The Role of Law Teachers in Preventing Corruption and Misuse of Public Office

Paper presented at the 2013 CLEA Conference in Durban

Jean Chrysostome Kanamugire
Faculty of Law, Mafikeng Campus, Mafikeng, North West University

Corruption and misuse of public office have created outcry in society. The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004 creates a general offence of corruption and various corrupt activities relating to specific persons and specific matters. Corruption affects both officials and individuals in the performance of their functions. It undermines development and weakens the hard won values of democracy. Corruption is found in all countries although there are tough measures to prevent it in all areas of life.

Law teachers play a significant impact in the life of students who, in future, will occupy top posts in the government. They shape behaviours and impact on ethical values for individuals. Law teachers can inform the students the impact of corruption on society and its severe consequences for persons convicted of such heinous crime. Perception about public offices must be changed or adjusted in order to prevent corrupt activities. Public and private officials need to be guaranteed that their basic needs will be assured even if they leave power or office. This can encourage them to avoid corruption in all their activities and functions. The law teachers have to inspire students to always act ethically while they are still with them. The students often contact with members of the communities and they can make a significant change in society as they may stimulate people not to be involved in corrupt activities.

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