LLB degree from private colleges ruled equal to university degree.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court has ruled that the current version of the Legal Practice Act is constitutionally invalid. It has ruled that a law degree from an accredited private college is just as good as one from a public university.
Law students from either institution are as qualified to enter the legal profession once they graduate. This is because it favoured LLB graduates from universities and discriminated against those from private institutions.
The Independent Institute of Education (IIE) challenged the constitutionality of a problematic section of the Act last year. The institute, owning private education brands such as Vega, Varsity College and Rosebank College, says it is happy with the legal outcome.
The ruling, to be ratified by the Constitutional Court, is suspended for one year in order to give the department of justice and constitutional development an opportunity to change the problematic section.
The IIE’s Varsity College started offering a four-year LLB degree last year after receiving accreditation from The Council of Higher Education in 2017.
IIE’s general manager Peter Kriel, says the institute is confident that the changes will be ratified soon.