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Overview

The Master of Law in Human Rights (LL.M) is offered in the Department of Public law. Furthermore, the department is responsible for undergraduate modules in law which are offered to students enrolled for a LL.B. degree.The department is headed by Adv. H Choma.

Masters Programme

The Masters programme in Human Rights equips graduate students with the necessary comparative and analytical skills necessary to critically appraise the law and to contribute to law reform. Human rights issues are critical to the present South African constitutional dispensation. The LL.M programme inter alia aims to equip candidates to evaluate human rights and cognate issues in both the rural and urban setting.

Modules

Below is information on Public International Law PIL 4541, Administrative Law ADL 3541/4541,
Constitutional Law (CAL 3541 & 3641) and Planning and Environmental Law (PEL 2541, 2641 & 4531) offered in the department

Public International Law PIL 4541
The module is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of public international law as well as an understanding of the application of those principles. Students are expected to apply the legal principles to current situations. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the operation of public international law in the world of today and the challenges facing the international community by keeping track of the most recent developments. Students are also required to read newspapers and utilise other media to gain an understanding and deeper appreciation of the relevance of international law in today’s global world.

The module starts in the first term with a discussion of the basic foundation and nature and history of international law as well as the sources of international law. It then moves on to look at the relationship between international law and South African law and the theoretical aspects underlying the application of international law in domestic law. States, which are the principal subjects of Public International law, are examined and international treaties are explained.

The second term focuses on various specific aspects of Public International law. It starts by examining the law pertaining to the African Union. Thereafter it considers state responsibility. Another focus of the second term are international institutions, in particular, the United Nations General Assembly, the Security Council and UN reform. Furthermore, the use of force is discussed. This is followed by a discussion of international adjudication with specific reverence to the International Court of Justice. International Human Rights, which are of paramount importance for any study of Public International law in the African context, are a further focus of the work in the second term. Lastly, an overview of International Criminal law is provided.
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Administrative Law ADL 3541/4541
Administrative law gives effect to the Right to Just Administrative Action which is enshrined in Article 33 of the South African Constitution. It is the field of law which regulates the activities of bodies that exercise public powers or perform public functions. Consequently a proper understanding of the principles of Administrative law is required for any legal practitioner. The module gives a proper understanding of administrative law and specifically of the principles pertaining to the judicial review of administrative actions. It enables the student to apply administrative law in its constitutional context.
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Constitutional Law (CAL 3541 & 3641)

Constitutional Law has been defined as the fundamental law, written or unwritten, that establishes the character of a government by defining the basic principles to which a society must conform; by describing the organization of the government and regulation, distribution, and limitations on the functions of different government departments; and by prescribing the extent and manner of the exercise of its sovereign powers.

The course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of Constitutional Law as well as an understanding of the application of those principles. Students are expected to apply the legal principles to current situations. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the operation of Constitutional Law in the world of today and the challenges facing the national and international community by keeping track of the most recent developments. Students are also required to read newspapers and utilise other media to gain an understanding and deeper appreciation of the relevance of Constitutional Law in today’s global world.
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Planning and Environmental Law (PEL 2541, 2641 & 4531)
Planning and Environmental Law has been defined as a complex and interlocking body of treaties, conventions, statutes, regulations, and common law that, very broadly, operate to regulate the interaction of humanity and the rest of the biophysical or natural environment, toward the purpose of reducing the impacts of human activity, both on the natural environment and on humanity itself or the special body of official rules, decisions, and actions concerning environmental quality, natural resources, and ecological sustainability.

The course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of Planning and Environmental Law as well as an understanding of the application of those principles. Students are expected to apply the legal principles to current situations. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the operation of Planning and Environmental Law in the world of today and the challenges facing the national and international community by keeping track of the most recent developments. Students are also required to read newspapers and utilise other media to gain an understanding and deeper appreciation of the relevance of Planning and Environmental Law in today’s global world.
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Ms Lansink’s chapter ‘Migrant Workers and Non-discrimination in the Workplace: an International Law Perspective’ was published in O Dupper and C Garbers (eds.) Equality in the Workplace: Reflections from South Africa and Beyond (2009) by JUTA, with contributions from authors from South Africa, UK, Canada and India. Ms Lansink’s article on ‘Migration and Development: The Contribution of Migrant Women towards Poverty Alleviation’ for a feminist Journal Agenda (2009) – volume no. 81 on Poverty Reduction - was published in the period under review.

Advocate Choma’s book ‘The Protection and Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa’ was published in 2009. Furthermore, Advocate Choma published various law journal articles in the last two years.

Mr. Hagenmeier published an article titled ‘Defining the Minimum Essential Levels of Socio-Economic Right: The Role of Comparative Analysis in Delimiting the Minimum Core of Socio-Economic Rights’ in 2009 in Speculum Juris II/2008.

The following is a list of staff members in the Department of Public Law:

Designation Name Contacts
HOD

Adv. HJ. Choma

Tel: +27 15 962 8354

Email: chomah@univen.ac.za

Ms. A. Lansink (Dean)

Tel: +27 15 962 8311

Email: Annette.Lansink@univen.ac.za

Mr. CCA. Hagenmeier

Tel: +27 15 962 8409

Email: cornelius.hagenmeier@univen.ac.za

Mr. TK. Khangala

Tel: +27 15 962 8380

Email: Tshilidzi.khangala@univen.ac.za