Message from the Dean
The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria ranks amongst the top law faculties in South Africa and is one of the most sought-after law faculties in the country by students and prospective employers. The Faculty is home to 60 dedicated full-time academics, half of which have doctoral degrees in various fields of law. These academics are supported by highly motivated administrative and support staff. Together they serve the student community and the public at large.
The academic staff of the Faculty has contributed significantly to the development of various fields of law over the years and is responsible for a substantial number of textbooks that cover a wide range of topics. At present the Faculty boasts 16 NRF-rated researchers. It is imperative that the members of the Faculty continue to contribute to legal scholarship - also by assisting in the development of emerging areas of the law.
During the period of political turmoil and the transition to a constitutional democracy, the Faculty formed the Centre for Human Rights. Some faculty members participated in the drafting of the final (1996) South African Constitution. Over the years, the Faculty has produced alumni who have reached the apex of careers in law, some serving as judges in the High Courts, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. As the law is increasingly becoming multi-faceted and in certain areas more global, the Faculty maintains professional relations with many international bodies such as the UN, the EU, the World Bank and foreign universities.
Leading international academics visit this Faculty regularly for research or teaching purposes and, in turn, the Faculty’s academics visit foreign universities. In particular, the Faculty maintains a strong focus on Africa and has created an established network with several universities on the continent.
At the undergraduate level the Faculty offers a four-year LLB degree. However, the majority of its students first enrol for a BCom(Law) or BA(Law) degree. We aim to deliver LLB graduates that are well-equipped with the required skills to enter any of the established career paths in law. At the postgraduate level, the Faculty has an extensive LLM (Coursework) programme, as well as an LLM (Research) and a doctoral programme. In view of the critical importance to further develop the Faculty as a research institution, considerable efforts are made to attract top students and to improve their postgraduate experience in the Faculty. Aimed at developing research skills amongst postgraduate students, a highly successful winter school programme was offered for the first time during July 2011.
In order to instil a social consciousness and to develop practical skills amongst our students, the Faculty boasts a Law Clinic which ranks amongst the best in the country. The Law Clinic provides basic legal services to indigent members of society and is serviced by senior law students under the expert guidance of qualified attorneys. Final-year LLB students may enrol for a practical course at the Clinic, thereby acquiring legal skills and credit for two electives. The Faculty is similarly proud of its Centre for Child Law, the members of which have argued in the Constitutional Court seminal cases dealing with the rights of children.
Writing and publishing are foremost on the Faculty’s agenda. Much time is therefore invested in improving the writing skills of students while at the same time academic staff are supported and encouraged to publish. The Faculty houses accredited legal journals and publications, such as De Jure, THRHR, the African Human Rights Law Journal and the African Human Rights Law Reports. The Pretoria Student Law Review publishes articles by law students and is funded and supported by the Faculty and managed by law students. Academic books and publications may also be published via the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP).
The Faculty is housed in the Law Building which is a modern and impressive feature of the Hatfield campus of the University of Pretoria. The Law Building also accommodates the well-equipped Oliver R Tambo Law Library that includes the Law of Africa Collection.
The Faculty offers many opportunities to students to develop themselves in all spheres by providing for a Law House that is responsible for a range of extra-mural activities, ranging from sporting, debating and mooting to cultural and socialising events. The Faculty’s students excel in local and international moot courts and our teams regularly achieve top honours at these events. The annual Faculty Festival has become a celebrated feature of our calendar and many students and members of staff participate in this event. The Faculty Festival is dedicated to its staff’s and students’ talents in arts, music and writing. The Festival has proven that a positive experience of student life linked with quality legal training assist in maintaining good and lasting relationships with the alumni of the Faculty.
Each member of the Faculty of Law has the responsibility to further the interests of the Faculty by contributing to the development of the legal minds and researchers of tomorrow and by promoting a sense of social responsibility in its students. The values of the current generation will determine the future of our beloved country and legal training is of paramount importance to guarantee a prosperous society which wholeheartedly embraces the notion of the rule of law.
Dean: Faculty of Law