LLM in Transnational crime prevention and criminal justice (Bellville)


verde
hi

is anyone considering this program? how is the U of W Cape in terms of the quality of education, facilities?
hi

is anyone considering this program? how is the U of W Cape in terms of the quality of education, facilities?
quote
ayandayo
I submitted my applicaiton in August. An interview was conducted and i was informed that i have been selected. As regard quality of education at U of W Cape, I can not make any comments now because i'm yet to start studies. I'll keep you informed upon resumption in January.
I submitted my applicaiton in August. An interview was conducted and i was informed that i have been selected. As regard quality of education at U of W Cape, I can not make any comments now because i'm yet to start studies. I'll keep you informed upon resumption in January.
quote
llopez08
Hi!

I'm considering the options in the transnational and international criminal law. How has been your experience with the U of W Cape program?
Hi!

I'm considering the options in the transnational and international criminal law. How has been your experience with the U of W Cape program?
quote
ayandayo
Hi,
It has been a worthwhile experience so far. The University of the Western Cape offers a relatively conducive environment for learning. There are four courses in all- International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice (1st Semester); Corruption and Organised Crime (2nd Semester). The courses are taught by seasoned experts in the field and occasionally, we have guest lecturers from within and outside South Africa. You will be required to submit a research proposal in your first semester. Your research may be in any of the four areas specified above. Assignments constitute 50% of the total marks in each of the courses. Classes are interactive. You will also have an opportunity to learn a bit of German and comparative history. You will not be examined on these. I think i've dwelt too much on the positive side.

The University of the Western Cape is located on the outskirts of Capetown city (it takes about 40 mins to get to Capetown by train). It is a sleepy suburb and i would rate the social life zero. You may choose to live in Capetown city if that bothers you. I reside in the university res because of access to the internet.

What country are you from? I will be pleased to answer other questions that you may have.
Hi,
It has been a worthwhile experience so far. The University of the Western Cape offers a relatively conducive environment for learning. There are four courses in all- International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice (1st Semester); Corruption and Organised Crime (2nd Semester). The courses are taught by seasoned experts in the field and occasionally, we have guest lecturers from within and outside South Africa. You will be required to submit a research proposal in your first semester. Your research may be in any of the four areas specified above. Assignments constitute 50% of the total marks in each of the courses. Classes are interactive. You will also have an opportunity to learn a bit of German and comparative history. You will not be examined on these. I think i've dwelt too much on the positive side.

The University of the Western Cape is located on the outskirts of Capetown city (it takes about 40 mins to get to Capetown by train). It is a sleepy suburb and i would rate the social life zero. You may choose to live in Capetown city if that bothers you. I reside in the university res because of access to the internet.

What country are you from? I will be pleased to answer other questions that you may have.
quote
helo ayandayo, I saw you post and i guess very much you are a Nigerian, I applied last year, for the programme but was not selected, I have followed what I considered to be a more competent application for the 2011 session, and I hope this comes through I will like to have more information about the program and advise from you. My email address is dotun_osho@yahoo.com, and would not mind to have yours. thank you
helo ayandayo, I saw you post and i guess very much you are a Nigerian, I applied last year, for the programme but was not selected, I have followed what I considered to be a more competent application for the 2011 session, and I hope this comes through I will like to have more information about the program and advise from you. My email address is dotun_osho@yahoo.com, and would not mind to have yours. thank you
quote
verde
I would discourage anyone from considering this programme. The facilities at the university are inexistent, the professors have limited teaching skills and the area, especially Bellville, is dangerous.

The library has a very limited number of books and no subscription to the on line journals. The professors have a very limited knowledge of corruption issues, money laundering and organised crime issues. They have very poor teaching skills and they are condescending with the students.

The professors here do not use a grading scale to mark papers and you will receive a grade without any justification whatsoever; you cannot appeal your grades. The marking scheme used at this university is very different. The grading is done as follows: >75% (A), 70-74% (B), 60-69% (C), 50-59% (D). Most students have received a C average which means that this grading system is sabotaging your chances to apply for a LLD at another university.

Classes are scheduled for 2.5h but they were usually held only for 1.5h. The programmes web site says that there will be lectures on Comparative criminal law and Modern Legal History. There were no lectures on Comparative criminal law and there were about 6 (1.5h) lectures on German history.

The staff at this university is very disorganised and it was a challenge to deal with them. Although my thesis was finished a few months before the deadline, the professor supervising me took a very long time to provide me with a feedback. This is a common issue with all the professors in this programme.

