This article is the first in a trilogy dealing with three major theoretical problems confronting modem comparative legal methodology. The premise of the trilogy is that contrary to certain views, there are definite paradigmatic differences in approach to comparative law. These reflect the theoretical assumptions and points of departure subjacent to the use of the comparative method by modem exponents of the schools of thought in comparative law, and therefore, in legal science as such. Comparative legal thought is besieged by methodological relativism, or even 'anarchism'. There is an astonishing disregard, denial, or simply a total ignorance of the fact that methodologies are formulated in, determined by and to a large extent comprehensible only within, the ambits of the philosophical frameworks within which they are generated. These philosophical frameworks determine the use of concrete comparative methods or techniques in trans-theoretical or non-theoretical contexts in relation to the objects of investigation. This leads to the general , almost apologetic, reduction of those methods and techniques to the subjective preferences, interests and aims of individual comparatists.
International sale contracts are generally governed by the national law of a given country, determined in accordance with applicable rules of private international law or in terms of an express choice of law clause, on application of the widely accepted principle of party autonomy. In the absence of clear choice of law, however, the selection of the governing law in accordance with conflict rules is complicated, among others, by the simple fact that most domestic sales laws are not tailored to meet the specific needs of modem international sales. To avoid the inconveniences arising from the application of domestic laws to international situations, the law of international trade has developed bases for a common understanding of the obligations arising from international sales through the establishment of uniform substantive rules. The 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is the most notable recent example in this regard. As of February 1994, thirty-seven states, among them major trading nations such as the United States and several EU countries, had ratified or acceded to the CISG.
In this article it is submitted that the opportunity to create a strong and effective Department of Environment Affairs has been missed, hopefully temporarily. The 1993 Environment Conservation Amendment Acts does little to promote a system of comprehensive national environmental management. The Department of Environment's policy document and White Paper are deficient, particularly for failing to propose any fundamental restructuring of government departments to promote integrated conservation and land use and planning activities. The only area of environmental management which is likely to be restructured is that of pollution control. It seems that the pursuit of an holistic national environmental management system has fallen prey to a pragmatic but unenlightened rejection of an effective Department of Environment Affairs, and an unjustifiable sympathy for bureaucracies. Comparative analyses have shown, however, that an effective and participative management system is attainable.
The purpose of this article is to draw attention to urgent needs that exist in the field of maternity protection for women in industry and to evaluate the extent to which the Transitional Constitution addresses these. Since a purely theoretical discussion would be of rather limited value, this paper utilises research which the author undertook in order to ascertain the nature of maternity benefits being provided by employers in the textile industry in selected areas of Natal during 1989-1990. The essential components of maternity protection for working women are job protection, the right to maternity leave for a specified period, a cash benefit to replace wages lost during the leave period, and adequate health and medical insurance during pregnancy, at the time of childbirth, and for postnatal care. South African legislation as it stands contains each of these components, but they are skewed in such a way as to undermine their effectiveness and thus that of the whole maternity policy policy package. In this article each of these components will be discussed in turn.
The introduction of a bill of rights and the consequent demise of parliamentary sovereignty demands a reassessment of judicial interpretation in South Africa. The current changes in South Africa are the result of mobilisation and organisation by the oppressed and disempowered majority, not the benevolence or altruism of the courts. The object of this article is not to provide an exhaustive account of the interpretative approach of South African judges during the apartheid era. This has already been done by better qualified scholars. Rather, it will focus on the two models of judicial interpretation applied in South Africa in the adjudication of apartheid laws. First, the 'plain fact' approach based on legal positivism, and second, the common law approach based on the writings of Ronald Dworkin. It will conclude that neither of these provides an adequate account of the role of South African law in progressive social struggle in either apartheid or post apartheid South Africa, and that promoting one or the other prescriptively has had very little impact on the decisions of the courts.
The law of modem Japan is still very much of a foreign import. It is not the product of centuries of slow, organic growth. Hence, not all of its elements fit comfortably into the Japanese environment. To the extent that the imported law is not socially useful, the Japanese will prefer their traditional morality. Japanese morality is, however, not static but develops with the times; so does the law. What concept of law and legal system will result, is difficult to predict with precision, except to say that it will be Japanese.
Over the years various issues relating to the position of women in society in South Africa and the disadvantages suffered by them have been identified. However, it is particularly in recent years, and especially in the run up to the election, that these issues have been emphasised. Although the focus may vary according to the background and experience of the women concerned, there is consensus on the key issues to be faced. As highlighted in the ANC Reconstruction and Development Programme these issues include: 1) the legal status of women with regard to their rights, customary law, religious and cultural customs; 2) employment which includes equal opportunities and working conditions; 3) violence encompassing political intimidation, domestic violence and rape; 4) political awareness among women and the need for more active engagement in public life; and 5) the general status of women in their roles within both society and their families. The focus in the article is on the first and the las of these issues. More particularly, attention will be drawn to the concept of marriage and the position of married women in a multi-cultural society.
In this contribution the current legal developments in South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe with regards to principal legislation, government notices and judicial decisions are briefly descriptionbed.