Scielo RSS <![CDATA[PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad]]> vol. 16 num. 5 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>What intellectual property lawyers can learn from Barbra Streisand, Sepp Blatter, and the "Coca-Cola Cry-Baby": dealing with "trademark bullying" in South Africa</b>]]> This article suggests some pause for reflection amongst intellectual property lawyers, and for serious consideration of the words of an internationally-renowned IP law expert: "Possessing a right does not mean that it is a good idea to enforce it always, and to the hilt. Discretion may be nine parts of possession". It provides some prominent, recent examples of trademark bullying or overly-aggressive enforcement in the IP law context. These examples are mainly from other jurisdictions but they are directly relevant to some of the IP law challenges present in South Africa at the moment. The article further examines why lawyers and rights' holders engage in trademark bullying (why it's done), and start to deal briefly with some of the legal implications. A future article is to examine the legal aspects of trademark bullying in much more detail and considers its legitimacy within the context of IP law, more generally, and some other areas of law, more specifically. <![CDATA[<b>Yet another call for a greater role for good faith in the South African law of contract: can we banish the law of the jungle, while avoiding the elephant in the room?</b>]]> This article examines the current approach of the South African courts to the role of good faith or bona fides in contracts, as well as the courts' stated reasons for this approach. The article specifically examines how arguments based on good faith have fared in the Constitutional Court to date, and the prospects for law reform to emanate from that court in the near future. The author suggests an understanding of good faith which he believes is in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and argues that in terms of such an understanding of a robust good faith doctrine the legal fraternity or the courts can avoid some of the dangers that the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal have warned about in this context in recent years. The author shares some concluding thoughts on the pressing need for law reform with respect to the role and presence of good faith in contracts. <![CDATA[<b>A critical assessment of the <i>Minimum Age Convention 138</i> of 1973 and the <i>Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention</i> <i>182</i> of 1999</b>]]> The International Labour Organisation (the ILO) has regulated child labour through the Minimum Age Convention and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention. Such conventions aim at the reduction and eventual elimination of harmful labour practices. After the ratification of such conventions, many countries have adopted domestic laws prohibiting harmful labour. Despite such regulations, statistics prove that children still participate in harmful work. The main purpose of this article is to assess the ILO child labour conventions critically, so as to provide further understanding of the provisions of the text of such instruments. While the aim of the Minimum Age Conventionwas the progressive eradication of child labour, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention recognises the existence of tolerable forms of child labour, and it seeks to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. <![CDATA[<b>Limitation of socio-economic rights in the 2010 Kenyan <i>Constitution:</i> a proposal for the adoption of a proportionality approach in the judicial adjudication of socio-economic rights disputes</b>]]> On 27 August 2010 Kenya adopted a transformative Constitution with the objective of fighting poverty and inequality as well as improving the standards of living of all people in Kenya. One of the mechanisms in the 2010 Constitution aimed at achieving this egalitarian transformation is the entrenchment of justiciable socio-economic rights (SERs), an integral part of the Bill of Rights. The entrenched SERs require the State to put in place a legislative, policy and programmatic framework to enhance the realisation of its constitutional obligations to respect, protect and fulfill these rights for all Kenyans. These SER obligations, just like any other fundamental human rights obligations, are, however, not absolute and are subject to legitimate limitation by the State. Two approaches have been used in international and comparative national law jurisprudence to limit SERs: the proportionality approach, using a general limitation clause that has found application in international and regional jurisprudence on the one hand; and the reasonableness approach, using internal limitations contained in the standard of progressive realisation, an approach that has found application in the SER jurisprudence of the South African Courts, on the other hand. This article proposes that if the entrenched SERs are to achieve their transformative objectives, Kenyan courts must adopt a proportionality approach in the judicial adjudication of SER disputes. This proposal is based on the reasoning that for the entrenched SERs to have a substantive positive impact on the lives of the Kenyan people, any measure by the government aimed at their limitation must be subjected to strict scrutiny by the courts, a form of scrutiny that can be achieved <![CDATA[<b>A critical investigation of the relevance and potential of IDPs as a local governance instrument for pursuing social justice in South Africa</b>]]> Unlike the situation in the past, when local government's role was limited to service delivery, local government is now constitutionally mandated to play an expanded developmental role. As a "co-responsible" sphere of government, local government is obliged to contribute towards realising the transformative constitutional mandate aimed at social justice. South African scholars and jurists share the view that social justice is primarily concerned with the eradication of poverty and extreme inequalities in access to basic services, and aims to ensure that poor people command sufficient material resources to facilitate their equal participation in sociopolitical life. In order to enable municipalities to fulfil their broad constitutional mandate, the system of integrated development planning (IDPs) came into effect in South Africa in 2000. Each municipality is obliged to design, adopt