n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Law as a life-long challenge : aantekeninge

Volume 2013, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



This is a very special day: a day of joy, a day of relief, a day of celebration and a day of congratulation. You can and must be congratulated on your personal, educational and professional success, because you have now achieved what you had aimed at and what you had been working for with assiduity and perseverance: the graduation from this esteemed law faculty. You have mastered a challenge and have followed the prescription or invitation of this university: Be anything you want to be. In your case: you wanted to become a lawyer, and now you are an academically qualified lawyer, although the practical qualification requirements still need to be complied with. Congratulations: you have made it. You can be proud of yourselves, and the teaching staff is proud of you as are your parents, relatives and friends. You are no longer undergraduate law students, you are now law graduates. You have learnt how to deal with and how to resolve legal issues, how to develop answers to questions like whether someone or something is right or wrong, whether a claim is justified - or at least justifiable - or whether it is unjust and to be dismissed. You are lawyers, and the law will serve you as a means and instrument to pursue your ideals and, of course, to earn your living.

And here comes the bad news - or is it also good news? I must tell you at all events: Although you are now law graduates you will, in a wider sense, still remain law students. You will, in fact, never stop being law students. Do not be disappointed. The truth is: Every lawyer is an eternal law student, even your professors or former professors are eternal law students. Hence the title of my speech at this ceremony: Law as a life-long challenge. Law is and should be a life-long challenge that will keep you busy. This is true for basically four reasons.

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