This history of the University of Cape Town's Law Faculty covers its first 145 years. Through generations of strong characters and prominent personalities (staff, students and graduates), UCT's Law Faculty has played an important role in the development and practice of the law in South Africa.
This is its story, as told by Denis Cowen and Daniel Visser, whose association with UCT's Law Faculty spans nearly half the period. Rich in detail, critical-minded and personal, this account will fascinate and give pleasure to everyone interested in UCT, its Law Faculty and in South Africa's legal system. This history's publication coincided with UCT's 175th anniversary and South Africa's 10th year of constitutional democracy.
Table of Contents
- Early Years of Aspiration – to the 1920s
- The Wille, Wylie and Emmett Years – to the 1940s
- The Cowen, Price and Beinart Years – to the 1960s
- Teaching under the Jackboot 1960 – 1990
- Into the New Millennium 1990 – 2004
- Honour Roll
- Honorary Doctorates
About the Authors
Denis Cowen (1917 – 2007) Aptly described as a public intellectual, his seminal essays and articles had an important impact on subjects such as constitutional law, interpretation of statutes, jurisprudence, property law and environmental law, amongst others. Key moments in Cowen's career include his contribution to the resolution of the constitutional crisis of the 1950's, his arguments for a court-enforceable Bill of Rights for South Africa, his defence of academic freedom and freedom of speech under apartheid, his contribution to Lesotho's transition to independence in the 1960s, and his writing and thinking that helped to shape the law of sectional title, patterns of land ownership and environmental law. He held chairs in law at the universities of Cape Town, Chicago and Johannesburg (then the RAU)
Professor Danie Visser is formerly a professor of private law at UCT where is now a Deputy Vice Chancellor. He was educated in South Africa and the Netherlands, obtaining doctorates in law from Pretoria University in 1980 and the University of Leiden in 1985.
He is a former dean of the Faculty of Law at UCT (1996-1998) and a sometime holder of the Huber C Hurst Eminent Visiting Scholar Chair at the University of Florida.
In recent years he has taught comparative law in the Juris Doctor programme at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as a visiting professor. He is chair of the South African chapter of the International Academy of Comparative Law, and a former president of the Southern African Society of Legal Historians.
He has also been chair of the specialist committee of the National Research Foundation's rating panel for law. He has served in various editorial capacities on numerous publications, including the South African Law Journal (as editor) and the UK Restitution Law Review.
He has formal associations with many international universities, including the University of Tëbingen and the University of Regensburg in Germany, and Scotland's University of Aberdeen. He is member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, the World Academy of Art and Science and an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law.