Beginner’s Guide for Law Students

guide for law students
14 Jan 2019

About this publication:

The fifth edition of Beginner’s Guide for Law Students is a foundational text which introduces first-year law students to:

  • basic legal terminology and definitions;
  • the South African legal system’s objectives, history and subdivisions; and
  • legal research skills.

Students are introduced to the law as it stands, in accessible terms, with reference to the different sources of law and popular media, to demonstrate how law affects the everyday lives of individuals and groups in South Africa. Without detracting from the book’s accessibility, students are made aware of law’s complexity, contestability and uncertainties.

Beginner’s Guide for Law Students goes further in exposing students to critical voices on existing law and encourages students to start developing their own informed opinions about the legal system and what it can and cannot achieve in addressing South African problems today. Students are invited to continuously reflect on the implications of the ‘transformative’ Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 for the various dimensions of law. However, it is also shown that transformative constitutionalism is not the be-all and end-all of South African law, free from its own limits and criticism. As such, relevant ‘decolonial’ critiques of transformative constitutionalism are explored.

Contents include:

  • The law
  • A history of South African law
  • Sources of South African law
  • Classification of the law
  • The Constitution: structures of governance
  • The Constitution: human rights
  • Private law
  • Law and the business world
  • Law of civil procedure
  • Criminal law
  • Law of criminal procedure
  • Law of evidence
  • Courts and appropriate dispute resolution
  • The legal profession
  • Legal comparison
  • Language and law
  • Legal argument and logic
  • Perspectives on the law
  • Legal research

Of interest and benefit to:

  • Students in introductory courses to the field of law
  • Researchers
  • Law teachers
  • Libraries

Edition: 5th
Available from Juta: 18 January 2019
Authors: Duard Kleyn, Frans Viljoen, Emile Zitzke and Palesa Madi
ISBN: 978 1 48512 834 2
Format: Soft cover
Page extent: 472 pages
Retail price: R635 (Price includes 15% VAT, excludes courier delivery and is valid until 30 June 2019).

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See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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