Understanding the dire need for establishing school of law for Puntland , the Puntland State University (PSU) and the UNDP Access to Justice Program cooperated in establishing the first Faculty of Law in Puntland in October 2008 . The decision has come in conjunction with the overall policy of the government of Puntland in strengthening the judiciary system.
The philosophy of the Faculty of Law is the intellectual ground on which the faculty’s vision, mission and strategy are based. The faculty of law aspires to be the center of legal erudition in Puntland in light of the rapid developments of the legal domain and marked severe shortage of trained law professionals .
Since its establishment, the faculty has adopted the philosophy of right, justice, equality and freedom, which are the objectives that law seeks to attain at the human level and from an Islamic perspective with due respect to the individual and the development of individual capabilities and powers in a way that serves the homeland and the society. The faculty understands that education, science, creativity, invention and development are important and essential tools for achieving the goals of the educational policy in Puntland. This is reflected on its law curricula and their scientific contents.
To reflect the social needs, the faculty’s curricula is designed to teach Sharia and formal law in parallel with the aim of producing high qualified law cadres who could fill the current marked gaps in legal profession in Puntland .
In close collaboration with UNDP and puntland Ministry of Justice, the Faculty of Law, University of PSU, achieves its educational mission by qualifying its students to work in legislative and judicial authorities and institutions, and the legal departments, providing them with legal knowledge, and relating the practical reality to the theoretical study to enable the student to positively change and influence their societies and to fulfill their societies’ developed and new needs.
To contribute in the sustainable development, the Faculty of Law plays a role in serving the society by virtue of its legal training courses and seminars organized within the framework of its continuing education program. The continuing education program aims at achieving the university’s policy of openness to society with all its sectors and institutions in order to fulfill the society’s needs and requirements and to provide it with all information, skills and experiences through legal courses and programs that are organized and planned deliberately and carefully.
PSU Faculty of Sharia and Law makes every effort to deliver educational service leading to providing graduates possessing all the knowledge, skills and values necessary for practicing the legal profession at a level comparable to graduates of prestigious law schools in the Region .
PSU Faculty of Sharia and Law envisages to take a place among the prestigious law schools in the region by meeting the latest standards of legal education, research and community service.
Produce leaders and experts in legal profession and develop scholars well versed in numerous branches of Shariah & Law to provide intellectual approach and guidance in the process of reform Puntland Judiciary System.
Objectives of the Faculty of Sharia and Law:
The faculty of Shari‘a and Law was established to achieve a number of objectives which are as follow:-
- To produce law cadres that are qualified scientifically and practically and enabling them to attain legal knowledge by themselves and to keep in line with the continuous development.
- To promote bilingualism in the study of law, that is, giving equal emphasis to both Arabic and English in study and research.
- To Contribute to developing the legal culture of the society through lectures and the continuing education of law specialists in different departments of Puntland State .
- To reinforce law professors’ relations with legislative and judicial authorities to enable the faculty to serve the society.
- To promote research into and publication of Somali law, not only as regards the reception of the Civil Law but also in the fields of Islamic law and Customary law.
- To Servie the society and fulfilling its needs by graduating lawyers and legal advisors and providing the legislative and judicial authorities with specialized law cadres.
- To Render technical and specialized consultation services, including explanation of laws and commenting on judicial rulings and so on.
- To promote protection of human rights , especially in women’s and children’s rights; fostering civil society and NGO development through capacity & coalition building; enhancing the rule of law by encouraging citizen participation; advancing human rights education.
The main objectives of our programmes in the Faculty of Shariah & Law is to produce leaders and experts in legal profession and develop scholars well versed in numerous branches of Shariah & Law to provide intellectual approach and guidance in the process of building Somali State and modern Law. The graduates of our Faculty are fully competent to assume judicial as well as complementary and supporting role with better knowledge, training, studies and research.