and implement an integrated development plan in order to achieve its expanded constitutional mandate. The IDP is considered to be the chief legally prescribed governance instrument for South African municipalities. The purpose of this article is to explore and critically investigate the relevance and potential of IDPs in contributing towards the achievement of social justice in South Africa. This article argues inter alia that the multitude of sectors that converge in an IDP makes it directly relevant and gives it enormous potential to contribute towards social justice because, depending on the context, municipalities could include and implement strategies that specifically respond to diverse areas of human need. In this regard, the legal and policy frameworks for IDPs provide a structured scheme that could be used by municipalities to prioritise and meet the basic needs of especially the poor. Despite its potential, it is argued that the ability of IDPs to respond to the basic needs of the poor is largely constrained by a series of implementation challenges partly attributed to the underlying legal and policy framework. <![CDATA[<b>Achieving equity in the fishing industry: the fate of informal fishers in the context of the <i>Policy for the Small-Scale Fisheries Sector in South Africa</i></b>]]> The implementation of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 which governs fisheries management in South Africa is guided by a series of objectives. Chief amongst these are the need to ensure resource sustainability, promote economic growth and achieve equity in the fishing industry. Striking a balance among these competing imperatives is a necessary but also monumental task, one which South Africa has arguably failed to achieve to date. In particular, as far the equity objective is concerned, a group of fishers, including both subsistence and artisanal fishers, have continued to be marginalised and overlooked in the fishing rights allocation process. The Policy for thie Small-Scale Fishieries Sector in Southi Africa aims to provide recognition and redress to this sector of the fishing industry. It seeks to achieve this objective by adopting a community-based, co-management approach. The Policy accordingly envisages that fishing rights will be allocated to small-scale fishing communities and that these communities will become involved in managing fisheries together with government. This contribution reviews and critically analyses the scope of application of the Small-Scale Policy and the management approach adopted by the Policy, with a view to assessing its potential to achieve the objective of providing redress to the formerly marginalised groups of fishers. This analysis takes place against the backdrop of the significant resource constraints in the fisheries arena and the country's vision for its future economic development as described in the National Development Paan. <![CDATA[<b>The prosecution of incitement to genocide in South Africa</b>]]> The inchoate crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide was first recognised under the Convention on thie Prevention and Punishiment of he Crime of Genocide (1948). The creation of the crime was a direct result of the horrific effects of acts of incitement before and during the Second World War. Today the crime is firmly established under international law and is also criminalised in many domestic legal systems. History shows that incitement to crime and violence against a specific group is a precursor to and catalyst for acts of genocide. Consequently, the goal of prevention lies at the core of the prohibition of direct and public incitement to genocide. However, it may be said that this preventative objective has thus far been undermined by a general lack of prosecutions of the crime, especially at the domestic level. This prosecutorial void is rather conspicuous in the light of the new vision of international criminal justice under which domestic legal systems (including that of South Africa) bear the primary responsibility for the enforcement of the law of the Rome Statute of he International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), which in Article 25(3)(e) includes the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide. This article provides a brief historical and teleological overview of the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide under international law, as well as the definitional elements thereof as interpreted and applied by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Thereafter it examines the criminalisation of incitement to genocide in contemporary South African law in order to assess South Africa's capacity to prosecute incitement to genocide at the domestic level. In this regard there are, in theory, various 'legal avenues' for the prosecution of incitement to commit genocide in South Africa, namely: as a crime under the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956; as a crime under the Implementation of he Rome Statute of he International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002 (the ICC Act); or as a crime under customary international law pursuant to section 232 of the Constitution of he Republic of South Africa, 1996. The article reflects critically on the viability of prosecuting incitement to genocide in terms of each of these alternatives. The article highlights a number of practical and legal problems as regards the prosecution of incitement to commit genocide under the Riotous Assemblies Act as well as under customary international law. It is argued that the prosecution of incitement to genocide in terms of the ICC Act is preferable, as this would respond directly to an international consensus as regards the unique and egregious nature of genocide by providing for a limited form of extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction. Prosecution under the ICC Act would also reflect the objectives of the Rome Statute pursuant to which South Africa has certain international legal obligations. However, it is submitted that legislative amendment of the ICC Act is needed, since the crime is not explicitly provided for thereby at present. It is submitted that the legislative amendment must provide for the distinct crime of direct and public incitement to genocide in terms of South African criminal law. Such an amendment will remove the existing legal obstacles to the domestic prosecution of incitement to genocide and enable effective