Foundations of South African Law


Preliminary level, whole-year course consisting of four lectures per week, plus tutorials.

Course Co-ordinator: Prof Jaco Barnard-Naude

Entrance requirements:
Undergraduate LLB students: concurrent registration with PVL1004H and PVL1008H.

Graduate LLB students: concurrent registration with PVL1004H, PVL1008H, PBL2000W, PBL2001H, PVL2002H, PVL2003H.

Course outline: The objectives of this course are that firstly students should develop foundational knowledge about the legal system in South Africa, including a knowledge of the history, sources of law, hierarchy of the courts, legal reasoning, with special attention to the doctrine of precedent, classifications of the law and fundamental legal concepts, as well as areas of the law relating to HIV and AIDS. The course then provides students with an overview of the rules relating to interpretation of statutes, and their practical application. In the second semester, students engage in a review of the development of the culture of public law, through the fluctuating fortunes of the rule of law, followed by a section on the role of law in the transformation from Apartheid to constitutional democracy, transformative constitutionalism, and transformative legal culture. Students' writing and research skills are developed through tutorial exercises and written assignments.