Scielo RSS <![CDATA[PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1727-378120130003&lang=en vol. 16 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b><i>Oratio</i></b><b>: Address to commemorate the 2013 Martin Luther King Day at the Law Faculty, University of Michigan</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The paper commences by considering the similarity between Dr King, MK Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and argues that they are high mimetic figures who inspire us to be better. Their legacy and memory operate as a yardstick by which we can evaluate the conduct of those exercising public and private power over us. Each remains dominant in his respective society decades after passing on or leaving public life, and the paper suggests that very little societal value is had by deconstructing their lives and judging facets of their lives through the prism of latter day morality. We gain more by leaving their high mimetic status undisturbed. There is a clear link between their various struggles with King being heavily influenced by the writings and thinking of Gandhi, who commenced his career as a liberation activist in South Africa. King was instrumental in commencing the discourse on economic sanctions to force the Apartheid government to change and the Indian government had a long and committed relationship with the ANC. The second half of the paper turns to an analysis of how Dr King 's legacy impacted directly and indirectly on developments in South Africa. One of the key objectives of the Civil Rights movement in the USA was to attain substantive equality and to improve the quality of life of all. The paper then turns to assessing the extent to which democratic South Africa has achieved these objectives and concludes that the picture is mixed. Important pioneering changes such as enabling gays and lesbians to marry have taught important lessons about taking rights seriously. However, despite important advancements, neither poverty nor inequality has been 1 appreciably reduced. One of the major failures has been the inability to provide appropriate, effective and relevant education to African children in public schools. Effectively educating previously disadvantaged persons represents one of the few means at our disposal of reducing inequality and breaking the cycle of poverty. Fortunately, there is a general awareness in the country that something needs to be done about this crisis urgently. The paper notes comments by President Zuma that the level of wealth in white households is six times that of black households. The critique is that comments of this nature do not demonstrate an acknowledgment by the ANC that, after 19 years in power, they must also accept responsibility for statistics such as this. <![CDATA[<b><i>Oratio</i></b><b>: A non-lawyer's views on the Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage of 2013</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The paper commences by considering the similarity between Dr King, MK Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and argues that they are high mimetic figures who inspire us to be better. Their legacy and memory operate as a yardstick by which we can evaluate the conduct of those exercising public and private power over us. Each remains dominant in his respective society decades after passing on or leaving public life, and the paper suggests that very little societal value is had by deconstructing their lives and judging facets of their lives through the prism of latter day morality. We gain more by leaving their high mimetic status undisturbed. There is a clear link between their various struggles with King being heavily influenced by the writings and thinking of Gandhi, who commenced his career as a liberation activist in South Africa. King was instrumental in commencing the discourse on economic sanctions to force the Apartheid government to change and the Indian government had a long and committed relationship with the ANC. The second half of the paper turns to an analysis of how Dr King 's legacy impacted directly and indirectly on developments in South Africa. One of the key objectives of the Civil Rights movement in the USA was to attain substantive equality and to improve the quality of life of all. The paper then turns to assessing the extent to which democratic South Africa has achieved these objectives and concludes that the picture is mixed. Important pioneering changes such as enabling gays and lesbians to marry have taught important lessons about taking rights seriously. However, despite important advancements, neither poverty nor inequality has been 1 appreciably reduced. One of the major failures has been the inability to provide appropriate, effective and relevant education to African children in public schools. Effectively educating previously disadvantaged persons represents one of the few means at our disposal of reducing inequality and breaking the cycle of poverty. Fortunately, there is a general awareness in the country that something needs to be done about this crisis urgently. The paper notes comments by President Zuma that the level of wealth in white households is six times that of black households. The critique is that comments of this nature do not demonstrate an acknowledgment by the ANC that, after 19 years in power, they must also accept responsibility for statistics such as this. <![CDATA[<b>Legal research methodology and the dream of interdisciplinarity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There are increasing calls for academics to abandon "traditional" disciplinary research and to engage in multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research. The argument