2:44 PMFeatures - Researching South African Law | LLRX.com
Amanda Barratt has been the Law Librarian at the University of Cape Town Law Library since January 2001. She has 10 years experience as a reference librarian and previously headed the University's African Studies Library. Amanda holds a B.A. (Hons.) degree in History from the University of Cape Town and the LLB and LLM degrees from the University of South Africa. Amanda is also employed as a Senior Researcher at the University of Cape Town's Centre for Socio-Legal Research and is currently preparing for a PhD on a legal history topic.
Pamela Snyman is a senior reference librarian at the University of Cape Town Law Library. She has 22 years experience as a law librarian. Pamela holds the B.Bibl and LLB degrees from the University of South Africa and is currently completing her LLM degree.
Table of Contents
South African law consists of the common law (previous decisions of the superior courts and rules set down by the 'old Roman-Dutch authorities') and statutory law (Acts of the national and provincial legislatures and governmental regulations). The law is not codified and like English law must be sought in court decisions and individual statutes. Since 1994 the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa has been the supreme law.
In the mid-seventeenth century Dutch settlers began to occupy the part of South Africa now known as the Western Cape. In 1806 English forces defeated the Dutch settlers and took the Cape of Good Hope as a British possession. South African law reflects this history of successive colonial governance. The 'common law' of the country (in this context 'common law' implies law of non-statutory origin) is based on the 'Roman-Dutch' law of the original Dutch settlers. This is civilian law - Roman law as interpreted by the Dutch writers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus originally important sources of South African law were the treatises of authors such as Grotius Johannes Voet Simon Groenewegen and Johannes van der Linden. Law was modified or expanded by statute.
When the British took possession of the Cape in 1806 they did not impose their substantive legal system in a formal way. Instead it was decided that the local Roman-Dutch law would remain in force. However English procedural law was adopted and this had a tendency to influence substantive provisions. Furthermore Roman-Dutch Law did not always cater for the requirements of the modern society that developed during the 19th century necessitating legislative innovations which were often based on English Acts and interpreted using relevant English precedent. The advocates and judges of the superior courts were usually trained in England and tended to rely on their English treatises. As a result of such factors the Roman-Dutch law of the Cape Colony was overlaid with a heavy English law influence. The Cape legal system was in turn followed by the British colony in Natal and also in many respects by the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (the Transvaal) and the Oranjevrijstaat (the Orange Free State) - the Boer Republics established by Dutch trekkers in the mid-nineteenth century.
After the South African Anglo-Boer War (1899 -1902) Britain took control of all parts of South Africa and in 1910 a Union of South Africa was established with four provinces: the Cape Natal the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Following this amalgamation the legal systems of the four territories were made more consistent partly through legislative innovation and partly through the activities of the new Appellate Division of the Supreme Court the highest court country-wide in terms of the 1909 South Africa Act.
Today many commentators regard the resulting legal system as a truly hybrid system a mix of English common law and civilian Roman-Dutch legal principles. While many legal doctrines and the arrangement of the law in general can be traced to a civilian heritage court procedure owes much to the common law tradition with adversarial trial detailed case reports (which include dissenting judgments) and adherence to precedent.
The formal legal system is dominated by this European heritage. Of course most South Africans are not of European extraction. During the period of English governance a system of 'Native Administration' was established. According to this policy indigenous people could rule themselves according to indigenous law in certain matters for example rules of marriage and succession. The colonial state retained exclusive jurisdiction over matters such as serious crime. Matters of customary law were heard by chiefs and headmen with a right of appeal to the Native Appeal Court staffed by magistrates. Today South Africa retains a plural legal system with customary law remaining a legal system for those who wish to be subject to it. The rules of customary law may not however conflict with the South African Constitution.
Segregationist policies were evident from earliest times and were an aspect of official policy during the pre-1948 era. However 'apartheid' became the official South African government policy following the electoral victory of the Nationalist Party in 1948. Key legislation creating this policy included the Population Registration Act 30 of 1950 (classifying the South African population into 'racial groups'); the Group Areas Act 41 of 1950 (providing for the segregation of residential and other areas) and a plethora of other acts designed to segregate every aspect of life including public administration education health services employment transport and public amenities. 'Grand apartheid' divided the territory of South Africa into separate 'states' some of which (the Transkei Boputhatswana Venda and the Ciskei) were given 'independence' by the South African government. In terms of South African law the 'citizens' of such states lost their South African citizenship. Residents of the TBVC states as well as those of other 'ethnic homelands' were not permitted to remain in 'white South Africa' without permission (the 'pass laws') unless they qualified to do so in terms of Act 67 of 1952 or other statutory exemptions.www.gov.za/constitution/1996/96cons.htm) came into effect. South Africa is a constitutional state with a supreme constitution and a Bill of Rights.