prosecution thereof at the domestic level. The proposed amendment will have the effect of strengthening the alignment between South African law and the objectives of the Rome Statute and may have preventative benefits in the long run. <![CDATA[<b>Reflections on judicial views of <i>ubuntu</i></b>]]> Since S v Makwanyane, ubuntu has become an integral part of the constitutional values and principles that inform interpretation of the Bill of Rights and other areas of law. In particular, a restorative justice theme has become evident in the jurisprudence that encompasses customary law, eviction, defamation, and criminal law matters. This contribution explores the scope and content of ubuntu, as pronounced on by the judiciary in various cases, and demonstrates that its fundamental elements of respect, communalism, conciliation and inclusiveness enhance the constitutional interpretation landscape. Two major epochs are highlighted in the development of ubuntu, marked by the constitutional decisions in Makwanyane and PE Municipality respectively. The former carved the central avenue of development for ubuntu, while the latter marked the start of the thematic development of the concept in the direction of restorative justice. Furthermore, the article engages critically with the use of ubuntu, with criticisms levelled against the conceptualisation of ubuntu as a legal notion, ranging from its ambiguity to its redundancy, to perceptions of dichotomies, and issues of exclusion. The paper also questions the manner in which the courts have applied the legal concept of ubuntu uncritically, without reference to African sources to illustrate its meaning in different contexts, and without questioning its compatibility with the Bill of Rights. Finally, it attempts to reveal the connections between ubuntu and the values underlying the Bill of Rights. <![CDATA[<b>Reforming the multilateral decision-making mechanism of the WTO: what is the role of emerging economies?</b>]]> The paper focuses on the future of global economic governance in the light of the current state of multilateral trade negotiations. The aim is to analyse identified key historical issues at the heart of the decision-making system of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The current and ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations and the multilateral system reflect inequalities that still prevail in the global trade architecture. Is there a need for a paradigm shift? The paper will provide recommendations on how reform of the multilateral decision-making structures should focus on promoting the interests of developing countries that have historically been marginalised. Developing countries, like those making up BRICS, stand ready to contribute to the construction of a new international architecture, to bring the voices of the south together on global issues and to deepen their ties in various areas. <![CDATA[<b>Creating a servitude to solve an encroachment dispute: a solution or creating another problem?</b>]]> The main focus of this note is the case of Roseveare v Katmer, Katmer v Roseveare 2013 ZAGPJHC 18, which provides an interesting (though possibly constitutionally problematic) perspective to the encroachment problem. The decision in this case has opened the door for courts to create servitudes in instances where encroachments are left intact based on policy reasons. Concerning these policy reasons, the note investigates the reasonableness standard as it was applied in the case. It is argued that it is important to differentiate between the applications of reasonableness in encroachment cases and alleged nuisance disputes. The decision in this case creates the impression that courts may now order that a servitude be registered in favour of the encroacher against the affected landowner's property. It seems as though the court had in mind the creation of a praedial servitude to justify the continued existence of the encroachment. The servitude is created by court order against the will of the affected landowner. At common law, the creation of a servitude in this respect does not exist, and the authority from which the power derives to make an order like this is not entirely clear. The court also does not provide any authority for the creation of the servitude in favour of the encroacher. Consequently, it is argued that this may have serious constitutional implications. For one, lack of authority for the deprivation that results may be unconstitutional because there is no law of general application that authorises the deprivation in terms of section 25(1). The creation of a servitude to explain the continued existence of the encroachment is not automatically included in the general discretion to replace removal with compensation. It is contended that an order that forces the affected landowner to register a servitude in favour of the encroacher to preserve the existing encroachment situation will be in conflict with section 25(1) as far as the common law does not authorise such an order. Furthermore, an order creating a servitude against the affected landowner's will need to be separately justified in terms of the non-arbitrariness requirement in section 25(1). In this respect, the order will be unjustified and therefore arbitrary on both a general and personal level. Although this decision eliminates the enduring problem in encroachment law concerning the rights of the respective parties to the affected land where encroachments are not removed, it is reasoned in this note that the solving of this problem may have created another one. The decision is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, in so far as the court has attempted to provide clarity in terms of the rights to the encroached-upon land. However, the absence of authority either in terms of the common law or legislation to create a servitude in this context, indicates that courts should avoid orders of this nature because of their implications. If legislation is enacted to regulate building encroachments, it may be useful to explain what happens when the encroachment is not removed and it may also provide the required law of general application to prevent constitutional infringement. The legislation should specify the nature of the right acquired by the encroacher, which in the South African context should probably be a servitude created against the affected landowner's property. This may ensure that the required authority exists for the creation