is that this will serve to break down working in "silos" and somehow lead to more innovative research. This article examines the concepts of multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research to determine if this kind of research is possible in legal research. The basic premise is that science is unified by the need for some kind of justification, arguably in the form of falsifiability of theories. But science is also divided into natural, social and human sciences and this article argues that this division is based on methodological differences. Whilst the natural sciences employ a mostly empiricist methodology and the human sciences employ a mostly rationalist methodology, the social sciences seem to employ a mixture of the two methodologies. Law is a human science and moreover a professional discipline. Some argue that this professional nature militates against multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary (MIT) research as it requires law students to be taught how to "think like a lawyer". The article concludes that most law researchers engage in multidisciplinary research on a regular basis, but that interdisciplinary research is highly unlikely and transdisciplinary research almost never happens. <![CDATA[<b>The unilateral determination of price - a question of certainty or public policy?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The unilateral determination of price has been a controversial issue for an extended period of time. During the 1990s the Supreme Court of Appeal asked if the rule should still form part of South African law. Specifically, the court raised a few questions in respect of the rule and commented that the rule as applied in South African law is illogical. The court also remarked that public policy, bona fides and contractual equity might also be employed when considering such issues. Despite the criticisms of the Supreme Court of Appeal, it would seem that the rule still forms part of our law. This article investigates whether or not the rule should be retained in the South African common law. The answer will depend on two separate questions: Is the rule a manifestation of the requirement of certainty of price? If not, does public policy require that the rule be retained? The article shows that the rule prohibiting the unilateral determination of price should not be seen as a manifestation of the requirement of certainty of price. This is because there are various circumstances where the unilateral determination of the price results in certainty of price or can be applied in such a way as to arrive at certainty of price. Most of these arguments require that the discretion to determine the price should not be unfettered and should be subject to some objective standard. This can be done expressly or tacitly in the contract, or an objective standard (in the form of reasonableness) will be implied by law. Thereafter, the article considers various public policy considerations that could be used to determine if a discretion to determine the price should be enforced. The article argues that public policy may dictate that such a discretion should be valid and enforceable provided that it is not unfettered and subject to an external objective standard or reasonableness. However, in cases where an unfair bargaining position is present, public policy may dictate otherwise. The article accepts that whether a term providing for the unilateral determination of the price would be contrary to public policy or not will depend on the facts of the case. However, it is submitted that, at a minimum, the considerations and factors discussed in the article should be taken into account when making such an assessment. <![CDATA[<b>Chaos in family law: a model for the recognition of intimate relationships in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The chaos theory is utilised in a metaphorical manner to describe the current state of family law and more specifically law regulating intimate relationships in South Africa. A bird's eye view of the law of intimate relationships is provided to indicate that the current system of law regulating intimate relationships is in a state of chaos. Deregulation of intimate relationships and regulation by contract as well as a singular Act regulating intimate relationships are investigated as alternatives to the current system. The paper concludes that deregulation does not pose a viable alternative model to recognise intimate relationships. The ideal will be to have a singular Act regulating all intimate relationships. The conclusion and termination of these relationships should be less formal than the current system. The parties should be free to regulate the consequences of their intimate relationship by a relationship contract. Default contracts should be contained in the Act to ensure substantive equality in intimate relationships. <![CDATA[<b>Prisoner transfer to South Africa: some of the likely challenges ahead</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Official and unofficial reports indicate that the South African government is in the process of entering into prisoner transfer agreements or making prisoner transfer arrangements. This comes after many years of reluctance on the part of the government to sign a prisoner transfer agreement or enter into any prisoner transfer arrangement. The reason for this change of position is not clear. In this article the author demonstrates what he considers to be the factors behind this change and discusses the issues that South Africa is likely to grapple with when the process of transferring offenders to South Africa commences. <![CDATA[<b>All roads lead to property: Pashukanis, Christie and the theory of