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Department of Private Law

Welcome to the Department of Private Law




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 Private Law in the fourth year. The Department also takes responsibility for teaching the following electives in the fourth year, namely Private International Law, Law of Damages, Trusts and Estates, Education Law and Child Law.

At postgraduate level the Department presents LLM coursework degrees in the Law of Contract, Child Law, Estate Law and Family Law. There is also an LLM in Private Law which presents students with an opportunity to choose from various interesting subjects in Private Law to obtain a coursework degree.

The Centre for Child Law and the Centre for Intellectual Property Law resorts under the Department of Private Law.

Prof Steve Cornelius presents the certificate course “Drafting of Contracts" through CE@UP. Prof Birgit Kuschke presents the course “Legal aspects of Project Management” in the Programme in Project Management through CE@UP.

The Department prides itself on its research achievements. Prof Johan Scott was awarded the prestigious Von Humboldt Stipendium and he and Prof Trynie Boezaart have on various occasions been appointed by the University Council as Exceptional Academic Achievers.

Judge Louis Harms is an extraordinary professor in our Department and holds the Adams & Adams Chair in Intellectual Property and he is also the coordinator of the LLM in Intellectual Property Law. He has been elected as an Honorary Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple. The Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court. Only the Inns of Court may call members to the English bar to practise as barristers. The name derives from the Knights Templar who owned the Temple site for 150 years. The Middle Temple has been a society of barristers since the middle of the fourteenth century. It was also a centre for legal education until 1852, when the Council of Legal Education was established. A Master of the Bench or "Bencher" is a senior member of the Middle Temple. To recognise exceptional achievement, the Middle Temple also from time to time elects distinguished lawyers and eminent non-lawyers as Honorary Benchers. This is an exceptional honour which has been bestowed on Judge Harms. 

 

News

Dawie Roodt emphasises the key role played by universities in economic growth in South Africa - 18/11/2014
As part of the Informatics/Gijima lecture series presented at the University of Pretoria, Dawie Roodt, Director and Chief Economist of the Efficient Group, spoke about how he views the next ten years from an economist’s perspective. As a nationally renowned economist who specialises in government finance and monetary policy he focused on the importance of private property rights and also referred to how humankind has evolved over time.
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Energetics gives new insight into the decline of cheetahs - 18/11/2014
An acclaimed international study looking into new reasons behind the dwindling numbers of cheetah in southern Africa had its inception at the University of Pretoria. Before this study, it was commonly thought that cheetah numbers were declining partly as a result of larger predators stealing their prey, thus lessening the availability of food and forcing them to expend more energy in search of food. However, a recent study offers new insight into why cheetahs may become vulnerable with regard to their energy levels, which could affect their general health and well-being and result in their ultimate decline.
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Pioneering publication by UP academic - 18/11/2014
Prof Alois Mlambo, Head of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, recently launched his latest book, which was well received by academics, critics and readers. Entitled A history of Zimbabwe, the book is the first concise, single-volume history of Zimbabwe and provides an accessible and comprehensive synthesis of that country’s lived experience from the pre-colonial and colonial periods to recent times in independent Zimbabwe.
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Theology researchers recognised by the National Research Foundation - 14/11/2014
Prof Hans van Oort’s NRF A-rating was recently renewed for the next five years, while Prof Etienne de Villiers received a C2-rating from the NRF. This brings the Faculty of Theology's rated scholars to 16 – one A, one B, 13 Cs and one Y.
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UP researcher finds ways to improve the well-being of wildlife - 07/11/2014
Although wild animals have been captured and chemically immobilised for years (by using a form of anaesthesia induced by drugs in a dart), very little is known about the short- and long-term consequences of capture and the effects of immobilising drugs on wild animals. Dr Leith Meyer, Veterinary Sciences Pharmacology researcher at the University of Pretoria, is committed to finding solutions to improve the well-being of wild animals. The results of his research will help wildlife veterinarians and other conservation practitioners to ensure that the best methods of capture are practised and optimal immobilising drug cocktails and treatments are used.
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Giving the defenceless a voice in court - 06/11/2014
Crimes committed against people with developmental and other disabilities are similar in scope to crimes committed against women, children and the elderly, and yet the victimisation of people with disabilities remains largely unaddressed. This can be ascribed to their being perceived as voiceless and invisible members of society – a perception that makes them attractive targets for their perpetrators because they often believe that their victims will not be able to testify against them in court. Three large-scale research studies are currently under way at the University of Pretoria (UP) to change this situation.
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Dr Johan van Zyl named Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year - 05/11/2014
Dr Johan van Zyl, former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria and one of the University’s most distinguished alumni, was named Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year at a ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday night, 28 October. The Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year award is a prestigious accolade bestowed on recipients voted for by executives of the top 100 companies of the previous year.
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