The students are housed at the Hector Peterson Residence, which is about 20 minutes away from campus. The facilities there should have been renovated 20 years ago. The bathrooms are shared and they are very dirty. There are no kitchens and there is only one stainless steel sink at every floor. Students had to buy their own fridges (~ 1300 ZAR) and hot plates (~ 120 ZAR) and they had to figure out a way to have them delivered back to the campus.

Although there are bars on the windows, there was a break in almost every week. I was always afraid that someone will break into my room and steal my laptop and my other belongings. I slept with a pepper spray nearby for almost a year.

The security conducts random checks at odd hours (7 am, 12 am) to look for squatters. The pest control comes in every couple of months to spray your mattress, dresser and it is difficult to deny them access to your room to do this. I got fleas and mites while living at this residence.

In order to get groceries you have to take a "taxi" (mini van) to Bellville or Parow (~6 ZAR). Its very crowded and dirty. Most times, they will sit 5 people on 3 seats.

Students get mugged on their way to the university all the time. I heard horror stories with students that were robbed at gun point, stabbed, thrown out of the moving train.

I regret tremendously attending this programme and choosing South Africa for my education. It was a very disappointing experience and I would not recommend this university and this programme to anyone.
I would discourage anyone from considering this programme. The facilities at the university are inexistent, the professors have limited teaching skills and the area, especially Bellville, is dangerous.

The library has a very limited number of books and no subscription to the on line journals. The professors have a very limited knowledge of corruption issues, money laundering and organised crime issues. They have very poor teaching skills and they are condescending with the students.

The professors here do not use a grading scale to mark papers and you will receive a grade without any justification whatsoever; you cannot appeal your grades. The marking scheme used at this university is very different. The grading is done as follows: >75% (A), 70-74% (B), 60-69% (C), 50-59% (D). Most students have received a C average which means that this grading system is sabotaging your chances to apply for a LLD at another university.

Classes are scheduled for 2.5h but they were usually held only for 1.5h. The programme’s web site says that there will be lectures on Comparative criminal law and Modern Legal History. There were no lectures on Comparative criminal law and there were about 6 (1.5h) lectures on German history.

The staff at this university is very disorganised and it was a challenge to deal with them. Although my thesis was finished a few months before the deadline, the professor supervising me took a very long time to provide me with a feedback. This is a common issue with all the professors in this programme.

The students are housed at the Hector Peterson Residence, which is about 20 minutes away from campus. The facilities there should have been renovated 20 years ago. The bathrooms are shared and they are very dirty. There are no kitchens and there is only one stainless steel sink at every floor. Students had to buy their own fridges (~ 1300 ZAR) and hot plates (~ 120 ZAR) and they had to figure out a way to have them delivered back to the campus.

Although there are bars on the windows, there was a break in almost every week. I was always afraid that someone will break into my room and steal my laptop and my other belongings. I slept with a pepper spray nearby for almost a year.

The security conducts random checks at odd hours (7 am, 12 am) to look for squatters. The pest control comes in every couple of months to spray your mattress, dresser and it is difficult to deny them access to your room to do this. I got fleas and mites while living at this residence.

In order to get groceries you have to take a "taxi" (mini van) to Bellville or Parow (~6 ZAR). It’s very crowded and dirty. Most times, they will sit 5 people on 3 seats.

Students get mugged on their way to the university all the time. I heard horror stories with students that were robbed at gun point, stabbed, thrown out of the moving train.

I regret tremendously attending this programme and choosing South Africa for my education. It was a very disappointing experience and I would not recommend this university and this programme to anyone.
quote
JRAO
I would like to disagree with the sentiments expressed by Verde with respect to this programme. I have been a student in this programme for three years now, first as a master student and now a doctorate student, and would recommend the programme as one of the best of its kind in the region. The moderators of the programme are renowned experts in their field. Professor G. Werle an expert in the field of International Criminal Law teaches this course in the programme, and Professor L. Fernandez, an expert in the field of Transitional Justice having participated as an expert in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, lectures in the course of Transitional Justice. While it is true that the courses on Law against Money Laundering and Anti-corruption Laws, do need some improvements I believe several strides have been made to remedy the shortcomings. Several guest lecturers, experts in the respective fields are invited to supplement the ordinary lectures in the course. Examples of experts include Professor Mark Pieth (leading expert in money laundering) and Mr. Charles Gorodema (senior co-ordinator, Institute of Security Studies-South Africa, expert on Anti-corruption and money laundering laws). In my experience the lectures were given within the prescribed hours.

One of the most exciting experiences that students look up to is the Summer School programme in Berlin. So far three summer schools have been held with improvements every year. During this time the participants get to interact with experts from all regions of the world in the respective fields.

