Germany's Basic Law concerning persons persecuted on political grounds seeking asylum was amended in 1993. The amendment centres essentially around four main ideas. Firstly, it maintains the individual right of asylum; secondly, persons who enter Germany from a safe third country will no longer enjoy this right; thirdly, the legislature is authorised to draw up a list of states for which there is a rebuttable presumption of freedom from persecution; and finally, it recognises the common European asylum policy in the context of the Schengen and Dublin agreements. These major changes to the constitutional right to asylum entered into force on 30 June 1993 and was followed by changes in the Asylum Procedure Act (Asylverfahrengesetz) on 1 July 1993, the most important of which was the introduction of the safe third country concept.
In this contribution the current legal developments in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe with regards to principal legislation, government notices and judicial decisions are briefly descriptionbed.
Conditional fees have become part of the legal scene in Britain. The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 1995 introduced conditional fee agreements despite hostility from the judiciary and a large part of the Bar. Some even feared that they 'might be more of a rip-off of clients than a way of improving access to justice'. In South Africa the Contingency Fees Act 1997 recently came into operation. It is suggested that now is an appropriate time to view developments in Britain and the experiences of British lawyers with conditional fees, as these afford many interesting insights which may prove useful in the South African context.
This article does not aim to give a full account of China's practice in the area of private international law (hereafter PIL). Rather it answers certain questions which in the author's view are of great significance to foreign understanding of China's PIL. These include: what is China's attitude towards PIL? What is the current state of development and status of PIL in China? What are the fundamental principles of China's PIL? And lastly, what is Chinese PIL's relevance for South Africa.
Under South African private international law, the choice of law in conflict cases on succession points to the general connecting factors of the situs in the case of immovables, and the last domicile of the testator or intestate in the case of movables. In other words, a single law shall govern the distribution of the movable estate (the advantage of this unitary principle being convenience), whereas in respect of immovables, the scission principle applies. The distribution of immovable property is determined by the lex situs of each immovable. Consequently, the immovable estate of the deceased is divided up according to where the immovables are situated and distributed according to the various leges situum. Although the scission principle has been criticised as causing excessive inconvenience, it is nevertheless still applied in a number of countries in regard to immovables, notably in Austria, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Turkey, the common law countries and South Africa. This article illustrates how a collision between the choice-of-law rules of different countries can lead not only t different results, but can also bring about situations where it is believed to be impossible to find a convincing solution.
Since the 1940s community courts have developed as alternative justice mechanisms in the black townships. The future regulation of these courts has recently become an issue. Against the background of the process of democratisation and the constitution with its bill of rights, it has become necessary to evaluate these courts with the aim of adapting them to the changing circumstances. The aim of this article is twofold: firstly, to look briefly at the feasibility of granting community courts a measurable degree of legitimacy by developing an officially recognised system, and secondly, to consider whether these courts should enjoy criminal jurisdiction, and if so, the restrictions which should be placed on such jurisdiction. These aspects will be discussed with reference to comparative research into informal courts in other jurisdictions, such as the informal Indian tribal courts in Michigan (America); the informal courts in Australia (Queensland and Western Australia), and others.
New global trade regimes affect markets everywhere in the world. For this reason corporate financial firms which contemplate engaging in global business, are taking the agreements of the World Trade Commission and the World Trade Organisation particularly seriously. Until 1993, when the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) was adopted, no global consensus existed on how services should be traded internationally. Since the end of 1997, when the last discussions on trade in services were completed, a number of obstacles in transporting services globally have been encountered. Key problems to the international trade of services include burdensome licensing and certificate procedures, currency controls, transfer restrictions, limits on foreign equity. selective taxation and equity participation. In this article the discussion on the legal barriers to the mobility of financial services revolves around the problems of rendering international financial (banking) services in developing countries.
Perhaps in no other country are contradictions between government policy and investment legislation more apparent than in Zambia. Since the time of independence one investment Act after another has appeared but without any significant corresponding increase in the level of investments. In this article we take a long and historical course to demonstrate how the country's investment enactments fell victim to contradictory policies and plans. We also prove in a practical way the real link between certainty in policy and a growth in foreign investment. The reverse is also true: continuous shifts in policy and the inability to meet planned goals have alienated investor interest in the country. We also show how those contradictions continue to apply to current laws thus subjecting them to a similar fate.