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Fundamina

On-line version ISSN 2411-7870

Abstract

VAN NIEKERK, GJ. Amende honorable and ubuntu: an intersection of ars boni et aequi in African and Roman-Dutch jurisprudence?. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2013, vol.19, n.2, pp. 397-412. ISSN 2411-7870.

Amende honorable is a defunct delictual remedy for defamation that originated in medieval canon law and became part of South African law through Roman-Dutch law. This remedy is aimed at restoring the dignity of the plaintiff by an apology from the defendant. It has fallen into disuse in South Africa, but recently, within the framework of restorative justice, South Africa's highest courts have reassessed the suitability of this remedy in restoring the dignity of the plaintiff by an apology from the defendant. Importantly, on various occasions they commented on its interrelation with the African principle of ubuntu which is regarded as a fundamental postulate of African customary law and in effect the foundation of restorative justice in African jurisprudence. In this article I address the suitability of any comparison of the equitable principles of Roman-Dutch law as expressed in the remedy of amende honorable and the equitable principles of African jurisprudence rooted in ubuntu.

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