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Prof. D. van der Merwe

Prof. D. van der Merwe


Derek van der Merwe was born in Mufulira in Zambia in 1955. He matriculated as dux pupil at the Frans du Toit High School in Phalaborwa in 1971. He studied law at the University of Pretoria, where he was awarded the degrees BA (Law) and LLB (cum laude) in 1974 and 1976 respectively. After completing his compulsory military service in 1977-8, he was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Legal History, Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the University of South Africa in 1979. He left Unisa in 1986 to become Professor of Private Law at the Rand Afrikaans University. He was Chairperson of the Department of Private Law from 1988-1992, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law in 1992 and Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1993-2001. He was appointed Vice-Rector (Research and Academic Management) of RAU in 2001 and became Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Administration and Research) and Registrar of the University of Johannesburg in 2005. In 2006 he became Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg. He was awarded the LLD degree by the University of Pretoria in 1982. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Scholar in 1985 and again in 1999. He was awarded the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Fellowship in 1999 and in the same year was visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His fields of academic specialisation is legal theory, legal history, property law and social assistance law.

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