For course and programme information, please contact Distinguished Professor Philippe-Joseph Salazar, co-Director of the Centre for Rhetoric Studies, on Interested students must approach Professor Salazar before preparing their proposal. 

Undergraduate Courses

Law, Rhetoric and Society is an elective offered at Final Year level on the LLB programme. This is a half course, held in the second semester, with 2 lecture per week in a single seminar session.

The aims of this course are to:

  • provide students with a basic introduction to the epistemological field of rhetoric studies and its relevance for legal studies in a constitutionally democratic, transitional, highly plural and Afropolitan society 

  • develop an understanding of the ways in which rhetoric is a method through which power is exercised and dispersed in society

  • develop an understanding of how juridical rhetoric, specifically, influences and is influenced by the society in which it is advanced

  • enable students to detect and critically analyse the rhetorical aspects of legal arguments, with a focus on judicial pronouncements and social justice advocacy

  • provide students with an opportunity practically to construct the form and content of strategically effective juridical rhetoric.

Readings will include foundational introductory texts in contemporary rhetoric studies; tele-visual media of key rhetorical moments in the South African transition to constitutional democracy and beyond, including material from the CODESA negotiations, the TRC, the opening of the first democratic parliament and several service delivery protests, including recent student protest; seminal heads of argument and case law of the post-apartheid era, including the Makwanyane, TAC and Fourie judgments; texts tracking the development of ‘ubuntu' as a rhetorical device in postapartheid legal argument; and instructive texts in the practical execution of strategic juridical rhetoric in an African constitutional context.

Course administration

  • Course Code: RDL4604S

  • Course entry requirements: All Preliminary and Intermediate Level courses to have been completed.

  • Course Credits: 9 NQF credits at HEQSF level 8

  • Convener: Professor A J Barnard-Naudé and Distinguished Professor Ph-J Salazar

  • DP requirements: None

  • Assessment: Seminar presentation 30%, Research paper of 5000 words 70%

Postgraduate Programmes 

RDL5607W Masters of Laws in Rhetoric Studies

Higher Postgraduate course, whole year. 240 NQF credits at HEQSF level 9

Convener: Distinguished Professor Ph-J Salazar

Course entry requirements: Acceptance for a Master's programme in Law. Course outline: Original research on a given topic within the ambit of rhetoric understood as the study of argumentative deliberation in the public sphere.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment: 100% dissertation

RDL6703W PhD in Rhetoric Studies

360 NQF credits at HEQSF level 10

Convener: Distinguished Professor PJ Salazar

Course entry requirements: See Rules for PhD Degrees.

Course outline: Doctoral research on a given topic within the ambit of rhetoric understood as the study of argumentative deliberation in the public sphere

DP requirements: None

Assessment: 100% written work