1. Relationship with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)
In May 2004, the University of Fort Hare and the NPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by which the University, through the School of Law, will undertake research projects commissioned by the NPA and outsourced to it. In a meeting between the School of Law and representatives of the NPA held in mid-July, the NPA categorically indicated its interest in outsourcing four research projects to the University of Fort Hare. The projects are on the following subjects:
- Documentary History of the NPA.
- The Role of the Criminal Justice System in Emerging Democracies.
- Civil Liability of Prosecutors.
- Profiling the White Collar Criminal.
Accordingly, the School of Law will in the next 3-5 years be actively engaged with the NPA in generating/enlarging the knowledge base required by the organization to continue to excel in the performance of its core statutory mandates/responsibilities.
2. Research Activities
2.1 Ms. Thandi Ntlama (Lecturer: Criminal law and Procedure Unit) attended a conference in Ontario, Canada in May 2004. Her conference presentation entitled:
is awaiting publication.
2.2 Prof. PC Osode (Professor of Mercantile Law) recently attended the 11th Biennial conference of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law held in Riga, Latvia. His presentation at the conference was entitled: “Advancing the Cause of Black Economic Empowerment Through the Use of Legal Instruments”. The paper will be published in 2005 in the Penn State International Law Review.
3.1 In 2002, the School of Law and the Law Faculty at Rhodes University revived the Speculum Juris as a joint venture. This well-known law journal was published by the University of Fort Hare Law Faculty from 1969 until 1986 when publication ceased. The journal now appears twice a year (in June and December). In late 2003, the Editorial Board was made extremely proud when the journal was accredited by the national Department of Education. The journal now appears at #174 on the Approved List of Academic Journals published by the said Department last year.
3.2 An article written by Dr. Derrick Ross (Lecturer: Public Law Unit) has recently appeared in (2004) 15 Stellenbosch Law Review. It is entitled: “Interpretation Theory and Statutory Construction: Revisiting the Issue in the Light of Constitutionalism”.
3.3 An article written by Mr. Pasno Nyachowe (Lecturer: Private Law) has recently appeared in (2003) 17 Speculum Juris. It is entitled: “Origin and Development of the Domain Name System in South Africa”.
3.4 An article written by Prof. Patrick Osode (Professor: Mercantile Law) recently appeared in (2003) 28 Journal for Juridical Science. It is entitled: “The Southern African Development Community in Legal Historical Perspective”.
3.5 A Case Note written by Prof. Dieter Welz (Senior Lecturer: Public Law) recently appeared in (2003) 17 Speculum Juris. It is entitled: “No Right to Die as Yet: A Note on the Legal Findings of the European Court of Human Rights on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide”.
3.6 An article written by Mr. Pasno Nyachowe (Lecturer: Private Law) recently appeared in (2004) 15 Stellenbosch Law Review. It is entitled: “An Evaluation of the Legal Rules, Challenges and Benefits of Electronic Court Filing in South Africa”.
3.7 An article written by Prof. Patrick Osode (Professor: Mercantile Law) recently appeared in (2003) 22 Penn State International Law Review. It is entitled: “An Assessment of the WTO-Consistency of the Procedural Aspects of South African Anti-Dumping Law and Practice”.
3.8 An article written by Ms. Thandi Ntlama (Lecturer: Criminal Law and Procedure) will appear in (2005) Journal of Contemporary Roman Dutch Law. It is entitled:
3.9 An article written by Prof. Patrick Osode (Professor: Mercantile Law) recently appeared as chapter 20 in a book edited by Prof. MC Okpaluba and entitled: Law and Contemporary South African Society. The book was published by New Africa Books in 2004. The said article by Professor Osode is entitled: “Defending the Regulation of Insider Trading on the Basis of Sound Legal Orthodoxy: The Fiduciary Obligations Theory”.
3.10 An article written by Prof. Patrick Osode will appear in (2004) 18 Speculum Juris. It is entitled: “The New Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act: A Critical Evaluation”.
4. Participation in All-Africa Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The School of Law was one of 59 Anglophone (English-speaking) African Law Schools that participated in the recently concluded 13th All-Africa Human Rights Moot Court Competition held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The University of Fort Hare was represented by Mr. Taz Musarurwa and Miss Nomandla Nkala who were accompanied by Mr. Steve Stewart (Programme Coordinator: Criminal Law and Procedure).
The University of Fort Hare placed 10th out of the said 59 Law Schools on the evaluation of the Memorials (i.e., legal argumentation documents submitted by the student representatives). On the actual Mock Trials, our University narrowly missed the 10th spot. The School of Law is extremely proud of its performance in the competition and of its student representatives.
5. Para-legal Training
The School of Law has recently been awarded a tender to co-deliver a two-week para-legal training programme by the National Para-Legal Institute (NPI). Our partners in the delivery of the programme are the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Northwest University (Potchefstrom Campus). The School of Law will solely handle training in two modules, namely: Introduction to the South African Legal System; and Communication Skills for Paralegals.
The above training will be delivered on the UFH Bisho Campus in one-week blocks scheduled for October and November.
The School of Law is also expanding its paralegal training collaboration work with the Karoo Centre for Human Rights, a community-based paralegal NGO based in Beaufort West. The relationship between the School of Law and the KCHR is now more than two years old.
6. The Smith Tabata Inc. Bursary and Mentorship Programme
The law firm of Smith Tabata Inc. has, with effect from 2005, instituted a bursary and mentorship programme by which 2-3 senior law students of Fort Hare will be awarded a bursary of between R2000 and R2 500 and be provided with the opportunity to spend two weeks at the firm’s offices in East London under the guidance of a mentor. Depending on their performance, the selected students may be appointed as Candidate Attorneys at any of the firms offices and, at the end of their contract of articles, may be offered permanent employment by the firm.
7. Graduate Placement
School of Law was extremely proud to have been requested by two of South Africa’s top national law firms in early 2004 to submit applications by its final year students for possible recruitment as Candidate Attorneys commencing in January 2005. Those firms are: (a) Bowman Gilfillan; and (b) Cheadle, Thompson and Haysom. For the very first time in the same year, the School hosted interviews of nine law students here in Alice by a Director from the Cape Town office of Bowman Gilfillan.
Inspired by the said invitations, the School of Law has decided to become pro-active in creating opportunities for its senior law students to apply and interview for articled positions in both national and regional law firms. Accordingly, the School of Law has compiled a database of the said law firms which have been made available to senior law students. The interested students will be assisted by academic staff of the School in the preparation of their covering letters and CVs.
Several of the School’s graduates are also placed each year in internships with national and provincial government departments/agencies.