The department strives to provide an active learner-centred teaching environment that is founded on leading research and makes a positive contribution to the development of its students and the community. Private law governs the relationship between persons and therefore covers societal aspects such as births and deaths, marriages, contracts, property, succession, and wrongful acts. Through its research activities the department strives to remain at the forefront of the constant changes occasioned by a rapidly developing legal system. In addition to the full-time staff, our department is also fortunate to have a number of honorary and extraordinary professors who serve as part-time academic staff.


The department distinguishes itself:

  • In the area of teaching, by effective preservation of the balance between entrenching theoretical principles and conveying the requirements of legal practice in order to deliver well-rounded students;
  • In the area of research, by conducting research into topical and relevant discipline-specific issues published in textbooks and leading journals, and conveyed through papers and in its teaching;
with the objective of serving the community optimally in compliance with its social responsibility.



Private Law is that section of the law that governs the relationship between persons, and covers such aspects of society as births and deaths, marriages, contracts, property, and succession. In the field of private law, the following modules are offered in the LLB degree:

  • Family Law, in which students learn more about engagements, the Marriages Act, community of property and the general principles applicable to divorce and child maintenance and custody.
  • Law of Persons, where students obtain knowledge of legal subjects and their origin and status – this refers to when the law will recognise you as a living person who is capable of concluding transactions.
  • Law of Succession and Administration of Estates deals with the contents of wills, how people inherit when there is no will, and the administration of the estates of deceased persons.
  • Law of Property, in which students learn about the difference between possession and ownership, and what it means to be the holder of a right in property – also in terms of the Constitution.
  • The Law of Delict, which deals with the negligent or purposeful causation of damage and the remedies available to the wronged party.
  • The Law of Contract is one of the most important courses in legal studies and is studied extensively to prepare students for practice.
  • Private Law further encompasses such fields as Enrichment, Estoppel, Road Accident Fund, Sectional Title, Law of Damages, and the Law of Trusts. 



Dr NJB Claassen: Head of Department

  • Mrs Martie Bloem
  • Mr James Faber
  • Mrs Marda Horn
  • Dr Jacques Matthee
  • Dr Kenneth Mould
  • Ms Reamohetswe Senokoane
  • Mrs Anthea-Lee September van Huffel
  • Prof Bradley Smith
  • Mrs Caroline Muller-Van der Westhuizen


Dr NJB Claasen
Head of Department
T: +27 51 401 2697
F: +27 51 401 3043


Mrs Sophie Maasdorp
T: + 27 51 401 2451
F: + 27 51 401 3043


Equitas Building
UFS Bloemfontein Campus

Law photo for next to contact block