Structure of the Statewww.gov.za/constitution/1996/96cons.htm) provides for the separation of the legislative executive and judicial arms of government. The Constitution has elements of federalism and the nine provinces (Eastern Cape; Free State Gauteng KwaZulu-Natal Mpumalanga Northern Cape Northern Province North West and the Western Cape) may pass laws on certain matters such as education health and housing. However the national legislature retains its legislative power in these areas and may override provincial legislation in the event of a conflict. Exclusive provincial legislative competence is reserved for less important matters such as abattoirs and liquor licenses. The provinces have a role in drafting national legislation through their participation in the National Council of Provinces the second house of Parliament.
Legislative and Executive Branches
The National Parliament is bicameral and consists of:
The National Assembly s Parliamentary Portfolio Committees and the National Council of Provinces Select Committees oversee the work of the executive organs within the sphere of their portfolios and discuss proposed bills in these areas.
The President is the Head of State and governs with a Cabinet comprising Ministers and Deputy Ministers who head the various national government departments. Each province is headed by a Premier and an Executive Council. Provided they have the capacity to do so provinces may establish executive departments for public administration. Thus provinces may establish provincial departments of Education Health etc .
National bills usually emanate from government departments and may result from previous consultation through the publishing of green papers (discussion documents) and white papers (cabinet approved policy documents). Draft bills may be published for comment in the Government Gazette but bills are published as a separate series undergoing several amendments as a result of discussion in the portfolio committee or select committee before final adoption.
When a bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament it goes before the State President for assent and is then published in the Government Gazette as an Act. Sometimes a commencement date is proclaimed separately by the President also by notice in the Gazette. Specific regulations in terms of the various acts are drawn up by the ministries concerned and published in the Government Gazette.
Sources of Legislation
Acts of Parliament are initially published in the official Government Gazette. They are also republished commercially in consolidated ( as amended ) form by the major South African legal publishers Butterworths SA and Juta Law.
The official version of an Act of Parliament is published in the Government Gazette. The Gazette is usually the only printed source of regulations subordinate legislation issued by government ministers in terms of enabling statutes. Draft bills are occasionally published in the Gazette but bills are issued as a separate series and obtainable from the Government printer. The Gazette also includes proclamations government notices commencement dates of statutes price regulation measures and industrial regulations.
This is a loose-leaf publication of consolidated acts kept by up-to-date by annual supplements. The set is arranged into subject titles (e.g. agriculture labour water etc.) Within each title the acts are arranged chronologically.
The index volume (vol.1) contains both an alphabetical and a chronological table of statutes. The chronological index also lists repealed acts with details of the repealing legislation. Indexes at the end of each title include: a subject-matter index to recent legislation and a section with references to decided cases which give judicial consideration to the statute concerned.
Although the full text of regulations is not reproduced in this work there is a section containing references to regulations passed in terms of the acts. These references include the regulation gazette or the government notice number the Government Gazette number and date of publication.
Juta Law Statutes
Juta Law publishes an annual edition of its seven-volume set of consolidated statutes. Juta Law classifies the acts into 18 groups and 105 subgroups according to their subject matter. The full text of principal acts is given but amending acts appear in abbreviated form because the amendments will have been incorporated into the relevant principal acts. Substantive provisions in amending acts are reproduced in full.
The index volume provides alphabetical and chronological tables of statutes and an alphabetical index to groups and subgroups. Other indexes include Legislation Judicially Considered which lists leading cases on particular sections of the statutes; and an index to regulations passed in terms of the various acts providing the Government Gazette numbers where regulations may be found.
Butterworths Legislation Service
Butterworths publishes selected acts as part of its Butterworths Legislation Service. This service is aimed at legal practitioners and the acts selected tend to be those which are used in everyday legal practice and which change frequently e.g. the Magistrates Court Act the Supreme Court Act and the Criminal Procedure Act. This loose-leaf service is updated quarterly and is thus reasonably up-to-date. Unlike the main Butterworths set of statutes these works reproduce the full text of the regulations and rules made in terms of the acts.
Other Legislation Services
There are several other loose-leaf services to specific acts often published under the name of an individual editor. These works include both the principal acts and the regulations made in terms of these acts and regulations are thus more easily accessible. There is usually editorial commentary discussing the statutory material.
Notable examples are:Thompson and Benjamin South African Labour Law Cape Town: Juta Law 1994
Davis Juta's income tax. Cape Town: Juta 1999
Juta Law and Butterworths P roducts
The Butterworths and Juta Law products discussed above are available in electronic form and may be purchased either as stand-alone or networked CD-ROMs or may be accessed from the publishers on-line services. The electronic versions of the South African Statutes products are substantially similar to the print versions including all indexes and may thus be used in the same way. However the electronic versions also allow a range of keyword searching options. If the library subscribes to additional products such as the on-line law reports indexes such as legislation judicially considered will link directly to the full text of the cases concerned.
