n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Liens : a closer look at some conceptual foundations

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Liens are classified differently in diverse legal systems. The classification of a lien points towards the specific operation thereof. In South African law we distinguish between enrichment liens (real liens) which are regarded as real rights and debtor-creditor liens which are regarded as personal rights. The Dutch law, on the other hand, no longer distinguishes between (real liens) and (debtor-creditor liens). All liens are classified as with real operation. Scots law distinguishes between general and special liens and all liens are classified as real rights. A lien is an important and powerful legal remedy and a form of security. Liens are very important in modern day South Africa where access to courts are expensive and time consuming. In this article I look at certain conceptual foundations of liens in South African law, Dutch law and Scots law.

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