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Scrap four-year LLB degree - Ngoepe

Johannesburg - Retired Transvaal Judge Bernard Ngoepe has called on South African universities to scrap the four-year LLB degree, The Saturday Star reported.

“In the olden days, you would not even be allowed to enrol for an LLB without a junior degree,” Ngoepe told the newspaper.

Retired Transvaal Judge Bernard Ngoepe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

He said the undergraduate LLB was a “glorified” BProc - the previously phased out Baccalaureus Procurationis course completed in order to qualify as an attorney in South Africa.

“They took what was a BProc degree, added one or two more courses and called it an LLB,” said Ngoepe.

He was responding to Wits University's announcement this week that it was discontinuing its undergraduate Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) and replacing it with a LLB postgraduate programme.

“In meetings with law firms and members of the Bar, one assessment was uniformly received - the four-year undergraduate LLB does not adequately prepare students for the legal profession,” university spokeswoman Buhle Zuma said in a press statement at the time.

Ngoepe said that the BProc degree should have been retained at universities as an entry point into the profession and students could then study further for an LLB degree. - Sapa

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