The University of the Western Cape subscribes to internet journals, and has several books available in the library. In addition, a student may access books available at other universities in Capetown such as Stellenbosch University and the University of Capetown, through the inter-university library exchange programme. The Library assistants with my experience are very helpful. I was very pleased with my results at the end of masters programme, and four people in my class graduated with distinctions. The second year saw five students graduate with distinctions from a class of fifteen. The programme has so far had several students graduating every year.

About the HPR, it is the best post-graduate residence offered by the University. If one is not content with its facilities one is free to rent an apartment in Capetown like several students from Europe opt to. Security is a bit of a problem but the university has tried to secure the residence and security guards are posted all around the area to ensure students are safe. I never experienced the mites and fleas like Verde, this however could be a matter of personal hygiene. None of my colleagues have ever complained of the same misfortune and pest control activities are carried out every month to ensure the residence is disinfected. In my view compared to many halls of residence in other African Universities, HPR offers some of the best facilities.
It is important to note that South Africa is a developing country, anyone coming from the developed countries should not expect to receive similar facilities as offered in their countries. My advice would be to carry out more research on the country and have an open mind to experience another culture, and a different way of life. Compared to other African countries South Africa is classified as a developed country. The inter-cultural relationship that the programme offers is invaluable. Students from various countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe have so far been admitted into the programme.

For Phd students the programme even offers an opportunity to carry out your research out of South Africa when necessary. I am currently carrying out my research in Berlin under the same programme and quite content with the programme.
I would like to disagree with the sentiments expressed by Verde with respect to this programme. I have been a student in this programme for three years now, first as a master student and now a doctorate student, and would recommend the programme as one of the best of its kind in the region. The moderators of the programme are renowned experts in their field. Professor G. Werle an expert in the field of International Criminal Law teaches this course in the programme, and Professor L. Fernandez, an expert in the field of Transitional Justice having participated as an expert in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, lectures in the course of Transitional Justice. While it is true that the courses on Law against Money Laundering and Anti-corruption Laws, do need some improvements I believe several strides have been made to remedy the shortcomings. Several guest lecturers, experts in the respective fields are invited to supplement the ordinary lectures in the course. Examples of experts include Professor Mark Pieth (leading expert in money laundering) and Mr. Charles Gorodema (senior co-ordinator, Institute of Security Studies-South Africa, expert on Anti-corruption and money laundering laws). In my experience the lectures were given within the prescribed hours.

One of the most exciting experiences that students look up to is the Summer School programme in Berlin. So far three summer schools have been held with improvements every year. During this time the participants get to interact with experts from all regions of the world in the respective fields.

The University of the Western Cape subscribes to internet journals, and has several books available in the library. In addition, a student may access books available at other universities in Capetown such as Stellenbosch University and the University of Capetown, through the inter-university library exchange programme. The Library assistants with my experience are very helpful. I was very pleased with my results at the end of masters programme, and four people in my class graduated with distinctions. The second year saw five students graduate with distinctions from a class of fifteen. The programme has so far had several students graduating every year.

About the HPR, it is the best post-graduate residence offered by the University. If one is not content with its facilities one is free to rent an apartment in Capetown like several students from Europe opt to. Security is a bit of a problem but the university has tried to secure the residence and security guards are posted all around the area to ensure students are safe. I never experienced the mites and fleas like Verde, this however could be a matter of personal hygiene. None of my colleagues have ever complained of the same misfortune and pest control activities are carried out every month to ensure the residence is disinfected. In my view compared to many halls of residence in other African Universities, HPR offers some of the best facilities.
It is important to note that South Africa is a developing country, anyone coming from the developed countries should not expect to receive similar facilities as offered in their countries. My advice would be to carry out more research on the country and have an open mind to experience another culture, and a different way of life. Compared to other African countries South Africa is classified as a developed country. The inter-cultural relationship that the programme offers is invaluable. Students from various countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe have so far been admitted into the programme.

