The University of Pretoria Faculty of Law was established in 1908 and consists of five academic departments, six centres, two law clinics and its own publisher the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP). The faculty offers the undergraduate LLB degree, the postgraduate LLM and LLD degrees as well as several continuing education courses.
The Oliver R Tambo Law Library houses the faculty's collection of legal materials and the Law of Africa collection in the library is the single most comprehensive and current collection of primary legal materials of African countries.
The faculty organises the annual African and World Human Rights Moot Court Competition and in 2006, the faculty's Centre for Human Rights received the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education. Since 1997, the university as a whole has produced more research outputs every year than any other institution of higher learning in South Africa, as measured by the Department of Education's accreditation benchmark.
The proposal for a university for the capital, first mooted in the Volksraad in 1889, was interrupted by the outbreak of the Anglo Boer War in 1899. In 1902 after the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging, the Normal College for teacher training was established in Groenkloof, Pretoria and in 1904 the Transvaal Technical Institute, with emphasis on mining education, opened in Johannesburg. In 1906 the Transvaal Technical Institute changed its name to the Transvaal University College. On 4 March 1908 when the Transvaal University College (TUC) transferred its arts and science courses to its newly established Pretoria Campus the precursor to the university was established, initially offering courses in languages, sciences, and law.
The faculty offers the undergraduate LLB degree and the postgraduate LLM and LLD programmes. The undergraduate BCom (Law) and BA (Law) degrees are presented by the faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Humanities respectively. After completing either the three-year BCom (Law) or BA (Law) degree students may apply to complete the LLB degree in two years rather than the traditional four years for an LL.B, a practice that is recommended by the faculty.
LLM programmes by coursework and research cover all the traditional legal fields namely procedural law, private law, public law, mercantile law, corporate law, labour law and criminal law as well as specialised master programmes like socio-economic rights: theory and practice, human rights and democratisation in Africa, international trade and investment law in Africa, child law, international air, space and telecommunication law and intellectual property law amongst others. LLD programmes cover procedural law, legal history, comparative law and legal philosophy, mercantile law, public Law, private law and human rights.
Continuing education short courses are presented in the fields of child law, commercial law, general law, insolvency law, labour law, legislative drafting and sports law.
Centres, Units & Institutes in the faculty include the Centre for Advanced Corporate & Insolvency Law, Centre for Child Law, Centre for Human Rights, Centre for Intellectual Property Law, Centre for Medicine & Law, Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Sports Law Centre in Africa. The Centres, Units & Institutes have a research and academic purpose.
The Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, is an organisation dedicated to promoting human rights on the continent of Africa. The Centre, founded in 1986, promotes human rights through educational outreach, including multinational conferences, seminars and publications such as Human Rights Law in Africa, The African Human Rights Law Journal, the African Human Rights Law Reports and The Constitutional Law of South Africa. The Centre, which was founded during Apartheid, assisted in adapting a Bill of Rights for South Africa and contributed to creating the South African Constitution. In 2006, the Centre received the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education.
The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), established at the beginning of 2011, is a research institute located in the Faculty of Law with Professors Erika de Wet and Christof Heyns (the United Nations Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions) being appointed as Co-Directors.
The ICLA co-ordinates the Oxford Constitutions Online African country reports and collaborates with the Centre for Human Rights to co-ordinate the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) Online African case law.
The Centre for Child was established in 1998 and is enjoys recognition as a law clinic by the Law Society. Established in 2003 the Centre's Children's Litigation Project acts as amicus curiae in litigation in relation to children's rights through, appearing in several cases before the North and South Gauteng High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court.
|African Human Rights Moot Court Competition||Organised by the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law||1992||Held at participating law schools across the African continent|
|South African National Schools Moot Court Competition||Organised annually by a different grouping of law schools||2011||National oral rounds take place at the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Pretoria and the finals at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg|
|World Human Rights Moot Court Competition||Organised by the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law||2009||Pretoria|
|African Trade Moot||Organised by the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape||Pretoria and Cape Town|
|Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition||Organised by the International Institute of Space Law||The Africa Regional Round is hosted by the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, University of Pretoria Faculty of Law|
The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), situated within the Faculty of Law, endeavours to publish and distribute advanced scholarly legal texts in English, Afrikaans, French, Arabic and Portuguese.<ref[>"Pretoria University Law Press". University of Pretoria.</ref> PULP publishes a series of collections of legal documents related to African public law and legal text books from other African countries and is a member of the Publishers' association of South Africa.
Law students participate in the following activities:
Well known alumni include: