n South African Law Journal - A Man of Principle. The Life and Legacy of J C de Wet / 'n Man van Beginsel. Die Lewe en Nalatenskap van J C de Wet, Jacques du Plessis & Gerhard Lubbe (Eds.) : book review

Volume 131, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



For many of those who studied law at the University of Stellenbosch the name of J C de Wet is almost synonymous with the legal tradition, heritage and prestige of that great law faculty. His influence, however, extended far beyond Stellenbosch. He was the co-author of two legal textbooks, , first published in 1947, and , in 1949. The publication of those two books changed the legal landscape in this country. They were not the first legal textbooks published in Afrikaans, but they were certainly the most influential. It was the intellectual force of the systemisation and exposition of general principles of contract and criminal law by De Wet in those books that explains their influence at the time. They announced both that Afrikaans had arrived as a legal language and that there was a powerful intellectual counter to the then dominance of English tradition in legal practice and literature.

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