the supervisor in consultation with the head of department in order for the necessary changes to be made to the mini-dissertation. 
    4. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the changes, as suggested by the external examiner are made, before the head of department submits a consolidated report to student administration. 
    5. The head of department must compile a consolidated report of the supervisor and the external examiner, indicating the final mark, which is generally an average of the abovementioned two marks. If the head of department is of the opinion that there are grounds to deviate from the average mark, the head of department makes a recommendation to that effect to the Faculty Postgraduate Committee. The Faculty Postgraduate Committee must approve the consolidated report and final mark awarded for the mini-dissertation.

Examinations and pass requirements

In the event of having failed all modules during a particular year of study, a student will only be allowed to continue with his/her studies with the consent of the Faculty Postgraduate Committee.

No supplementary examination will be granted with regard to LLM modules, but the General Academic Regulations and rules apply with regard to special and ancillary examinations.

Pass with distinction

  • For the degree to be awarded with distinction a student must obtain an average of at least 75% for all the coursework modules (not rounded), as well as a minimum of 75% for the mini-dissertation.
  • The modules must have been written for the first time.

General information

The official language of tuition is English.
Limiting of modules on offer in a particular academic year and availability to foreign students.
The dean, in consultation with the head of department concerned, determines which modules will be presented each year, taking into consideration the availability of lecturing personnel, space and financial implications and/or other circumstances. The dean may, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, determine the maximum number of registrations for a specific elective module in terms of the prescribed guidelines. The dean may also, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, determine that a particular LLM module will not be offered where on the first day of lectures four or fewer students are registered for such module.
A student may not register more than twice for the same module. In order to pass a module, the student must obtain a final mark of 50%.

Minimum credits: 200

MND 800, RHP 801, RHP 803, EIL 801 and EIL 802 are compulsory modules.
In addition, choose one module of 30 credits from the elective modules.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    The objective of this module is to equip students with a thorough understanding of the legal and policy aspects of natural resources and the regulation of natural resources and industries to extract natural resources. Topics include:

    1. Industry background such as the extractive industry value chain and the role of extractive industries in national, regional and global economies, basic extractive industry business and project feasibility metrics, typical national public policy priorities, the differences between the mining and oil and gas industries, gas industry specifics, the various downstream industries (smelters, refineries and petrochemical and energy industries and policy issues pertaining to renewable energy and unconventional extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing ("fracking");
    2. Natural resource and extractive industry policy concepts and regulatory options;
    3. Ownership of mineral rights dispensations (state versus private ownership of mineral rights), the legal position of the owner of the land and the owner of the products of extraction;
    4. The advantages and disadvantages of the main granting methodologies applied by host governments including concessions, production sharing agreements, participation agreements, services agreements and hybrid methods;
    5. Typical conditions to obtain, renew or transfer exploration or extraction rights and the veracity of the public policy basis of such requirements;
    6. Agreements and transactions to transfer rights to prospect and/or to extract;
    7. Constitutional and administrative law aspects of relevance in dealing with extractive industry legislation and regulation including the legality of administrative processes governed by an Act such as the MPRD Act and related regulation, the right of third parties to be heard in applications by resource companies under the MPRD Act and the constitutionality of the conversion of "old order mineral rights" to "new order mineral rights".

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  • Module content:

    The objective of this module is to equip students with a thorough understanding of the sustainability aspects of extractive industries. Topics include:

    1. A general introduction to sustainability, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, good governance as it pertains to governments and good corporate governance;
    2. International, regional and national instruments related to sustainability aspects of extractive industries such as the protection of human rights, forced labour, inappropriate security practices, "conflict minerals" and "blood diamonds" (including the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the US Dodd-Frank Act and SEC disclosure requirements); the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the UN Global Compact; [US Dodd-Frank Act;
    3. Safety, health and environmental (SHE) aspects of extractive industries including emerging issues such as climate change and personal criminal liability of directors and officers for SHE contraventions;
    4. Corporate governance and company law developments of relevance to sustainability including the King 3 Code and similar Codes internationally, Responsible Investment Codes, the role of Social and Ethics Committees as required by the Companies Act 2008, sustainability indexes of the stock exchanges such as the JSE SRI Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, public reporting on sustainability and international reporting guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative

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  • Module content:

    1. The student must submit a research proposal during his/her first year of registration for the LLM degree to the supervisor prior to commencing with the writing of the mini-dissertation.
    2. A mini-dissertation (MND 800) of 13 000 to 15 000 words inclusive of footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography, is required. The mini-dissertation must be submitted to the supervisor not later than August of the second year of registration for the LLM programme. The mini-dissertation must deal with the subject content of one of the modules or a combination of the modules registered for by the student for his/her LLM degree. Any request for an extension of the period for submission of the mini-dissertation may only be granted by the Dean on recommendation of the LLM Committee

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  • Module content:

    1. Planning and organising a research project
    2. Drafting a research proposal: Hypotheses and research question
    3. Theory in research and methodological approaches to legal research
    4. Language
    5. Citation and ethics of citation
    6. Drafting of chapters and presentation

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  • Module content:

    Development and presentation of a research  proposal. (A research proposal must be submitted to the supervisor and accepted in the first semester of the second year of study  before the student will be allowed to register for the mini-dissertation.)

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    The objective of this module is to equip students with a thorough understanding of conceptual and practical aspects of the South African Mineral and Resources Development Act and related jurisprudence.

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  • Module content:

    The objective of this module is to equip students with a thorough understanding of the international law aspects of extractive industries. Topics include:

    1. Sovereignty in respect of legal regimes and laws governing extractive industries including the act of state doctrine, the doctrine of sovereign immunity and waivers of immunity and compensation for expropriation;
    2. An overview of the most relevant treaties and conventions of relevance to extractive industries including the Convention on the Continental Shelf, the OILPOL convention, the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, the UN Conventions of the Law of the Sea, the New York Convention, the Convention on the Settlement on Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, the Energy Charter Treaty to protect international energy investment and trade; international environmental law treaties and conventions and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
    3. Relevant aspects pertaining to the World Trade Organisation including extractive industry subsidies, environmental labelling and confiscatory taxation;
    4. Direct and indirect forms of resource nationalisation and investment treaties to protect natural resource investors;
    5. The legal status of offshore petroleum and mining installations and vessels including production platforms, floating production, storage and offloading (FPSOs) vessels and subsea pipelines as well as state jurisdiction in respect of such installations.
    6. International dispute resolution mechanisms including enforcement of arbitration awards.

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The regulations and rules for the degrees published here are subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information.

The General Academic Regulations (G Regulations) and General Student Rules apply to all faculties and registered students of the University, as well as all prospective students who have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Pretoria. On registering for a programme, the student bears the responsibility of ensuring that they familiarise themselves with the General Academic Regulations applicable to their registration, as well as the relevant faculty-specific and programme-specific regulations and information as stipulated in the relevant yearbook. Ignorance concerning these regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression, or basis for an exception to any of the aforementioned regulations.

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