Civil disobedience has become a widespread problem in many societies in recent times, and several changes have been brought about in consequence. It has grown to encompass moral and political demonstrations of various forms taking place in numerous geographical areas. During the past two decades civil disobedience has been practised by many, including civil rights protestors, antiwar groups, and student groups protesting both university and government policies. Most recently Bishop Desmond Tutu promised, from a pulpit in Atlanta, USA, that he would lead a campaign of civil disobedience against the apartheid laws in South Africa. It is the purpose of this article to examine the idea of civil disobedience with reference to the media, its classification, the problem of definition, the role, effect and risks of civil disobedience, civil disobedience and South African law, civil disobedience and the legal practitioner, and civil disobedience seen in philosophical perspective.
Sovereign states often conclude agreements with private individuals or companies for the performance of various services. Such contracts may include teaching, engineering services or contracts for the exploration and exploitation of the wealth and natural resources of the contracting state. Questions of interest to public international law may be raised when such contracts are concluded between states and foreign nationals and companies. For instance, a controversial and relevant question has been the exact legal status of such contracts in the realm of public international law. Are they "internationalised" contracts to be treated at the same level with treaties and other inter-state agreements? A related question is whether or not a contracting state would infringe norms of general international law were it unilaterally to modify or prematurely terminate a concession agreement subsisting between it and a private company. In this paper, these and other related questions will be raised and discussed with a view to reaching conclusions based on existing state practice, the decisions of arbitral awards and the views of publicists.
Without the continuous goodwill of landowners themselves the nature area as a concept can fail in the long term, in a similar manner to the failure of he 'virgin soils' provision of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act. Both these largely restrictive conservation measures rely to a substantial extent on landowners' participation in, and assistance to, the statutory management committees central to their long term implementation. There is clearly a pressing requirement for legal reforms to help encourage private landowners to a more spontaneous adoption of: (a) conservation independent of 'legal coercion' and (b) retention of conservation measures over the long term. Legal conservation restrictions which are backed by neither effective policing nor personal-gain incentives such as financial compensation, therefore become close to being merely symbolic. It is more harmful in the long run to have these relatively 'inexpensive paper conservation measures' than it would be to omit them, as they can lull both authorities and the general public into a dangerous sense of false security. Without critical reforms which include financial incentives, in combination with extension communication to landowners, little hope exists that legal restrictions per se will achieve long term conservation objectives.
It is a gain for the state conservation authorities to allow and encourage private landowners to conserve areas of 'natural heritage' where fiscal funds would be insufficient for both the acquisition and running of additional conservation areas. However even financial incentives, which require greater expenditure than, for example, other recognition based strategies, e.g. natural heritage plaques and certificates, would invariably represent merely a partial aid for the landowner. The landowner's additional personal services and responsibility for managing private conservation areas would come free of charge to the state. To a significant degree the issue of permanence of the latter can be confronted by applying principles at least comparable to current state guarantees of permanence. Private ownership and management of ecosystems represent invaluable stop-gap measures for subsequent mutually agreed upon takeover of responsibility by the state at some later date if or when the need arises.
Rape is a serious problem in Swaziland but its treatment by the courts indicates that it is not taken seriously enough. Although Swazi culture has a high respect for women, evidenced by the position of the Queen Mother and the respect afforded the mother in the traditional homestead, women are not free to walk about the country without fear of sexual assault. Rape is not simply a "women's issue" but is an issue which effects everyone, male or female. Every man who cares for any woman - his wife, his mother, his sister, his child - is concerned to protect her from the violence and humiliation of rape. It is important that the laws be made to conform to the realities of life today in Swaziland, that the public be educated as to what to do if they or someone they know is raped, and that the crime be taken seriously by both the criminal justice system and the public at large.
Roman-Dutch law in turn formed part of a universal "European system of law". From the late Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century the main states of Central and Western Europe lived under the same law, the only exceptions being England (not Scotland), and to a certain extent the Scandinavian countries. This uniform system of law, called the ius commune was the result of a long process of European legal history, and in particular of the "reception" of Roman law which took place from about 1200 to 1500. Roman law was taught at all law schools in Europe - for a long period it was even the only subject of academic legal training. There was a body of European legal literature, written in Latin, which was used throughout the European continent. The great commentaries and treatises of the Dutch legal scholars, like Voet and Huber, formed part of this literature. It is to the more important characteristics of this European ius commune, that this article is devoted. The article covers the following aspects: the sources of the ius commune; the scientific method applied to it; the fields or provinces of the law in which it had application; its role in various European countries; the basis of its authority; and today's assessment of the ius commune.