This new syllabus has been designed with putting our Somali social needs in the centre, since graduates of the faculty are supposed to work for the community and hence they must equip with necessary legal and ethical knowledge , attitude and skills , as international and regional standards of law education has also been taken into account .
The current syllabus will teach 34 faculty requirement subjects and 5 university requirement subjects carrying a total of 186 credit hours (30 for university requirement courses and 156 for faculty requirement courses ).
Obviously , the number of subjects are moderate , but proposed credit hour seems to be high in comparison with other university faculties which is approximately between 120 -140 credit hours . this is attributable to the nature of this faculty where its subjects are dived both Sharia and law in parallel and when we have compared with its law counterparts in Malaysia , Sudan and Pakistan , they are between 170-190 .this is to say that the proposed credit hours are in line with regional and international law education standards .
Apart from the class based credit hours , there will be 6 credits for internship (Training activities for students to put to the test the knowledge acquired during the degree with the aim of familiarizing themselves with the integrated practice of Law. The activities deployed shall pertain to the professional environment in which they do their internship (professional offices legal offices, public administrations, notaries, non-profit-making organisations).
A piece of work aiming to accredit a sufficient command of the competencies and abilities of a jurist. The work shall cover a knowledge of various branches of ordinance and shall include the writing of a document and an oral presentation. The work shall be directed by an academic tutor who, together with the student, shall establish the type of work for presentation (ruling; preparation and defence of a case; preparation of an intervention in a simulated trial or moot court; research work of a theoretical nature)
Admission to undergraduate LLB degree programmes is based on academic achievement at the secondary school level (not less than C level). All applicants for admission must submit legitimate high school/secondary school completion certificates to the PSU Admissions Office to qualify for admission. In addition, qualified applicants must also pass the PSU entrance examination to gain admission to the university programmes. The entrance examinations will mainly on the command of both English and Arabic.
The placement examination requirements may be lowered slightly for otherwise qualified female candidates in line with the university’s policy on the promotion of the female gender in accessing higher education. The latter will then, where necessary, attend remedial courses once they are admitted into university programmes to upgrade their basic skills particularly in Arabic and English proficiency.
In view of the Faculty’s goal to produce leaders and experts in legal profession and develop scholars well versed in numerous branches of Shariah & Law to provide intellectual approach and guidance in the process of reform Puntland Judiciary System, the Faculty of Sharia & Law endeavors to produce students with strong bilingual qualification in legal studies as clear catch and response to today’s legal market needs in Puntland in particular and Somalia in general . Students are supposed to study all Islamic Law courses in Arabic while they are to study all Civil Law courses in English.
Faculty unique Strengths
The faculty is the first of its kind in Somalia to render law studies in both Arabic and English in order to prepare law professionals who can meet multitude challenges of the job market requirements.
The faculty enjoys the support of several international agencies , mainly UNDP who have contributed to the its establishment and renders valuable support to the faculty in terms of sponsoring many students , placing students in an internship training , curriculum design, teacher development and construction of office spaces and class spaces .
The study of law improves powers of reasoning, clarity of thought and the ability to analyse and express complicated ideas. Such skills are in demand in a wide variety of areas including commerce, social engineering schemes, social services, politics, humanitarian aid, the media and the upper echelons of the public services.
The faculty combines its law studied with special tailored legal trainings conducted by expatriate legal experts in collaboration with international donors such as UNDP. Such trainings are designed to bridge gabs of certain areas such as legal writing, legal analysis, lawyering skills , report writing and legal research.
The wide career opportunities open to law graduates is evidenced by the fact that 75% of current law students who study law at Puntland State University have already secured jobs in the courts, ministers, international agencies and private sectors. A legal education opens more doors than just the practice of law in courts and law forms.
The faculty enables student to internship programme in collaboration with UNDP Access to Justice. The internship makes law students aware of the work environment of the place where they intern such as courts, Law-firms, NGOs , ministers , etc. By way of internship law student of PSU can compete in today’s competitive job markets. Law internships typically range from 3 to 6 months and are done after student pass to the third year academic semesters