Faculty of Law
Prof CH Heyns, Dean
Telephone number: 012 420 2412
Fax number: 012 362 5184
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message by the Dean
The Faculty of Law sees itself as a research faculty, in line with the broader aspiration of the University of Pretoria to be regarded as a research university.
A number of initiatives were consolidated and introduced during 2008 in pursuit of this objective. A significant change was the reform of the LLM programme. The coursework master’s programmes in the faculty now have a 50 percent research component. In addition to this, a structured LLD programme was designed, approved and funded, and the first students will start with their studies in 2009.
Innovation and continuing relevance in the areas of law that it covers and the appointment of experts to ensure renewal remain hallmarks of the faculty. The faculty received a significant sponsorship from the law firm Adams and Adams to establish a Chair and a Centre in Intellectual Property Law, one of the emerging areas of law.
Prof Danny Bradlow, Director of the International Programme at the American University in Washington DC, was appointed as South African Research Chair in International Development Law and African Economic Relations. Dr Hespina Rukato, Deputy CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and Justine Limpitlaw, an expert on Space Law, were appointed in this unit. The faculty took transfer of a five-room house adjacent to the Law Building, which houses Prof Bradlow, together with his staff and students, as the International Development Law Unit.
The faculty secured a generous grant from the World Bank to strengthen two initiatives aimed at promoting the rule of law in Africa. The first is the Law of Africa Collection in the Oliver R Tambo Law Library, the most comprehensive collection of primary legal sources (legislation and law reports) of the 53 countries of Africa in the world under one roof today. The other is the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), the publishing house of the faculty. During 2008, PULP produced 10 new publications, including a Portuguese translation of one of its earlier publications dealing with the African Union, which is available in French and Arabic in addition to the standard English edition.
The faculty continued to host a number of regular legal publications and brought out new editions of its accredited journals De Jure (including a third edition) and the African Human Rights Law Journals. The Tydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg is edited from within the faculty. The same applies to the African Human Rights Law Reports, of which new editions were published in English and in French. The year also saw the launch of the Pretoria Student Law Review, a student-run journal that publishes articles on the law and law reform that are written by students of the University of Pretoria, as well as other law faculties worldwide. A second edition of one of the major publications of the faculty, Constitutional Law of South Africa, was published. This encyclopaedic work – the most often cited source on the South African Constitution worldwide – is now also available online. Members of the Centre for Child Law launched a permanent volume called Commentary on the Children’s Act. The centre also brought a large number of groundbreaking law suits dealing with the rights of children on all levels of the courts, including the Constitutional Court.
The faculty is responsible for the African coverage of the Oxford International Law in Domestic Courts Reports and is represented on its international editorial board. This is a massive project that traces and comments on the extent to which international law is cited in any court in Africa.
The faculty entered into a privileged relationship with the Institute for Advanced Constitutional Law (SAIFAC) on Constitution Hill, which will help ensure that students have easy access to the proceedings of the Constitutional Court and to the expertise of the members of SAIFAC.
Prof Johan Scott and Prof André Boraine were nominated as exceptional academic achievers and Dr Stuart Woolman was nominated as an exceptional young researcher. Prof JMT (Lappies) Labuschagne (posthumously) and Prof Christof Heyns were included among the 100 academics who received awards as leading minds of the University of Pretoria during its first century. During 2008, research outputs in a wide range of areas of the law were produced in the form of books and accredited journal articles locally and overseas. Faculty members served on the editorial boards of a range of national and international publications.
The Centre for Human Rights was awarded one of ten research awards granted by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights to fund research projects commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The award enabled the centre’s Gender Unit to conduct research on the reproductive rights of women living with HIV. The centre further embarked on a multidisciplinary research project on the xenophobic violence that broke out in Pretoria and many other parts of South Africa in 2008. The research team, consisting of a sociologist and legal experts, investigated the extent of the state’s obligations against the background of pertinent issues raised during interviews with South African and non-South African nationals.
The AIDS and Human Rights Research Unit (a collaboration between the Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for the Study of AIDS) provided technical assistance to the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) in the drafting of a model law on HIV in Southern Africa. This model law was adopted on 24 November 2008 at the 24th plenary assembly of the SADC PF. Working with the Programme on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and the International Human Rights Clinic of the Washington College of Law (American University in Washington, USA), the unit further drafted and advocated for the adoption of a Resolution on the Right to Health and Access to Medicines by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The African Commission adopted this resolution at its 44th session in November 2008. The unit also completed a compendium and electronic database of key documents relating to human rights and HIV in eastern and southern Africa.
Prof C Heyns