restorative justice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Nils Christie is acknowledged generally as the theoretical founding father of restorative justice. Evgeny Pashukanis may be taken as the premier Marxist theoretician of law. This essay represents an endeavour to read Christie through the lens of Pashukanism, that is, to comprehend the theory of restorative justice developed by Christie in relation to the general theory of law formulated by Pashukanis. The early part of the essay is expository: firstly, it sets out in abbreviated form the fundamental tenets of Pashukanis's so-called commodity form theory of law, with some attention being given to the Pashukanist approach to criminal justice; and secondly, it explains the core elements of Christie's theory of restorative justice, including his critique of western criminal justice and his advocacy of a system of "conflicts as property" as the answer to the crisis of criminality which plagues the western world. The latter part of the essay is critical: it compares and contrasts Christie's proprietary theory of restorative justice with Pashukanis's commodity form theory of law. On the one hand, it is argued that there exists a remarkable theoretical concordance between Christie and Pashukanis in the sense that Christie's idea of criminal conflict as property constitutes a non-Marxist vindication of Pashukanis's analysis of the legal form. On the other hand, it is posited that because Pashukanis proceeds from a Marxist perspective and Christie does not, there remain crucial areas of difference between them, especially as regards the historicity of the legal form, the concept of legal subjectivity, and the role of the state. In the light of these differences the essay concludes with a Pashukanist critique of the Christie thesis, seeking to assess the prospects of restorative justice replacing criminal justice as the generalised mode of disposition of criminal conflicts. <![CDATA[<b>The rights granted to trade unions under the <i>Companies Act</i> 71 of 2008</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en With the entering into force of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 in 2011 a number of rights were granted to trade unions by the act. The Companies Act 71 of 2008 not only grants rights to registered trade unions, as is the case in labour law, but in some cases it grants rights to trade unions representing employees at the workplace. It is argued that rights afforded to trade unions by the act ought to be granted only to trade unions that are registered in terms of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. In addition, it is also argued that the Companies Act 71 of 2008 ought in principle to differentiate between rights that are granted to registered trade unions representing employees at the workplace and rights that are granted to registered majority trade unions, or at the least to sufficiently representative trade unions. <![CDATA[<b>The quest for a supranational entity in West Africa: can the economic community of West African states attain the status?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en To reflect the growing trends in the international scene and in furtherance of the objective of its Revised 1993 Treaty, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit in December 2006 revolutionised the structure of ECOWAS by re-designating the Executive Secretariat into a quasi-independent commission headed by a President with a Vice President and seven commissioners. The rationale behind the revision was to make ECOWAS a supranational entity. This article considers whether or not a supranational system is essential for the attainment of ECOWAS' objectives. It asks if the conditions for an effective supranational system are in place in the West African sub-region which could provide a solid foundation for its success and why the quest for a supranational system has not yielded any fruitful result in West Africa. It argues that a retreat from the quest for supranationalism and a return to an inter-governmental system would be a retreat rather than the way forward, and expresses the need for the course of action to be sustained courageously till the impact of integration begins to emerge, and the disguised, patriotic impulse of states to protect their national sovereignty gives way to the full manifestation of ECOWAS as a supranational entity. <![CDATA[<b>The sexual orientation of a parent as a factor when considering care</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Section 28(2) of the Constitution states that a child's best interest is of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child. Section 9 further provides that every person is considered equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Several grounds are listed relating to the unfair discrimination of persons, including their sexual orientation. The concept of care is incorporated in the Children's Act, and it entails a comprehensive description of parents' daily life regarding children and the powers and duties expected to ensure the general protection, well-being and best interests of the child. The aim of this contribution is to discuss the sexual orientation of a parent as a factor when considering care and the extent to which courts may give consideration to such a factor. The article will also address the question of whether or not the role of a parent's sexual orientation in determining the best interests of the child has changed since the common law concept of custody was replaced by the concept of care in the Children's Act. In this article, care and the best interests of the child will be discussed first. International law will be considered