Both publishers produce libraries on particular topics for example Constitutional law Labour law Company law etc. These electronic libraries typically include relevant statutes case law and commentaries and some include journal articles full text electronic textbooks and regulations.
Government Gazette onlineaclib.sabinet.co.za/
Free S ites A vailable on the Internetwww.polity.org.za / is a privately run site providing a wealth of government information. The site includes the full text of legislation Bills and Acts ) from 1993 onwards and also provides the full text of: White Papers ; Commission reports ; Discussion Documents ; Green Papers ; Notices and Regulations ; Policy Documents ; Press Statements ; Proclamations ; Reports ; and; Speeches. In addition the site provides links to the South African Parliament site various Government Departments and other statutory bodies. www.parliament.gov.za/ ) provides full text of Acts passed from 1993 onwards and the full text of bills from 1995 onwards. The site also provides background information on the legislative process. www.gov.za/ ) provides full text of Acts passed from 1993 onwards and the full text of bills from 1996 onwards. The full text of many regulations is also reproduced here. The site also provides useful background information on various aspects of the South African governmental structure and process. www.pmg.org.za/ ) tracks the activities of Parliament and the Parliamentary Select Committees and follows the progress of discussion papers white papers and bills (i.e. it provides background information on the legislative process) . www.gov.za/constitution/1996/96cons.htm )
apronto/treaties/trindex.htm ) lists the multilateral treaties signed by South Africa and provides ratification information. Where possible the site links to full text versions available on the Internet. The site does not cover bilateral agreements. This treaty series is based primarily on the United Nations Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General and is arranged according to the categories found in the United Nations Treaty Series. It includes several additional topics for which the United Nations does not act as depository such as intellectual property and civil aviation.
The Cape Supreme Court was established in Cape Town in 1828. When circuits round the Cape Colony became too arduous divisions of the Court were established in the Eastern Cape and in the Northern Cape (then known as Griqualand West). The Natal Supreme Court was established in 1857. The first High Court of Justice was set up in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek in 1877 while the Orange Free State instituted a High Court in 1854.
Following the Union of South Africa in 1910 a new Supreme Court of South Africa was formed with provincial and local divisions in all four provinces. A new Appellate Division in Bloemfontein heard appeals from the other divisions of the Supreme Court and set precedent which was binding country-wide. The independent states created during the apartheid era established superior courts in their territories. In terms of the new Constitution the existing provincial and local divisions of the erstwhile Supreme Court (including the courts in the TBVC states) were renamed High Courts and the Appellate Division was re-established as the Supreme Court of Appeal. A new superior court the Constitutional Court was established to decide matters based on Constitutional provisions. Other superior courts created in terms of separate legislation include the Land Claims Court and the Labour Appeal Court. In addition to these superior courts district and regional magistrates courts hear minor civil and criminal matters. Decisions of lower courts are not reported. The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration attempts to settle employment disputes. Until 1950 the English Privy Council was the highest court of appeal in the South African judicial system.
Published Decisions of South African Courts in Print Form
A number of nominate law reports cover the earliest South African cases with the Cape cases dating back to 1828. Prior to Union in 1910 law reports were published for each of the High Courts in the Cape Colony; Natal Orange Free State and Transvaal. From 1910 onwards decisions of the Appellate Division were also reported. Juta South Africa oldest legal publisher has published law reports since the mid-nineteenth century. In 1947 Juta began publishing the (amalgamated) South African Law Reports (SALR) which include leading judgments from all the South African superior courts as well as selected judgments from Zimbabwe and Namibia. Specialised law reports series from Juta include the Industrial Law Journal (since 1980) and the South African Criminal Law Reports (since 1990). The other major South African legal publisher Butterworths launched several series of law reports in the 1990 s. These include: Butterworths Constitutional Law Reports; Butterworths Labour Law Reports ; and the All South African Law Reports (All SA) which are modelled on the All England Law Reports and include leading judgments from South African courts on all areas of law. All SA replaces the Prentice Hall Weekly Law Reports which were published from 1923 to 1995. Appeals from South African courts heard by the English Privy Council were reported in the English Appeal Court (AC) cases which contain some important South African appeals.
Printed Indexes to South African Law
Butterworths Consolidated Index and Noter-Up to the South African Law Reports contains tables of cases; a noter-up (which is similar to the American Shepards and provides information on the subsequent history of points of law set down in a case); a section indexing judicial interpretation of legal words and phrases ; an index of legislation which has been considered by the courts; and a subject index.
