First-year Law students recently committed themselves to pursuing a legal career that was ethical, socially relevant and in accordance with the values of the Constitution during the School of Law’s annual Pledge Ceremony.
The induction ceremony involved 250 students taking an oath to ‘conduct themselves with decorum; respect fellow students and staff; and act with integrity’ throughout their academic careers.
Part of the aim is to motivate the students to aspire to follow in the footsteps of the School’s alumni, who include legal luminaries Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the late Chief Justice Pius Langa.
UKZN’s Professor Karthy Govender delivered a keynote address which focused on the concepts of the rule of law, the supremacy of the constitution and the independence of the judiiary.
‘These three concepts are not academic processes but impact our lives on a daily basis,’ he said.
‘In a short, while many of you will join the legal profession, our hope is that as a result of your learning at our Law School you will nurture and develop our best asset, the Constitution.’
To validate the student’s commitment and understanding of the pledge, the School’s Dean, Professor Managay Reddi, reminded students that the oath was binding therefore they were committed to upholding its values.
The students then followed the Dean in reciting the oath before putting their signatures on the pledge and collected copies of the South African Constitution from Professor Tanya Woker. Mr Vishal Surburn acted as the director of ceremonies.
First-year student, Mr Nkosinathi Nzuza described the experience as one of the most defining in his life.
‘The fact that I have made a binding commitment to the School and the legal profession weighs heavy because it’s a lifelong commitment. However, it feels great to know I am part of a School that will mould me into a professional with a power to change people’s lives for the better,’ he said.