thereafter, followed by a discussion on the approach of our courts, pre- and post-1994, in order to come to a conclusion and make recommendations. <![CDATA[<b>A human rights-based approach to poverty reduction: the role of the right of access to medicine as an element of the right of access to health care</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The prevention and treatment of infectious diseases remain among the greatest challenges faced by today's developing countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that about one-third of the world's population lacks access to essential medicine, a fact which, according to the United Nations, directly contradicts the fundamental principle of health as a human right. According to the World Summit for Social Development, poor health and illness are factors that contribute to poverty, while the adverse effects of illness ensure that the poor become poorer. A lack of access to health care, amongst other rights, (including access to medicines as an element thereof) aggravates poverty. The most important provision in international law relating to the right to health is article 12 of the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 12(1) of this Covenant provides a broad formulation of the right to health in international law, while article 12(2) prescribes a non-exhaustive list of steps to be taken in pursuit of the highest attainable standard of health. Article 12(2), in particular, illustrates the role that adequate access to medication plays in the right of access to health care. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has explicitly included the provision of essential drugs as a component of the right to health care, thereby emphasising the causal link between the lack of access to essential medicines and the non-fulfilment of the right of access to health care. As with all socio-economic rights, the resource implications of the realisation of the right to health has the result that states cannot be expected to immediately comply with its obligations in respect thereof. Instead, article 2(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the General Comments of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights place obligations on states to take deliberate, concrete and targeted steps towards expeditious and effective full realisation of the right to health, including access to medication. The measures taken to do so must, according to General Comment 3, embrace the concept of the minimum core obligation (the minimum core in relation to medicines being access to essential medicines, at the very least). In this article it is argued that adequate access to essential medicines, as an element of the right of access to health care, could contribute to the reduction of poverty. This is done by firstly discussing the human rights-based approach to poverty reduction, whereafter attention is turned to access to medicines as an element of the right to health, with specific focus on obligations in terms of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Finally, the role of access to medicines in reducing poverty is considered. The article concludes that poverty constitutes an infringement on human rights and will not be eradicated without the fulfilment of human rights, including the right to health. The adequate fulfilment of peoples' rights of adequate access to essential medicines will enable them to achieve a higher level of well-being, thereby reducing the level of poverty which they experience. Both the right of access to health care and to essential medicines - a crucial component thereof - thus have a significant role to play in a state's poverty reduction strategies. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of the <i>National Credit Act</i> 34 of 2005 on the enforcement of a mortgage bond: <i>Sebola v Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd</i> 2012 5 SA 142 (CC)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1727-37812013000300013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en When a mortgagor is in default and the mortgagee wants to enforce the debt the National Credit Act (hereafter the NCA) may apply. A credit agreement may be enforced in court by a credit provider against a defaulting debtor only once the requirements of sections 129 and 130 of the NCA have been adhered to. If a mortgagor (who is a protected consumer in terms of the NCA) is in default, the mortgagee must deliver a section 129(1) notice to the consumer, thereby drawing the default to the attention of the consumer. For a number of years there has been uncertainty about the interpretation of section 129(1) and how it affects the execution procedure in the case of a mortgage bond over immovable property. The recent Constitutional Court judgment of Sebola v Standard Bank 2012 5 SA 142 (CC) overturns, to my mind, the more reasonable approach to such notices in Rossouw v Firstrand Bank Ltd (2010 6 SA 439 (SCA)). It was held in Sebola that before instituting action against a defaulting consumer, a credit provider must provide proof to the court that a section 129(1) notice of default (i) has been despatched to the consumer's chosen address and (ii) that the notice reached the appropriate post office for delivery to the consumer, thereby coming to the attention of the consumer. In practical terms the credit provider must obtain a post-dispatch "track and trace" print-out from the website of the South African Post Office. There is now a much heavier burden on a bank to ensure that proper proof is provided that the notice was sent and delivered to the correct address. Consequently it places another hurdle in the path of a mortgagee who wishes to foreclose.