The vision of this department is to provide the legal profession with Law graduates that are equipped to be relevant in a competing and demanding vocation.


The mission of the Criminal and Medical Law division in Public Law is to establish a systematic and sound academic foundation in Law students that will ultimately serve to generate graduates with competitive legal practice competence.


Criminal Law is that section of the law that deals with what constitutes a crime, and when and how persons who commit crimes should be punished. Medical Law or Medicina Forensis, in turn, deals with the narrow interaction that exists between medicine and the law on all levels.
It is of utmost importance to the division of Criminal and Medical Law to ensure and promote quality training to Law students. Experts in the field of criminal law practice and other role players are therefore involved in training programmes. Networking with the relevant Criminal Law practitioners and other role players enables students to get practical training. Specialists in Medical Law are also involved in the presentation of Medicina Forensis.
The division also offers three courses in the Faculty of Health Sciences. At the School of Nursing two courses, namely Health Care and the Law and Forensic Nursing are offered to postgraduate Nursing students. Classes for Health Care and the Law are transmitted by ICAM to various hospitals in the Free State. A course in Medical Law and Ethics is also offered to medical students at the School of Medicine.

Modules in these fields include:

  • Criminal Law, which encompasses the general requirements to be satisfied before an act will be viewed as a crime, and the specific requirements set for certain crimes such as murder, public violence,  robbery and assault; and

  • Medical Law, in which students will be introduced to controversial legal issues such as euthanasia, sex changes, negligent medical practices, and much more. 

Contact us

Prof Neels Swanepoel

Head of Department

Public Law: Criminal and Medical Law
Faculty of Law
University of the Free State
PO BOX 339
South Africa

T: +27 51 401 3458
F: +27 51 430 8901


T: +27 51 401 2451
F: + 27 51 401 3043


Equitas Building
UFS Bloemfontein Campus

Law photo for next to contact block

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