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Research Support Guide for Law Postgraduate Students and Academic Staff

Research support assistance and useful library resources for Postgraduate students and Academic Staff

Textbooks are a very good source for starting research on any topic and should be seen as your first port of call. Do take care to use the latest editions where possible. Within a library environment books on the same subject are found together on the shelves.
Once you have found books on your topic browse the shelves for more on the same topic. Many law books are now published as e-books.
The reason why one should start with the books is that they will give both a broad overview of the subject as well as some detail on specifics. Usually, the author(s) or editor(s) will have done considerable research on a topic for the book. It is recommended that you follow up the footnotes to legislation, regulations, case law, books and other material.

It may be helpful to see a visual display of the research process.  See a general flowchart for the legal research process. 


Prescribed textbooks will be available at short loan on Level 5

Book Jacket

Criminal Law

Authors: Snyman, C. R.6th ed. Durban: LexisNexis SA. 2014

Book Jacket

Fundamental Principles of Civil Procedure

Authors: Theophilopoulos, Constantine
Van Heerden, C. M.
Boraine, A.
Third edition. Durban: LexisNexis SA. 2015

Book Jacket

Information and Communications Technology Law

Authors:Van der Merwe, D. P.
Roos, Anneliese Pistorius, Tana
Second edition. Durban: LexisNexis SA. 2016

Book Jacket

International Law

Authors: Strydom, H. A.Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa. 2016


Book Jacket

Jurisprudence in an African Context

Authors: Bilchitz, David Metz, Thaddeus
Oyowe, Oritsegbubemi: 
Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa. 2017

Book Jacket

Law of Delict

Authors: Neethling, J. Potgieter, J. M. Visser, P. J.: Seventh edition. Durban: LexisNexis SA. 2015

Book Jacket

Law of Intellectual Property in South Africa

Authors: Geyer, S. Kelbrick, R. A. Klopper, H. B.: Second edition. Durban: LexisNexis SA. 2016

Book Jacket

South African Constitutional Law in Context

Authors: Brand, Danie Freedman, Warren De Vos, Pierre: Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa. 2014


Book Jacket

The Principles of The Law of Property in South Africa

Authors: Badenhorst, P. J. Pope, Anne Mostert, Hanri: Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa. 2010

Guide to Business Law 5e (VitalSource eBook)

Guide to Business Law - Kopel, Shawn. 2012 

Cover Art

Introduction to legal pluralism in South Africa by Rautenbach, C. (Christa), editor. 

Publication Date: 2018

Cover Art

Africa and International Criminal Justice by Fred Aja Agwu: Publication Date: 2019-12-03


Law of South Africa (LAWSA) | Thorolds

"The Law of South Africa (LAWSA) is the only complete narrative statement of South African law from all its sources, including statutory law, case law and common law. It has been published for over 40 years and is widely considered a prestigious authority and first point of reference for research. It is arranged alphabetically by subject into 162 titles, each title written by a subject expert from the judiciary, legal profession or academia and is vetted by an eminent editorial panel. It includes several indexes and updating service. Available in online and in print as 63 hardcover title volumes + 2 volume Lawsa supplement." (Definition from LexisNexis).

My LexisNexis

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations

This database allows you to search for the meaning of abbreviations for English language legal publications, from the British Isles, the Commonwealth and the United States, including those covering international and comparative law.

A wide selection of major foreign language law publications is also included. Publications from over 295 jurisdictions are featured in the Index.

The database mainly covers law reports and law periodicals but some other legal publications are also included. The Index is under continuous development with new abbreviations and titles being added on a regular basis.

Search by Title

Enter the title of a Law publication to find the abbreviation 

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Search by Abbreviation

Enter an abbreviation to find matching Law publication titles

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Online Legal dictionaries

5 ways to read free books online - Books - The Jakarta Post

Present your student card to the staff when making your first visit to the Library to ensure that you have been registered on our database system.

How many books may be borrowed from the
open shelves?

• Undergraduates: 4 items for 2 weeks
• Postgraduates: 10 items for 4 weeks
• Staff: 30 items for 6 weeks

Book renewal
• Items that have been borrowed from the open bookshelves may be renewed twice.
• Renewals are allowed only if the item is not overdue or not in demand.

• R1.00 per day per item for most overdue items
• R5.00 per hour per item for overdue Short loan items

Short Loans Section
• Prescribed texts, recommended readings are available in this section
• Books may be used for 1 hour only
• Books may be borrowed overnight from 2 pm during the week and 12 pm on Fridays
• Maximum of 2 items may be borrowed
• DVDs and CDRoms obtainable from this section may be viewed on level 5

Lost Material
You will be charged the replacement cost of the item plus
an additional handling charge.

Contact details:
Circulation Desk: 021 959 2946



University of the Western Cape,

Robert Sobukwe Road,



Tel: 021 959 2946