It was announced that the final day for Bills to be passed is 14 March before Parliament rises for elections on 7 May. By the time you receive this issue of De Rebus, public hearings on the Legal Practice Bill would have been held. The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) made submissions on the Legal Practice Bill to the National Council of Provinces. The submissions were a collective position of LSSA's six constituents (the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers).
The KwaZulu-Natal Law Society (KZNLS) held its annual general meeting (AGM) in Durban late last year. Speakers at the AGM included Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery; Manager of the Attorneys Development Fund (ADF), MacKenzie Mukansi; Manager Director of the Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund (AIIF), Sipho Mbelle; Chairperson of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund (AFF), CP Fourie and Co-chairperson of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), David Bekker.
The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) held its annual general meeting (AGM) late last year in Durban under the theme: 'Changing the legal landscape to respond to current demands.' Proceedings began with a gala dinner dedicated to the late former BLA president, Edward Mvuseni Ngubane.
The Judicial Officers Association of South Africa (JOASA) held its annual general meeting in late January. On the evening preceding the AGM, JOASA held a gala dinner at which Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, were the speakers.
The Association Law in Force recently held a conference on benchmarking Angolan and South African immovable property legislation. The conference discussed the legal issues faced with regard to foreign investment in immovable property.
The Johannesburg Attorneys Association (JAA) held its 71st annual general meeting (AGM) late last year. Guest speakers at the AGM were Agang political party leader, Dr Mamphele Ramphele and Judge President of the North and South Gauteng High Courts, Judge Dunstan Mlambo.
The People's Law Journal, a law journal written in plain language that covers issues on social justice and human rights has been launched. Jacques van Heerden, the editor of the journal, told De Rebus that the aim of the journal is to educate non-lawyers, especially from poor or working-class communities about the law. He said that it will inform readers on where the law comes from, how it works and how it affects them. 'We believe that people should know how to use the law in their struggle for equality, social justice and human rights,' he said.
The participants who excelled in the 2013's third National Schools Moot Court Competition (see 2013 (Oct) DR 8) were invited to participate in the 2014 High School International Moot Court Competition in The Hague, Netherland.
The ruling by Griesel J in the matter of Sweatman v Road Accident Fund (WCC) (unreported case no 17258/11, 3-12-2013) (Griesel J) has resolved a dispute concerning the interpretation and application of s 17(4)(c) of the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996 and more specifically the method of actuarially calculating the annual loss for the purposes of applying the statutory cap.
Becoming your client's trusted adviser does not happen overnight. It is a step-by-step process, and it can be an uphill battle. How do you go about climbing this steep and often slippery slope? By using a 'ladder'.
In South Africa there is an increase in cartel activities that are forbidden by s 4(1)(b) of the Competition Act 89 of 1998. This article discusses the consequences of cartels on the market, economic development and consumers. The discussion will also provide the legal position regarding cartels by referring to statutory provisions and the prevailing judicial precedent on the matter. It will also highlight the punishments that are available and can be imposed on the cartel members.
On 15 April 2013 it was reported that a researcher in the United States of America (USA), Dr Atala, announced that he had made a breakthrough in his research and is now able to grow an entire new organ requiring only a collagen frame filled with stem cells (Harold Maass 'Growing rat kidneys in a lab: Are human organs next?' (http://theweek.com/article/index/242746, accessed 31-1-2014)). Although this was achieved using a kidney from a rat, Dr Atala reported that this technique could be used to grow fully functional human organs from scratch. This scientific breakthrough may result in many lives being saved around the world, since there will, for example, be no need for dialysis patients to wait for a compatible organ to be donated and these organs would not be rejected by the body ('Lab-made rat kidneys raises hope for dialysis patients' Reuters, 5-4-2013, www.foxnews.com/health/2013/04/15/lab-made-rat-kidneys-raise-hopes-for-dialysis-patients/, accessed 31-1-2014).
When the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) was introduced in 2011 it was welcomed as an overdue step in the regulation of franchise agreements. The perception was that this legislation was going to stimulate the franchise agreement business model by levelling the playing field between franchisors and franchisees. However, almost two years later, the practical consequences of this Act are beginning to provide frustrating results for those wishing to enter into such agreements.
The practice of 'legal' mediation has - for many years now - been widely accepted in the United Kingdom (UK), on the European continent, the United States (US) and Australia. But court-annexed mediation is a new concept in South Africa.
Court judgments with far-reaching effect sometimes go unnoticed for many years. A good example of such a case is Twalo v The Minister of Safety and Security and Another  2 All SA 491 (E), delivered by Ebrahim J that changed the law regarding claims for occupational injury or diseases. In South Africa, employees are generally barred from claiming damages against their employer for any occupational injury or disease. This is in terms of s 35(1) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA), which makes the Compensation Fund liable for payment. Ebrahim J ruled that there are exceptions to this general rule and that criminal and/or intentional acts in particular fall outside the reach of COIDA, thus entitling the employee to claim directly from the employer. There are indications that the judgment is now starting to have an impact.
A potentially far-reaching decision regarding the considerations that magistrates have to keep in mind when making debt relief and re-arrangement orders was handed down in August 2013 in the Gauteng North High Court in Motor Finance Corporation (Pty) Ltd v Jan Joubert and Others (GNP) (unreported case no A629/2013, 19-8-2013) (Chetty and Ebersohn AJJ).