Finding the law

This course is only available as a recording.


Finding the law with Prof Johan Scott and Shirley Gilmore

It has been said that legal research is the pillar on which the entire legal profession rests.  Legal research skills are essential to ensuring the success of legal practitioners.  As the law and legal environment continually change, it is imperative to sharpen this skill set on an ongoing basis to excel in your field.  This course consists of two modules.

Module 1: Legal research skills: how to value and use legal sources

Module 1 is presented by Prof Johan Scott (professor emeritus) and focuses on legal research skills – how to value and use legal sources.  This module is a great refresher on how to use some of the basic tools required to unlock legal knowledge.  This module will focus on the identification or classification of the subdivisions of the law.  It will also cover the legal sources that need to be consulted in almost every problem-solving scenario, with various examples to illustrate how these should be approached and applied.

Modules can be taken together, separately and in any order.

Module content

Part 1: Subdividing or classifying the law

  • International law
  • National law
  • Substantive law
  • Procedural law
  • Supplementary disciplines

Part 2: Survey of the sources of law

  • Sources of law
  • Formal (primary) sources of South African law
  • The Constitution
  • Legislation
  • Common-law writings
  • Judicial precedent
  • Modern custom
  • African customary law
  • Secondary sources

View complete module content here.

Module 2: Law sources: finding relevant legal information online

Module 2 is presented by Shirley Gilmore, former head of the Law Library at the University of Pretoria.  Representatives from Juta and LexisNexis will also share their knowledge on how you can find relevant legal information online, and how to deal with contradictory legal sources.

Modules can be taken together, separately and in any order.

Module content
  • Where and how to find relevant legal information:
  • Books
  • Legislation
  • Law reports and case law
  • Journal articles
  • Other foreign legal sources
Who should attend?

Legal practitioners who want to improve or refresh their legal research skills and find relevant legal information online with ease.

  • Module 1 is presented over 2 hours, while Module 2 is presented over 2.5 hours. Lectures are available as recordings.  
  • When opting for recordings, follow the instructions in your registration confirmation email to request access to view recordings online.  Recordings can be viewed at any time once you've received login details. Recordings are only available for a limited time, please refer to your registration confirmation letter for more information.
  • The presentation is accompanied by a comprehensive reference manual, sent in PDF format.
  • No written assessments will be required to complete any of the modules.
  • You will receive a certificate of attendance.
Our promise
  • Professor Johan Scott, emeritus professor of law, with a prodigious publication record to his credit, will teach you how to find the law.
  • This course is an amazing "finishing school" that addresses various shortcomings in your university studies.  
  • It will sharpen your research skills and set you apart from your peers.
What are you waiting for?

Course Content


Course Content


Course Content



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