The School of Law has been operational for over forty years and continues to enjoy recognition not only as one of the oldest schools in the University but also as the most prestigious law school in the country. The School has during its existence educated and graduated the bulk of our prominent lawyers currently in Government and the private sector. Many of its alumni also enjoy recognition as outstanding scholars in the diaspora.
Despite its many successes however the School has faced many challenges attributable to a growing student body without a corresponding increase in resources. In order to overcome these challenges, the School held a National Colloquium on the future of legal education in Zambia in April 2008. The hugely successful Colloquium brought together many of its alumni from within the country and abroad. The Colloquium agreed on various activities to revive the School’s fortunes many of which will come to fruition in the next year or two. These include the modernization and expansion of the School’s curriculum; the creation of two departments – one of Public and the other of Private Law; the re-activation of the Staff Development Programme (already operational); the re-introduction of a taught masters programme; and general improvements in the management and delivery of the LLB and LLM programmes. In the long-term, the School with the support of its Alumni and other well-wishers hopes to construct its own building.
As the School begins the new academic year, it is excited to take the first challenging steps towards realizing its goal of creating a modern, dynamic and quality driven institution that plays a leading role in the delivery of legal education in Zambia. Find herebelow some basic information about the School and its programmes.
ROLE OF SCHOOL IN UNIVERSITY
The School enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the University. On the one hand, the School is hosted by and derives much of its recognition from the University and on the other hand, the School’s reputation brings a certain amount of prestige to the University. This relationship is enjoyed through the provision of financial and advisory services provided by the School to various institutions within the University.
VISION OF THE SCHOOL OF LAW
The vision of the School of Law is to be nationally and internationally a respected leading academic centre totally dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, in learning, and in research and other creative endeavors aimed at the advancement of the frontiers of knowledge; and to be a significant contributor in the qualitative and quantitative continuous development and improvement of the human resource capacity of the nation, Africa and the world at large.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE SCHOOL OF LAW
Consistent with its vision, the Law School is committed to:
- Providing relevant quality academic programmes in an environment that is attractive, vibrant, well-equipped and congenial for both students and staff;
- Producing graduates of high standards, well-rounded and versatile, and fully equipped with life-long knowledge and skills;
- Developing among its students worthy values and the spirit and culture of social responsibility and service to the community; and
- Academic freedom and integrity, institutional autonomy, the advancement of scholarship, and inter-disciplinary collaboration.
Among the School’s achievements is the large number of law graduates it has produced to meet the manpower needs in the country and in the sub-region not to mention further afield. In addition to fulfilling the country’s manpower needs, the School has also contributed greatly to the development of the Zambian legal system.
The School’s internal achievements include the setting up of the Zambia Legal Information Institute – an on-line resource. The School has initiated and maintained the Zambia Law Journal one of the most successful journals in the University. Through a book project financed by SIDA, the School was able to publish over a dozen core textbooks for its students: The books are now prescribed for use in other Zambian Universities.
The most important public service initiative undertaken by the School was the introduction of an Evening Programme to cater for persons who are unable for one reason or another to enter the School through the University quota system. On a smaller scale, the ZAMLII site has provided free access to many legal materials such as court judgments.
The School is occasionally involved in paralegal training programmes for various organizations. However the School’s individual lecturers are engaged in several legal aid activities by virtue of their professional connections.
The Law School Alumni Association
The Law School Alumni Association is constituted by graduates of the University of Zambia - School of Law and its major objective is to support the School of Law in its endeavour to undergo a process of renewal.The School of Law was officially recognized as one of the schools of the University on 1st July 1967, two years after the University was set up. The School was housed in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Thirty-two students made up the first class and twenty-three of these graduated in 1970. The objectives of the School as approved by the University Senate were to:1. Join in the building and development of the legal system in Zambia and, generally, to make available the resources of the School in staff and students for the welfare of the community;
2. Produce lawyers in Zambia of quality at least as good as the best from abroad and better fitted to meet the needs of developing countries like Zambia; and
3. Be prepared to offer, where these are desirable and required, law-teaching facilities for other institutions of Zambia.
Over the years, the School has produced almost all of the country’s law graduates, many of whom hold or have held some of the highest offices in the Land and beyond. The quality of many of these graduates has so far enabled the School to retain its position as the foremost law school in the country. However the School has began to recognize that this elevated position cannot be maintained indefinitely without taking active steps towards a renewal of the School as a teaching institution of distinction.
The School’s renewal necessitates an infusion of both material and non material resources because although the School’s student population has increased ten-fold, its resources have dwindled in comparison thereby creating many challenges. These challenges include competition from emerging private universities; the quality of University of Zambia law students and graduates; the quality of the University of Zambia law teachers; the quality of the programmes offered by the School; the lack of adequate teaching and research materials; and the need to fundraise and construct a separate building to house the School of Law at the University of Zambia in order to finally give it both visibility and a tangible separate identity.
At the end of the National Colloquium on the Future of Legal Education in Zambia held from 28th -30th April 2008, the School with the support and input of its many stakeholders and alumni both locally and abroad, was able to articulate a clear strategy for achieving a renewed vision of the School: A vision of the School as the leading institution of legal education in Zambia, providing a variety of postgraduate and undergraduate law programmes in a well resourced and conducive teaching environment, well attuned to the needs of Zambia today and in the future. The formation of an alumni association was among the major resolutions of the Colloquium. Named the “Law School Alumni Association”, it was registered on 18th January 2010. It will be launched at its first AGM scheduled to take place in Lusaka on 6th August 2010.