Bronwyn Le Ann Batchelor, Head of Faculty: Law at The Independent Institute of Education, says that the legal practice environment has recently seen a movement towards more non-litigious, non-adversarial methods of dispute resolution that don’t necessarily require the involvement of courts – and this in turn has led to the introduction of Integrative Law into the curriculum at forward-thinking institutions.
“Integrative Law is not merely alternate dispute resolution. It challenges the preconceived and traditional ideas of what a lawyer is and should be, and their role in legal practice today and in the future,”she said.
“Integrative Law disrupts perceptions and enables students to stop and reflect upon conscious and healing methods of practising law for their client, the opposition, offender and victims, the community and public at large and, most importantly, for you as a future legal practitioner.”
The legal field and market demands for legal intervention that doesn’t necessarily require the involvement of courts, has expanded greatly in recent years, said Batchelor.
She urged prospective students who are interested in incorporating Integrative Law into their training, to interrogate the curriculum at their future institution of higher learning or public university, “as it is a new learning track locally and not widely offered, even though it is already widely practised in the world of work.”
“Changes in the Rules of Court, for example, underscore the importance of developing non-traditional legal methods of dispute resolution in South Africa, which presents an opportunity in a growth field for prospective students, whether they have already decided to pursue an LLB, or they have not yet decided what they want to study,” Batchelor said.