In trying to curtail the abuse of the debt recovery procedure system, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development released a statement to say that it is finalising the Magistrates' Courts Amendment Bill. This comes after a recent judgment in University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and Others v Minister of Justice And Correctional Services and Others (WCC) (unreported case no 16703/14, 8-7-2015) (Desai J) where Desai J ruled that the current system of emoluments attachment orders (EAOs) is unlawful, invalid and inconsistent with the Constitution as it does not provide for judicial oversight.
In June 2015, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir attended the African Union (AU) Summit hosted in South Africa.
In 2009 and 2010 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants of arrest for President Al-Bashir following his indictment for crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur, Sudan between 2003 and 2005. Because of South Africa's accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in November 2000, this makes the country a state party to the court.
The Cuban Five were in South Africa recently. They came to the country to thank South Africans for the role they played in their release.
De Rebus had the opportunity to attend an alliance international symposium, which was held in Braamfontein and spoke on the role of international solidarity as a tool for justice focusing on the case of the Cuban Five and the way forward.
The Constitutional Court and the British High Commission in Pretoria recently held a reception to mark the 21st anniversary of the South African Constitution and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The event took place at the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein in June.
The latest statistics released by the Law Society of South Africa's (LSSA's) Legal Education and Development (LEAD) division show that overall the number of practising attorneys in South Africa has gradually risen in the last decade from 16412 in 2005 to 23 712 in April 2015.
Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) Co-chairpersons, Richard Scott and Busani Mabunda, attended a press conference by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on 8 July 2015 to support the judiciary in its call for respect for its independence and for the rule of law. The press conference was also attended by Gcina Malindi SC representing Advocates for Transformation and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL). Mr Mabunda was present also in his capacity as President of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA).
When the Sectional Titles Act 66 of 1971 came into effect, South African law had, for the first time, recognised the concept of 'vertical ownership' of land, land previously having been measured only on a horizontal plane in accordance with Roman Law principles.
The draft consumer goods and services industry code of conduct was published for public comment on 3 October 2014. On 30 March, the final consumer goods and services industry code of conduct (code), including the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CGSO), was prescribed by the Minister. This code and the CGSO are intended to compliment consumers' existing basket of rights under the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA).
This guide is based on a presentation given by Lydia Craemer at a workshop organised by the Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) in 2014. The guide has been compiled for new candidate attorneys who may find that the online resources that they accessed at university are not as comprehensive as those they now access at their employers. This guide is also for legal professionals who may not be aware of what has become available for free online over the past ten years. We also alert legal professionals to the hazards they may encounter when using the internet to find free legal information. Using Google and government websites is usually not a good idea unless you can definitely tell whether or not the information provided is up to date and authoritative.
It does not matter whether you are a candidate attorney, associate, single practitioner or a director in one of the larger law firms, you are always vulnerable to claims by your clients or third parties who are affected by errors or omissions that you might make in practice.
There can be no doubt that the global economic meltdown impacted everyone in one way or another. Law firms too have not escaped the impact. My experience tells me that the impact has been particularly harsh on the smaller firms and/or those firms that were and may still be dependent on one service activity. Statistics of the composition of South African professional law firms indicate that 90% of firms comprise four partners/directors or less. The larger firms are managed in a typical style as one would expect of a corporate entity with a multi-million rand turnover and an appropriate staff structure to support the size. This means that such firms have been able to absorb the economic decline and direct their activities accordingly. The smaller firms have not been able to do so because they have not had the foresight and/or the leadership structures to not only address the economic decline but continue to grow. The whole profession has experienced, and in many instances are still experiencing, what I refer to as 'the profit squeeze'.
One of the fundamental ideals set out in the Preamble of the Constitution is the attainment of a society based on social justice. This ideal will remain a pipedream if the dehumanisation, sexist exploitation and suffering of black women and girls under patriarchal tyranny are allowed to continue under the guise of custom, in particular ukuthwala. The practice of ukuthwala has been thrust into the spotlight by a criminal appeal case of Jezile v S and Others (WCC) (unreported case no 127/2014, 23-3-2015). In a landmark judgment delivered by a full Bench of the Western Cape Division, the court held that ukuthwala is no defence to crimes of rape, human trafficking and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
The Internet has revolutionised our society, changing our commercial and social activities far more rapidly than any changes in human history. It promises to be a massive force for good in the world, democratising knowledge, revolutionising education, increasing political and business transparency, creating completely new economies (and jobs) and facilitating time and cost efficiencies in existing economies unthought of ten years ago.
Putative self-defence has now been propelled into the South African limelight particularly due to the Oscar Pistorius trial and the defence strategy adopted by his legal team. A cautious perusal of the South African case law has set out concrete legal principals pertaining to this defence.
The pronouncements of Madlanga J in the recent Constitutional Court case of Paulsen and Another v Slip Knot Investments 777 (Pty) Ltd 2015 (3) SA 479 (CC) got me thinking about the in duplum rule, which is largely what the case was about, but also about what happens if a court can no longer pass judgments on the facts but only on the law? And what if, as in this case, it is not the debtor who is impoverished by the conduct of the debtor, but the creditor? If a court can only consider the law and not the facts, then how does the court distinguish cases from one another and make the most proportionate and reasonable finding - and this despite the clear statement by the presiding judge that: 'In any given case this court has to make a value judgment on whether the point of law is indeed "arguable"' (Paulsen at para 23).