LLB ruling joy for VC

2019-02-25 12:10
“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

“Corporal punishment which people consider to be ‘light’ or ‘normal’, such as smacking and spanking, can have negative effects on children. The use of such punishment increases children’s aggressive behaviour. Children who are smacked or spanked are, for instance, more likely to act out against other children.”

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Varsity College is “delighted” with a ruling that its LLB degree students can register with the KZN Law Society to do their articles.

The ruling grants Varsity College LLB degrees the same status as degrees obtained at any other university.

Only once graduates have completed their articles and fulfilled the necessary requirements, can they become attorneys.

Concern that the Varsity College graduates may not qualify to do this had been raised early last year when a parent, on inquiring from the KZN Law Society, was told by the society that the college’s LLB degree would not suffice for students to do their articles.

When the college found out about this and confirmed it with the Law Society, its umbrella body — the Independent Institute of Education — brought an application to remedy this.

Pietermaritzburg high court Acting Judge C. Sibiya ruled on Friday that students that graduate with a LLB degree offered by Varsity College after January 1, 2018 “are as qualified to enter the practice of the legal profession as the graduates from public universities in SA”.

Judge Sibiya has also declared a section of the Legal Practice Act as constitutionally invalid, insofar as the use of the word “university” to exclude private higher institutions accredited and registered to provide the LLB degree.

She also ordered that the institute must pay the costs incurred by the Law Society up to the adjournment on September 2018. The judge found that the Law Society was entitled to oppose the relief initially sought as it was giving effect to the wording of the statute, and the institute had not challenged the constitutionality of the statute then.

In her reserved judgment, Sibiya said that since the institute meets the criteria set out in the Higher Education Act, it enjoys the same rights to offer the accredited four-year LLB degree as public universities do and its exclusion from a section of the Legal Practice Act limits the right.

Head of the Independent Institute of Education, Dr Felicity Coughlan, said on Friday that the institute has always been confident of its position.

She said that registrations were on target in January despite the verdict in the case not having been given at that stage.

“Our law faculty, which includes this degree, continues to grow,” she said.

However, she also said that the timing of the judgment was a bit disappointing as a few applicants did not register. “We will go back to students who applied and talk to them and catch up,” she said.

Coughlan said she was pleased by the support and trust Varsity College got from parents and students.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  llb
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