UP Law enters into momentous three-year renewable memorandum of understanding with new International Law Institute-South African Centre for Excellence

UP Law enters into momentous three-year renewable memorandum of understanding with new International Law Institute-South African Centre for Excellence
University of Pretoria
UP Law enters into momentous three-year renewable memorandum of understanding with new International Law Institute-South African Centre for Excellence
Posted on December 08, 2020

The Faculty of Law (UP Law) at the University of Pretoria (UP) recently entered into a momentous three-year renewable memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the new International Law Institute-South African Centre for Excellence (ILI-SACE) in Johannesburg. ILI-SACE is affiliated with the International Law Institute (ILI) and the International Law Institute – African Centre for Legal Excellence (ILI-ACLE).

The main objectives of this MoU are:

the advancement of collaborative projects between the parties;
strengthening the value of collaborative ties in various areas of common interest and mutual benefit; and
addressing any other issue of common interest and mutual benefit between the parties.
The MoU’s areas of collaboration include:

short certificate courses;
development of course curricula;
academic programmes;
internship programmes; and
faculty development programmes.
During the course of the day parties to the MoU agreed to jointly offer executive education programmes, via Enterprises University of Pretoria, expected to begin in 2021.

Attending the signing were: Millard Arnold, Senior Advisor, ILI-SACE; Professor Charles Maimela, Deputy Dean, UP Law; Swithin Munyantwali, CEO and Vice Chairman, ILI-SACE; Professor Elsabe Schoeman, Dean of UP Law; Professor Daniel Bradlow, UP SARChI Professor of International Development Law Unit (IDLU) and African Economic Relations and Emeritus Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law; and Dr Jonathan Kabre , Postdoctoral Fellow at the UP Centre for Human Rights.

Virtually participating in the signing of the MoU were ILI-SACE board members and advisors retired Judge Ann Claire Williams, Professor David Smith, ILI-SACE Vice President of Academic Affairs; and Stuart Kerr, International Law Institute President.

Prior to the official signing of the agreement, Judge Williams provided an overview of effective teaching and learning methods for adult learners, including the effectiveness of learning-by-doing and the successful integration of experienced practitioners in academic training programmes. She indicated that adult learning was very different to school education, as the attention span of adults was limited to 20 minutes at a time, whereafter there must be a change of pace to ensure concentration and interaction. Kerr concurred, and stated that “the hallmark should be the integration of academics and practice experts in training programmes, which will prove to be beneficial to universities”.

Judge Williams also pointed out that “course formats should be changed to bring them up to speed with the latest tendencies and developments”. She also suggested that “co-trainers should be identified to assist with the training of the trainers to ensure the relevance and content importance of lectures, as the mere reading of textbooks in front of classes belongs outside the physical and virtual classroom. Lectures should be based on topical issues.”

Smith noted “the importance of ethical and social obligations, with more emphasis on anti-corruption courses and business courses, which was the hallmark of the partnership”.

”The integration of technology knowledge is key, as lawyers of the world are well-involved in the world of technology, and more so the change in the way lawyers operate after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Since 1997, the ILI-ACLE has been providing practical, high-level post-professional education, and contributing to the development of legal infrastructure on the African continent. With a regional focus in Africa and a combination of regionally and internationally renowned experts, ILI-ACLE’s programmes work to address the unique challenges confronting the African continent through the following core themes:

judicial restructuring and reform;
commercial law reform and legislative drafting;
procurement and PPPs;
good governance and anti-corruption;
human rights and access to justice/environment;
extractives/oil and gas contracting; and
dispute resolution.
“The signing of the MoU with ILI will result in ground-breaking development and work being done in teaching and learning of law at UP Law and in South Africa,” said Dean Prof Schoeman. Thanking the parties involved, she stated that UP Law is looking forward to a long, happy and fruitful association. “We feel energised and are very excited about all the possibilities.”

In a letter to Prof Schoeman, Munyantwali thanked the University for the warm reception during his and Millard’s visit to UP: “We enjoyed meeting with Enterprises and with the great team of the UP Faculty of Law. We are confident of the respective synergies leading to a fruitful partnership and to working together.” In her response to Prof Schoeman, Judge Williams stated that she was looking forward to working with the Dean and her team. “It will be a terrific partnership,” she said.