Republic of China’s Deputy Minister of Justice, his Excellency Mr Zhao Dacheng and am delegation from the Ministry of Justice recently visited the School of Law to discuss legal education in South Africa and collaboration opportunities.

The roundtable discussion focused on the general situation of higher education for law in South Africa, job opportunities for law graduates and ways to publicise legal knowledge to the general public.

The benchmarking visit which was initiated by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Mr John Jeffery was part of a national tour that saw the Chinese delegation meet with Legal Aid South Africa, the Law Society of South Africa and Westville Correctional Services.

‘We are very honoured to be here at UKZN as legal education is very important to our development as a country hence we are very interested in legal education and how to train talented and ethical legal practitioners. Our discussion today has been meaningful as the different views from academics has enriched our thinking on how we can better promote our democracy and rule of law,’ said Dacheng.

The visit was also a learning curve for law academics as the delegation shared insights on China’s five year legal publicity plan aimed at educating the public about the law. The training of government leaders on how to obey the law and exchange opportunities that can be explored.

Law School’s Acting Dean and Head Professor Warren Freedman said the School is keen on exploring staff and student exchange and collaboration opportunities with China.

‘We have learnt a lot about how the Chinese legal system works, and are very interested in the steps that China has taken to promote the rule of law and respect for the Constitution especially among young people.  We have been looking to the west for ideas for too long, it’s now time to look China,’ he said.

Words and pic by: Thandiwwe Jumo