The purpose of this article is to examine the international legal aspects of African indebtedness. It addresses the various international responses, both African and otherwise, which have evolved in relation to the debt position. Furthermore, the article considers what norms of general international law may be invoked in a bid to resolve this important contemporary problem facing Africa and the international community.
The political developments in the erstwhile communist bloc will have an effect both on public international law in general, and on South Africa's position in the international community. For the purposes of this article a detailed discussion of the various political, constitutional, military and economic changes affecting Eastern Europe were unnecessary. The article includes a synopsis of the general political and constitutional trends which may affect public international law, as public international law is based not on the particularities of any specific country, but reflects the practice of a particular region or of the international community as a whole.
In this exploratory article it was sought to show that the legal aspects of weather modification are of topical interest in southern Africa. Weather modification has been governed by the South African Water Act since 1972, and a system of administrative control has been established through licensing and criminal sanction. In property law weather modification involves problems regarding rights to clouds, air and precipitation. Weather modification activities also involve potential delictual liability for property damage or nuisance; and proof of causation is the most important problem facing a plaintiff Weather modification also has implications for international law , and a comprehensive international treaty on the subject is desirable.
The valuable role that investigative journalism plays in a democratic society, in as much as the public is informed of matters in which they may have a legitimate interest, must never be underestimated. Yet, in performing this role, the media often comes into conflict with the law of contempt. No responsible journalist or member of the public wants to see a trial conducted by the media, but it must always be recognised that conflicting interests may be present. It is therefore indeed conceivable that there may be circumstances where the possibility of prejudice to a litigant may be required to yield to superior considerations, for example the right of the public to be informed of a matter which is of vital public interest (and not merely of interest to the public). It is submitted that in this respect a distinction can be drawn between pending criminal proceedings and pending civil proceedings in so far as the freedom of the individual is not at stake in the latter case. There is no final or foolproof method to distinguish between a mala fide plaintiff in defamation proceedings and a bona fide one. In the author's view the recognition of a ground of justification based on the public interest, excluding the unlawfulness of publication of information regarding a pending defamation case, will at least confine the extent to which the law is presently open to abuse.
In its explanatory memorandum on the Matrimonial Property BILL 1984, the Department of Justice stated that in order to ensure the stability of marriage it was imperative that legislation reflect the principles of the modern marriage namely equality, community of interests and unity; and that the Bill endeavoured to reconcile the law with prevailing social views. It is suggested that in keeping with the prevailing views of the 1990s, community of interests and unity should not be stressed at the expense of equality.
It is common knowledge that Malawi is a very strong member of two regional organisations, namely: the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) and the Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference (SADCC). The principal aim of both of these organisations is the enhancement of trade among the member states. This means that the various governments within these organisations should embark on a deliberate campaign to encourage intra-regional trade. However, increased trade amongst the member states will naturally mean that disputes of an international nature will arise between the contracting parties. One method of dispute settlement is by arbitration. In this article the author examines the Malawian Arbitration Act. The provisions of this Act are analysed, followed by a discussion on how the Act is applied in practice, including references to decided cases. Finally, the suitability of the Act is considered for the determination of international commercial disputes; and if it is not, what can be done to rectify the situation.
In this contribution the current legal developments in Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Transkei, Venda and Zimbabwe with regards to principal legislation, government notices and judicial decisions are briefly descriptionbed.