The UJ Faculty of Law offers the traditional law programmes such as BA Law, BCom Law and LLB, as well as LLM degrees by dissertation and coursework and LLD degrees in various important fields (see Courses and Programmes). In addition to these degrees, the Faculty has a strong non-formal programmes division that offers postgraduate diplomas, certificates and short courses in specialised areas such as tax law, compliance, criminal justice and forensic investigation, insolvency law, labour law, corporate law, environmental law, drafting of contracts and entertainment law.
The 2013 academic year started off on a high note. A Professor within the the Faculty of Law was awarded a National Research Foundation (NRF) chair. The Faculty is also organising several international and national conferences and seminars for 2013 (see Upcoming Events).
Nowadays, our Faculty and students represent the full range of diversity of a South African society based on human dignity, equality and freedom. We are particularly proud of the Soweto Law Clinic (see Law Clinic), which is the first custom-built law clinic in the country and is intended to provide services to an area that played such an important role in the creation of our democratic society.
In an address at the 2010 September graduation ceremony of the UJ Faculty of Law, former Constitutional Court Justice Kate O’Regan told our graduates that: “… human reason is the craft that makes a fair and just community possible. And it needs to be practiced and defended for our constitutional democracy to flourish”. Human reason, integrity, work ethic and compassion are all necessary tools that law students should use and display in their daily lives. The UJ Faculty of Law aims to produce well-rounded, skilled and knowledgeable graduates who will indeed be able to participate meaningfully and effectively in current legal and policy debates, and who will make a positive contribution to the legal profession and other spheres of our democratic society.
The year 2011 marked two special anniversaries in the history of the Faculty of Law of the University of Johannesburg. Firstly, it was the 40th anniversary of the formation in 1971 of the Faculty within what was then the Rand Afrikaans University. The second anniversary was that of the Law Clinic of the University. It opened its doors to the public in February 1991, staffed by 18 students. During May 2011 the Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Justice Dikgang Moseneke, formally opened the Faculty’s new Law Clinic on the Soweto Campus.
The Faculty manages its “own” law journal, the Journal for South African Law (TSAR). TSAR has been published since 1976 under the auspices of the Faculty. By becoming in 2009 one of only a handful of South African law journals to be included in an internationally acknowledged list of accredited journals, the scholarly content of the journal was recognised internationally. This stature was further enhanced recently by the inclusion of the journal in SCOPUS. This is the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources. It covers nearly 18 000 titles from more than 5 000 publishers, including 16 500 peer-reviewed journals in the scientific, technical, medical and social sciences fields. The law journal is one of the most comprehensive periodicals in South Africa.
Bearing in mind the fact that the Faculty has only 40 fulltime permanent academic members of staff, its research output is phenomenal. Its per capita research output is by far the highest of all the faculties of the University, and is higher than the overall per capita output reported by most other universities in the country. The Faculty also has active exchange agreements with seven foreign universities, namely the Free University in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), the Saarland University in Saarbrücken (Germany), the University of Antwerp (Belgium), the University of Augsburg (Germany), the Yeditepe University (Istanbul, Turkey), the National Law University, Jodhpur (India) and the Reykjavik University (Iceland). Apart from this, the Faculty and its members have other strong international relations, as evidenced amongst other things, by the number of foreign visitors hosted annually by the Faculty. In addition, the Faculty is an Information Centre for the Hague Conference on Private International Law in terms of a formal agreement.
The Faculty recognises its staff (see Staff) as its most valuable resource. At the start of the 2013 academic year,21 of the law lecturers had doctoral degrees, and another 18 had master’s degrees. Five lecturers had NRF ratings. Around thirty fulltime non-academic members of staff rendered support services in the five academic departments, the law clinic, the Faculty’s division administering non-subsidised programmes, SAIFAC and the Centre of International Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (CICLASS). The Faculty uses temporary staff members in its undergraduate programmes by exception only. The Faculty has a number of honorary and visiting professors – from the ranks of the judiciary, practice and academia.