The Department of Private Law is responsible for teaching several of the core subjects in the LLB curriculum. The main subjects taught are Family Law and the Law of Persons in the first year, Law of Succession, Law of Contract and Legal Pluralism in the second year, Law of Things, Intellectual Property Law and Law of Delict in the third year, and the Law of Damages in the fourth year. The Department also takes responsibility for teaching the following electives in the fourth year, namely Private International Law, Trust and Estates, Education Law, Child Law and Aspects of Private Law such as the Law of Unjustified Enrichment. The Centre for Intellectual Property Law resorts under the Department of Private Law.
At postgraduate level the LLM course in the Law of Contract has over the past few years gained immensely in popularity. This also holds true for the coursework LLM in Child Law. The LLM in Private Law presents students with an opportunity to choose from various interesting subjects in Private Law to obtain a coursework degree. Two new LLM courses were introduced in 2010 - a coursework LLM in Estate Law and a coursework LLM in Family Law.
Members of the Department are also involved in the presentation of certificate courses offered through CE@UP. Prof Anton van der Linde is the course leader of the UP Certificate in Advanced Trust Law. Dr Ann Skelton and Ms Carina du Toit from time to time present certificate courses in Child Law and Child Justice. Prof Trynie Boezaart and Dr Amanda Boniface are the course leaders of the certificate in Family Mediation while Dr Birgit Kuschke lectures Legal Aspects of Project Management for the Programme in Project Management (PPM).
The Department prides itself on its research achievements. Prof Johan Scott was awarded the prestigious Von HumboldtStipendium and he and Prof Trynie Boezaart have on various occasions been appointed by the University Council as Exceptional Academic Achievers.
Prof Johan D. van der Vyver, I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights and an extraordinary professor in the Department of Private Law presented the first prestige lecture for this year hosted by the Faculty of Law in the Moot Court, University of Pretoria, during the morning of 13 March 2013.