Home > Courses > Law > HEQSF Level 9 Courses 

Law: HEQSF Level 9

  • Social Justice, Law and Development
  • Social Justice In Practice


Convener: Ms M von Broembsen (HEQSF level 9, 30 NQF credits)
Course entry requirements: An LLB or Honours degree in selected Social Science disciplines. The Faculty reserves the right to limit classes to 15 students.
Course outline: This interdisciplinary course explores the different theoretical approaches to social justice and how these are embodied in policy. The course compares the imperatives of social justice with competing conceptualisations of development and pays particular attention to how different conceptualisations of development, social justice and poverty lead to an emphasis on different institutional structures, policies and distributive outcomes. Throughout the course we critically consider the role that law plays in realising different development paradigms. Increasingly, the dominant development paradigm asserts that ‘development happens through jobs’. In other words, implicit in the orthodox view of development is a reliance on the market to realise social outcomes. Not only is participation in the economy the primary strategy to alleviate poverty, but simultaneously it is viewed as the primary means of realising a range of social and economic objectives, including rural development, social inclusion and gender equality. The second part of the course therefore focuses on work. We explore the implications of ‘globalisation’ for work relations, the informal economy and multinational corporations’ power in the context of value chains and consider the implications and challenges from a social justice perspective. While globalisation has resulted in a crisis for labour law, at the same time, it will be argued, it produces opportunities for law to challenge the primacy of economics as the discipline that frames our understanding of development.


Convener: Ms M von Broembsen (HESQF level 9, 30 NQF credits)
Course Entry Requirements:
An LLB or Honours degree in selected Social Science disciplines. The Faculty reserves the right to limit classes to 15 students.
Course Outline: This course is concerned with social justice in practice. Our touchstone is the transformative vision embodied in the Constitution of South Africa, as we reflect on the interplay between rights, social mobilisation, advocacy and developmental strategies within a participatory democracy. Using ‘Legal Empowerment of the Poor’ as a lens, the course reflects on notions of empowerment; how power (including our own) impacts on and shapes the practical outworking of social justice and at times results in unintended consequences. The main focus of the seminars is on practical strategies intended to facilitate social justice. Students will study the theory in each area and undertake selected site visits to projects that reflect best practice. Students are assigned to work with a civil society organization for the duration of the course. Each student will be required to spend 32 hours with the organisation, spread over the period of the course. The course concludes with the design and implementation of a small-scale development intervention by the student, in conjunction with the civil society partner.