Faculty of Law
Prof CH Heyns, Dean
Telephone number: 012 420 5438
Fax number: 012 420 4524
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message by the Dean
The Faculty of Law promotes the role and rule of law in society, inter alia through its research. There is a strong focus on contributing towards the development of all aspects of South African law. Increasing attention is also being paid in the faculty to the law of Africa, and to international and comparative law worldwide.
An outstanding feature of the year under review has been the publication of a large number of leading textbooks on a diverse range of legal topics by academics in the faculty. This includes seminal works on Medical Law, Local Government Law, Criminal Procedure, Human Rights in Africa, Company Law and the initial version of a permanent volume on Child Law. In addition to Labour Law the above the seminal Constitutional Law of South Africa is nearing completion of the second edition.
Academic articles were published in a wide range of local and international journals. Research by staff members was cited as authority by courts at all levels of the judicial hierarchy. The Law of Africa Collection in the Oliver Tambo Library of the faculty was once again used by the Pan African Parliament, and the results of research done in the faculty culminated in the presentation of a draft model law on HIV/Aids at a meeting of SADC legislators in Arusha, Tanzania.
The large number of regular publications emanating from the faculty all saw new editions. De Jure, the African Human Rights Law Journal, the African Human Rights Law Reports and the Journal of Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law – published under the auspices of faculty members – constituted a significant part of the new legal material published during the last year in South Africa.
A unique feature of the Faculty of Law is the fact that it is probably the only law faculty in the world, and certainly the only faculty in the country, with its own publishing house. During the last year the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) published internationally authored books on Medical law, Human Rights and Jurisprudence. Thanks to donors such as the Open Society, PULP’s ‘bestseller’, a collection of legal materials of the African Union dealing with Human Rights (also translated into French, Arabic and Portuguese), was distributed in large numbers to universities across the African continent to be used in legal courses.
In order to address concerns shared with those responsible for academic law journals in general in the country the faculty initiated and hosted a meeting of the editors of law journals nationwide, which resulted in the formation of an Editors Forum for Law Journals.
A number of strategies were implemented in the faculty to promote not only the quality and quantity but also the impact of the research done here. Regular departmental discussion groups were introduced in those departments where it had not been established before, where ongoing research by members of the different departments could be discussed.
The Chief Law Librarian developed a system to trace the impact of research conducted in the faculty in the South African courts and in local as well as international academic journals. Faculty funding was also made available to distribute copies of books published by faculty members to leading international authorities in the different fields covered.
This overview would not be complete without recognizing the singular contribution made to the research tradition of the Faculty of Law by our colleague Hans Visser, who sadly passed away in July.
As for the future, the challenges will be to increase the quality, quantity and impact of our research, not only in South Africa but also abroad. There is strong worldwide interest in the legal system of South Africa, and the faculty is well placed to seize this opportunity to contribute to greater internationalisation.
Prof C Heyns