Research and Short Courses
Fltr: Charlotte van Sittert (attorney/researcher at the Law Clinic), Franciscus Haupt (Director of the Law Clinic)
and Jani van Wyk (attorney/researcher at the Law Clinic)
- Photo by Lourens Grové
The Research and Short Courses Department at the University of Pretoria Law Clinic developed out of a project the Law Clinic conducted on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry regarding debt relief. When the National Credit Act came into full effect the Law Clinic, in conjunction with AULAI, became accredited facilitators for the training of aspirant debt counsellors. The Law Clinic, having trained over 1 500 delegates, is currently the forerunner.
Due to the Law Clinic's exposure and expertise on the National Credit Act and debt related issues, it has been approached by a number of entities to conduct research projects on the consumer industry in South Africa. In 2008 the UP Law Clinic was commissioned by GTZ to conduct research on emoluments attachment orders issued by the courts and the issues relating thereto. In 2009 the UP Law Clinic published a comprehensive report for the National Credit Regulator as to the obstacles in the debt review process. A similar enquiry is presently under way. The Clinic is also involved in a research project for the Department of Trade and Industry on access to credit, particularly developmental credit. In addition, staff members of the UP Law Clinic are involved in various short courses prepared by CE@UP.
The Law Clinic aims to be more than just a law firm but to extend its functions to contributing to research and academic outputs. Staff of the UP Law Clinic have published a number of articles in accredited journals as well as presented papers at both national an international conferences.
Additional publications of the UP Law Clinic include:
In the first text book on Clinical Law in South Africa (published by Lexis Nexis Butterworhts), some chapters were contributed by Haupt and Boniface (the latter then employed at UP Law Clinic), as well as Anton Kok. In the revised edition a new chapter on Numeracy Skills was contributed by Lourens Grové of the Clinic.
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Law Clinic, a special edition of De Jure was sponsored by the Law Clinic. It enabled clinicians from Wits, University KwaZulu Natal, University of Johannesburg and University of Pretoria to write articles and notes relating to aspects of the law dealt with by clinics.
While producing articles in accredited law journals do not form part of the job description of clinicians (classified as support staff), the importance of increasing the research output of the Faculty is appreciated. During both 2008 and 2009, two clinicians' articles were accepted for publication in accredited journals.
The Clinic was approached by the South African Revenue Service to assess the competency of all employees in their enforcement departments nationally. The first paper was written in May 2008.
Course in Debt Counselling
Since February 2007 the Clinic has been the project leader and the largest facilitator of the National Credit Regulator Debt Counselling Course. The Clinic further acts as the national examiner of the said course.
Further information on the course can be found at the link "Debt Counselling Course" to the left.