For Phd students the programme even offers an opportunity to carry out your research out of South Africa when necessary. I am currently carrying out my research in Berlin under the same programme and quite content with the programme.
quote
ayandayo
Anyone considering this programme should note that it is essentially research-driven. You must have the ability to conduct independent research which is capable of influencing policy or legislation. I graduated cum laude. My thesis earned a top grade A (83%) and is about to be published in a leading peer-reviewed journal. The lecturers here are very thorough and pay great attention to details. Do you have the follow-through spirit for legal research? If you do, this programme is for you.
Anyone considering this programme should note that it is essentially research-driven. You must have the ability to conduct independent research which is capable of influencing policy or legislation. I graduated cum laude. My thesis earned a top grade A (83%) and is about to be published in a leading peer-reviewed journal. The lecturers here are very thorough and pay great attention to details. Do you have the follow-through spirit for legal research? If you do, this programme is for you.
quote
i have read with shock the post by Verde discouraging anyone from the programme. i was in the first generation class of the programme and nothing of the sort Verde says ever happened. as some have said, the course is most suited for independent thinkers and not those who expect spoon-feeding. Much as RSA has its own crime problems (like any other city) my stay was a memorable experience. Capetown is one of the most beautiful places in the world and the university being on the outskirts of the city makes it a place where focus is achieved. i graduated cum-laude and now researching for an LL D. By the way, UWC is ranked number 6 or 7 on the top 100 African Universities! (see http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=africa, see also http://www.abroadeducation.com.np/learn-about/top-african-universities.html) Its a great shame that someone would attempt to defame such a wonderful and exciting programme at such a top university!
i have read with shock the post by Verde discouraging anyone from the programme. i was in the first generation class of the programme and nothing of the sort Verde says ever happened. as some have said, the course is most suited for independent thinkers and not those who expect spoon-feeding. Much as RSA has its own crime problems (like any other city) my stay was a memorable experience. Capetown is one of the most beautiful places in the world and the university being on the outskirts of the city makes it a place where focus is achieved. i graduated cum-laude and now researching for an LL D. By the way, UWC is ranked number 6 or 7 on the top 100 African Universities! (see http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=africa, see also http://www.abroadeducation.com.np/learn-about/top-african-universities.html) Its a great shame that someone would attempt to defame such a wonderful and exciting programme at such a top university!
quote
Sosteness
I attended this programme in 2010 as an LL.M student and currently as an LL.D candidate. My impression of it is so far good as regards its organisation and coordination. It is this personal experience which I wish to share.

The modules on Transitional Justice and International Criminal Law are well structured, perfectly delivered and quite enjoyable. They are taught by experienced professors and a number of guest lecturers whose experience and expertise are unquestionable. The other two courses i.e. Anti-corruption Law and the Law of Organised Crime are equally well structured, although they could be improved more if more people with expertise were engaged in the teaching This is because they seemed to be more technical to me and did not have comprehensive text books. Lecture duration (2.5 to 3 hrs) was strictly adhered to except for very few classes where the lecturer had an emergency. Even in such cases (I can only recall 3 cases) classes were done for 1.5 hours and the missed time would be compensated in another class. No class was completely cancelled.

There were prepared class readers for all modules and additionally a text book for international criminal law module authored by the course convenor, Professor G. Werle. These were given to us for free at the beginning of the year. I must admit this was a great motivation (and surprise) to me! I did not expect this to happen at the post-graduate level where, normally, students are expected to carry their own independent research. I must mention the memorable summer school we had in Berlin where we rubbed shoulders with the most prominent and competent professors and practitioners in the world.

The facilities at the University especially the library were quite useful; available and accessible both physically and electronically. Apart from the books in the law section of the library the university is a subscriber to a number of collected electronic journals which are accessible and downloadable from anywhere on campus, in the residence and even offline (outside the university server). The programme has its own books and collection in the library. The books in the library can be borrowed and retained for at most 1 month with an option of renewal (up to 5 books for a postgraduate student). There is also an inter-university book borrowing system (between near-by Universities-Cape Town and Stellenbosch Universities) which could be resorted to in case the book required is not available in the library. All this made it easy to for me independently conduct my research for all the modules and thesis. I finalized my LL.M Research Paper timely and successfully passed with an A grade. Eventually, I graduated Cum Laude, the fact which motivated me to apply for the PH.D scholarship.

The residential facility was not necessarily perfect but there were basic facilities which were convenient for me. One applies to reside in the hostels voluntarily; no one is coerced to do so. In fact, three of our colleagues from Germany decided to hire a car and rented an apartment in Cape Town where they felt they would be more comfortable. Personally, I preferred the university residence because it was comparatively cheaper, with free internet connection and located within a walkable distance to and from campus. There were reported criminal incidents but never happened to me personally, nor did I see one physically. The University has improved security for 24 hours and introduced a shuttle to carry students from campus to the residence and vice versa throughout the night.

Most other factors like public transport system, recreational facilities etc were not a hindrance or a big problem to me. When I applied for the programme I knew beforehand that I was going to study in a developing country (just like my own country) and expected to meet challenges ordinarily found in such countries.

