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Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

The regulations below set down the requirements for award of the SJD degree.
Formal policies and procedures related to enrolment and examination for the SJD, along with information about administration matters, are available from the Postgraduate Studies Office and on the University of Waikato website.
These regulations, policies and procedures are administered by the University's Postgraduate Research Committee.

Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

1.   The Degree is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed a programme of coursework and research in two parts as follows:
  1.1   Part 1 - Research Portfolio
  Candidates must gain a pass grade in the paper LAWS995 Research Portfolio.
  1.2   Part 2 - Thesis
  Candidates must undertake approved and supervised research, and present the results lucidly in a thesis which
  (i)   critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, and
  (ii)   demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, and
  (iii)   displays intellectual independence, and
  (iv)   makes a substantial original contribution to the research area.
2.   To qualify to enrol for the SJD, applicants must
  (a)    have qualified for the award of a bachelors degree with honours or a masters degree, and must have achieved at least second class honours (first division) or distinction, or
  (b)    have qualified for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy, or
  (c)    have passed qualifying papers at a satisfactory level, or
  (d)    in exceptional circumstances have produced other evidence to the satisfaction of the Postgraduate Research Committee that he or she has adequate skills and knowledge to proceed with the proposed research.
3.   Applicants for the SJD must apply on the prescribed form which is available from the Postgraduate Studies Office.
4.   Applications to enrol for the SJD and the conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Postgraduate Research Committee under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
5.   As one of the preconditions for the approval of an application to enrol, the Postgraduate Research Committee will establish that the necessary supervision and resources can be provided for the chosen topic.
6.   If at any time subsequent to the approval of an application the University encounters changes to its staffing or resources, it will make all reasonable effortsto ensure that these do not disadvantage the candidate. However, changes to staffing and resources can mean that a candidate's conditions of enrolment may be subject to change.
7.   Candidates whose applications to enrol for the SJD are approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee must enrol in the Faculty of Law and, subject to progress which meets expectations, pursue their coursework and research for
  (a)    at least three years, if they are enrolled on a full-time basis, or
  (b)    at least six years, if they are enrolled on a part-time basis, or
  (c)    a term approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee which represents a combination of full-time or part-time study.
8.   Enrolment is approved, in the first instance for
  (a)    a maximum of one year in Part 1 and a maximum of four years in Part 1 and Part 2 if the candidate is registered on a full-time basis, or
  (b)    a maximum of two years in Part 1 and a maximum of eight years in Part 1 and Part 2 if the candidate is registered on a part-time basis, or
  (c)    a term approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
9.   Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrolment throughout the entire period of their degree.
10.   Initial enrolment is in Part 1. When the Dean of the Faculty of Law has confirmed that candidates have passed Part 1 to the prescribed standards, candidates may apply for enrolment in Part 2.
11.   On the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty of Law and on successful completion of a presentation about the proposed research to a confirmation of enrolment panel, candidates who have completed Part 1 but whose results are not yet confirmed may be permitted to apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for conditional enrolment in Part 2. Confirmation of enrolment by the Postgraduate Research Committee is subject to confirmation that the candidate has passed Part 1 to the prescribed standards.
12.   For each candidate who proceeds to Part 2 of the SJD, the Postgraduate Research Committee appoints a supervisory panel. Each SJD candidate must have a minimum of two supervisors, one of whom is a continuing staff member of the University and the chief supervisor.
13.   Candidates are required to maintain contact with their supervisory panel throughout the entire period of the enrolment in their degree.
14.   Candidates enrolled for Part 2 of the SJD must submit six-monthly reports on the progress of their research work.
15.   Notwithstanding section 8 of these regulations, a candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for a suspension from enrolment for a maximum period of twelve months full-time equivalent. A candidate is not entitled to supervision or any University resources during a period of suspension and does not incur tuition fees.
16.   A candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for an extension of enrolment for a maximum period of twelve months full-time equivalent during their higher degree programme.
17.   The Postgraduate Research Committee has authority to terminate the enrolment of a candidate at any time if the candidate fails to demonstrate satisfactory progress which meets Faculty expectations or comply with any regulations or policies which relate to enrolment for the Degree.
18.   An SJD thesis may consist of the candidate's published or unpublished material, or a combination of both. All such material must have been produced within the term of enrolment.
19.   Candidates must indicate in the thesis any component that has been used or presented for any other degree.
20.   Candidates must comply with the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2014 which set out the University's requirements with respect to the submission and presentation of theses.
21.   The Postgraduate Research Committee appoints at least two examiners for the candidate's thesis who are external to the University and not directly connected with the candidate or the candidate's research. At least one of the external examiners is based overseas. In the case of divergent examination outcomes, the Postgraduate Research Committee will appoint a third examiner.
22.   The Postgraduate Research Committee makes a decision to proceed to oral examination based on the recommendations and reports of the examiners following the written examination.
23.   In order for an oral examination of the candidate to be held at least two examiners should recommend that the thesis proceed to oral examination. The Postgraduate Research Committee may resolve
  (a)    that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, does not require significant revisions;
  (b)    that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, revisions anticipated;
  (c)    that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination. The candidate should be asked to re-enrol for a minimum of 6 months to undertake the major revisions indicated in the examiners reports and in due course to re-submit the thesis for re-examination;
  (d)    that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the doctoral degree but is acceptable as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (subject to amendments of a minor nature); or
  (e)    that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the award of a doctoral degree.
24.   The Postgraduate Research Committee makes a final decision on the award of the Degree. On the basis of the final report of the examiners following the oral examination, the Postgraduate Research Committee will resolve
  (a)    that the thesis be accepted in its present form as fulfilling the requirements of Part 2 for the SJD, or
  (b)    that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of Part 2 for the SJD subject to the candidate undertaking minor amendments and/or correcting typographical errors as required by the examiners, to the satisfaction of the chief supervisor, or
  (c)    that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of Part 2 for the SJD subject to the candidate completing substantial amendments to the satisfaction of all the examiners or the chief supervisor, provided that these amendments are not so substantial as to necessitate re-submission and are completed within ten weeks, or
  (d)    that the thesis is not acceptable in its present form and be returned to the candidate, who may revise it and re-submit it for examination after a re-enrolment for a minimum period of six months, or
  (e)    that the thesis is not acceptable for the SJD but should be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of the degree of Master of Laws or Master of Philosophy, or
  (f)    that the candidate has failed to meet the required standard and that no degree be awarded.
25.   A candidate may revise and re-submit a thesis only once and only one oral examination will be held.
26.   Candidates who have completed Part 1 of the Degree, but who have not qualified to proceed to Part 2 may apply to the Dean of the Faculty of Law to transfer to the Postgraduate Diploma of Law.
27.   Candidates may apply to the Dean of the Faculty of Law, at any time during Part 2 of the SJD before submission of the thesis, to transfer to the LLM.
28.   Candidates may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee, at any time during Part 2 of the SJD before submission of the thesis, to transfer to the MPhil.
29.   Applicants or candidates for the SJD who wish to appeal a decision by the Postgraduate Research Committee, or who have a concern about supervision or any other aspect of their candidature, may raise the matter under the Higher Degree Appeals and Complaints Regulations.
30.   The Postgraduate Research Committee may vary or waive these regulations in individual cases. The Postgraduate Research Committee is required to report any decisions under this authority to the Research Committee.

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