of the servitude and would also provide the necessary justification to prevent the arbitrary deprivation of property. It is accordingly submitted that the unnecessary confusion that results from the inability to explain the outcome (or provide sufficient reason) on the one hand, and the possible constitutional infringement due to the lack of authority on the other, may therefore be cleared up by the suggested legislation. <![CDATA[<b>"Originality" and "reproduction" in copyright law with special reference to photographs</b>]]> Turning to lessons from foreign jurisdictions, this note explores from a copyright perspective the fact that photographs are produced mechanically and more often than not without any effort or mental input. A minute number are taken for anything but personal use and in the digital age photographs tend to have a high degree of mobility and are also ephemeral and without any commercial value. It is accordingly difficult to justify in general terms copyright protection for photographs. Two of the main legal issues in this context are the criteria for originality and the meaning of the reproduction of a photograph. These two issues form the central point of discussion in this contribution. <![CDATA[<b>Unpacking the right to plain and understandable language in the</b> <b><i>Consumer Protection Act 68</i></b> <b>of 2008</b>]]> The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 came into effect on 1 April 2011. The purpose of this Act is, among other things, to promote fairness, openness and respectable business practice between the suppliers of goods or services and the consumers of such good and services. In consumer protection legislation fairness is usually approached from two directions, namely substantive and procedural fairness. Measures aimed at procedural fairness address conduct during the bargaining process and generally aim at ensuring transparency. Transparency in relation to the terms of a contract relates to whether the terms of the contract terms accessible, in clear language, well-structured, and cross-referenced, with prominence being given to terms that are detrimental to the consumer or because they grant important rights. One measure in the Act aimed at addressing procedural fairness is the right to plain and understandable language. The consumer's right to being given information in plain and understandable language, as it is expressed in section 22, is embedded under the umbrella right of information and disclosure in the Act. Section 22 requires that notices, documents or visual representations that are required in terms of the Act or other law are to be provided in plain and understandable language as well as in the prescribed form, where such a prescription exists. In the analysis of the concept "plain and understandable language" the following aspects are considered in this article: the development of plain language measures in Australia and the United Kingdom; the structure and purpose of section 22; the documents that must be in plain language; the definition of plain language; the use of official languages in consumer contracts; and plain language guidelines (based on the law of the states of Pennsylvania and Connecticut in the United States of America). <![CDATA[<b>A customary right to fish when fish are sparse: managing conflicting claims between customary rights and environmental rights</b>]]> This contribution considers the potential conflicts that may arise between customary rights and environmental rights in the face of dwindling marine resources. It sets the scene by reflecting on some of the common themes present in indigenous claims to marine resource by communities who were subjected to colonisation. In doing so it analyses the South African judgment, S v Gongqose Case No. E382/10 (unreported), which alluded to the existence of a customary right to fishing, a concept that has until now remained unexplored in South African law. This discussion is followed by a brief overview of the rapidly declining state of marine resources, worldwide and in South Africa. The note then considers the relationship between customary law and marine resources and some of the challenges in meeting rights-based customary claims to marine resources against the need to conserve a dwindling resource. It concludes by offering possibilities for reconciliation. <![CDATA[<b>Race as/and the trace of the ghost: jurisprudential escapism, horizontal anxiety and the right to be racist in <i>Boe Trust Limited</i></b>]]> This contribution draws on critical race theory and critical legal theory in order to read and critique the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment of Erasmus AJA in BoE Trust Limited 2013 3 SA 236 (SCA). It will specifically focus on the contested jurisprudential and racial politics reflected in the reasoning followed in the judgement. It specifically takes issue with the way in which the judge avoided dealing directly with the constitutional and political implications of racially-exclusive testamentary provisions. Three specific features of the judgment are highlighted in the note as problematic: first, the rhetorical moves and 'legal interpretive techniques' by which the judge escaped the basic legal texts governing the situation in which a racially discriminatory provision is included in a will, as well as the substantive reasoning and normative choices that those texts necessarily invite. Secondly, how the escape from those legal texts evinces, or perhaps even facilitated, a certain evasion of, or anxiety towards the horizontal application of the Bill of Rights which explicitly proscribes overt (racial) discrimination by private non-state actors. And thirdly, how by following a formalist legal approach, one in which the basic assumptions of liberal legalism and capitalism are viewed as natural, normal and immutable, the judgment lacks a decisive rejection of racism. The judgment's uncritical adulation of the common law of succession (and specifically the principle of freedom of testation) and its negation of a more substantive, constitutionally-infused mode of reasoning and adjudication generally reflects a conservative or traditional view of law. It is suggested that this view of law is problematic in our current post-apartheid context for two central reasons: it stands in tension with the project of transformative constitutionalism and prevents the coming into being of a more critical race jurisprudence for post-apartheid South Africa.