Based on this personal experience I would NOT hesitate to recommend the programme to anyone. Three important things may be necessary for anyone considering to apply: prepare to work more independently; acquaint oneself with the area you are going to; and acquire enough social skills to enable you live and interact productively in such a culturally diverse learning environment.
I attended this programme in 2010 as an LL.M student and currently as an LL.D candidate. My impression of it is so far good as regards its organisation and coordination. It is this personal experience which I wish to share.

The modules on Transitional Justice and International Criminal Law are well structured, perfectly delivered and quite enjoyable. They are taught by experienced professors and a number of guest lecturers whose experience and expertise are unquestionable. The other two courses i.e. Anti-corruption Law and the Law of Organised Crime are equally well structured, although they could be improved more if more people with expertise were engaged in the teaching This is because they seemed to be more technical to me and did not have comprehensive text books. Lecture duration (2.5 to 3 hrs) was strictly adhered to except for very few classes where the lecturer had an emergency. Even in such cases (I can only recall 3 cases) classes were done for 1.5 hours and the missed time would be compensated in another class. No class was completely cancelled.

There were prepared class readers for all modules and additionally a text book for international criminal law module authored by the course convenor, Professor G. Werle. These were given to us for free at the beginning of the year. I must admit this was a great motivation (and surprise) to me! I did not expect this to happen at the post-graduate level where, normally, students are expected to carry their own independent research. I must mention the memorable summer school we had in Berlin where we rubbed shoulders with the most prominent and competent professors and practitioners in the world.

The facilities at the University especially the library were quite useful; available and accessible both physically and electronically. Apart from the books in the law section of the library the university is a subscriber to a number of collected electronic journals which are accessible and downloadable from anywhere on campus, in the residence and even offline (outside the university server). The programme has its own books and collection in the library. The books in the library can be borrowed and retained for at most 1 month with an option of renewal (up to 5 books for a postgraduate student). There is also an inter-university book borrowing system (between near-by Universities-Cape Town and Stellenbosch Universities) which could be resorted to in case the book required is not available in the library. All this made it easy to for me independently conduct my research for all the modules and thesis. I finalized my LL.M Research Paper timely and successfully passed with an “A” grade. Eventually, I graduated Cum Laude, the fact which motivated me to apply for the PH.D scholarship.

The residential facility was not necessarily perfect but there were basic facilities which were convenient for me. One applies to reside in the hostels voluntarily; no one is coerced to do so. In fact, three of our colleagues from Germany decided to hire a car and rented an apartment in Cape Town where they felt they would be more comfortable. Personally, I preferred the university residence because it was comparatively cheaper, with free internet connection and located within a “walkable” distance to and from campus. There were reported criminal incidents but never happened to me personally, nor did I see one physically. The University has improved security for 24 hours and introduced a shuttle to carry students from campus to the residence and vice versa throughout the night.

Most other factors like public transport system, recreational facilities etc were not a hindrance or a big problem to me. When I applied for the programme I knew beforehand that I was going to study in a developing country (just like my own country) and expected to meet challenges ordinarily found in such countries.

Based on this personal experience I would NOT hesitate to recommend the programme to anyone. Three important things may be necessary for anyone considering to apply: prepare to work more independently; acquaint oneself with the area you are going to; and acquire enough social skills to enable you live and interact productively in such a culturally diverse learning environment.
quote
chakacha
Hi I got admission to the LLM program and I was wondering if anyone of you could tell me more about
1. The online application as far as UWC is concerned.
2. Do I need to have Health Insuarance?
3. If so , do I apply one from my country or I have to apply while in Cape Town.
4. For those of you who have finished the LLM programme how useful has your LLM been. That is to say, how have you positively contributed to the society by use of your LLM ?
5. How do I get reside in school hostels.
6. How is the cost of living in UWC generally ?
Hi I got admission to the LLM program and I was wondering if anyone of you could tell me more about
1. The online application as far as UWC is concerned.
2. Do I need to have Health Insuarance?
3. If so , do I apply one from my country or I have to apply while in Cape Town.
4. For those of you who have finished the LLM programme how useful has your LLM been. That is to say, how have you positively contributed to the society by use of your LLM ?
5. How do I get reside in school hostels.
6. How is the cost of living in UWC generally ?
quote
Carolene
This is a wonderful programme. It has so far been very instrumental in my career. The courses offered are very relevant in today 's international criminal justice and have equally become recent areas of interest to the international community. I do not regret having undertaken the programme. I would also not hesitate to recommend this programme to anyone.
This is a wonderful programme. It has so far been very instrumental in my career. The courses offered are very relevant in today 's international criminal justice and have equally become recent areas of interest to the international community. I do not regret having undertaken the programme. I would also not hesitate to recommend this programme to anyone.
quote

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