The UJ Faculty of Law offers 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. 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.
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, 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. We also proud ourselves in our staff members achievements, like the Research Chair (in the area of International Law) that was awarded to Prof Hennie Strydom by the adjudication committee of the National Research Foundation (NRF). The Faculty also organises several international and national conferences and seminars.
Former Constitutional Court Justice Kate O’Regan once 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 former Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Justice Dikgang Moseneke, formally opened the Faculty’s new Law Clinic on the Soweto Campus. In 2020 UJ celebrates 15 years of excellence, and the Law Faculty is going from strength to strength.
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. It is 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 plus minus 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.