Juta Law s Index and Annotations to the South African Law Reports
There are 4 volumes in this set to date. Each volume contains a consolidation of the index published in the quarterly volumes of the South African Law Reports from 1980-86 (Vol. I) 1987-1990 (Vol. II) 1993-1998 (Vol. III) and 1999-2001 (Vol. IV).
All the volumes contain a Table of Cases listing all the cases reported in the South African Law Reports for the period covered; a section on Case Annotations for local and foreign cases which outlines the nature and extent of the consideration given to previously decided cases; a section on Legislation Considered by the courts; and an alphabetical Subject Index of Cases reported in the South African Law Reports.
On l ine Access to South African Law
Commercial productswww.jutastat.com/). The electronic libraries produced by each publisher (discussed above) include relevant case law.
Free C ase L aw O nline
Several South African courts make their judgments available on the Internet at no charge. These include:wwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/labourcrt/index.html. Unlike sites like the British Bailii the sites offering free access to South African case law do not include a specialised search facility and there is no subject access. Cases may be found by browsing chronological and alphabetical indexes.
S outh A frican L egal J ournalswwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/lawlibrary/sajnls.htm . www.nisc.com/ ) wwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/sajhr/sajhr.html ).
R eference W orks
South Africa has a fairly comprehensive range of legal dictionaries which are useful for the explanation translation and judicial interpretation of legal words and phrases.Bell s South African legal dictionary .
Hiemstra and Gonin (eds) - Trilingual legal dictionary (English-Afrikaans-Latin) 3 rd ed
Encyclopaedia and C urrent A wareness S ervice
The Law of South Africa (LAWSA) is a multi-volume legal encyclopaedia. A revised edition is in progress. This work provides a general overview of South African Law organised by subject. Each subject entry is written by an authority in the field and provides a concise explanation of the applicable law with multiple references to relevant cases and legislation. Tables of statutes cases and indexes to each title are also provided. The set is updated through annual cumulative supplements but should be used together with its companion service Current Law to ensure that the most recent legal developments are taken into account.
Current Law the companion service to LAWSA consists of 12 review parts per year noting the most recent legal developments. This reference source must be used in conjunction with LAWSA and this is facilitated by use of the same subject headings that appear in the main work. The new developments may be government notices Parliamentary bills regulations or pertinent decided cases. Relevant periodical articles are also noted. Additional useful features include: commencement dates of statutes giving the authoritative Government Gazette number; a table of cases; a table of statutes and regulations; lists of commissions of enquiry; a section on South African law books published during the current year; and a cumulative list of research projects arranged by subject.
A S election of I ntroductory T extbooks
Introduction to South African law
Du Plessis Lourens M. An introduction to law. -- Cape Town: Juta 1999.
Edwards Basil Introduction to South African law and legal theory 2 nd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 1995.
Hahlo H. R. and Ellison KahnThe South African legal system and its background. -- Cape Town: Juta 1968.
Hahlo H. R.The Union of South Africa: the development of its laws and constitution. -- Cape Town: Juta 1960.
Smith Catherine HarrietThe law of insolvency. -- Durban: Butterworths 1988.
Hockly Harold Edward Hockly's insolvency law. 6 th ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1996.
Commercial and C ompany L aw
Beuthin R. C. and S.M. LuizBeuthin's Basic company law. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 2000.
Cilliers Hendrik and Marius Benade (ed.)Corporate law. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 2000.
Companies Act 61 of 1973 and Close Corporations Act 69 of 1984 with regulations tables of cases and indexes. 6 th ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 2000.
Gibson J. T. R. assisted by R.G. ComrieSouth African mercantile and company law. 7 th ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1997
Gordon GeraldGordon and Getz on the South African law of insurance. 4 th ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1993.
Conflict of Laws
Forsyth C. F Private international law: the modern Roman-Dutch law including the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. 3 rd ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1996.
Constitutional L aw Administrative Law and Human Rights Law
Amien Waheeda and Paul Farlam (eds.)Basic human rights documents for South Africans. -- Cape Town: Law Race and Gender Research Unit University of Cape Town 1998.
Baxter Lawrence.Administrative law. -- Cape Town: Juta 1984.
Bill of Rights compendium. -- Durban: Butterworths 1996 (loose-leaf updates)
Burns Yvonne. Administrative law under the 1996 constitution. -- Durban: Butterworths 1998.
Chaskalson Matthew. (et al.)Constitutional law of South Africa -- Cape Town: Juta 1996 (loose-leaf updates)
Currie Iain Johan de Waal (eds.) The New constitutional and administrative law Cape Town: Juta 2001.
Davis Dennis.Fundamental rights in the Constitution. commentary and cases. Cape Town: Juta 1997.
Devenish G. E K. Govender D.H. Hulme Administrative law and justice in South Africa. -- Durban: Butterworths 2001.
Devenish G. E.A commentary on the South African Bill of Rights. -- Durba n. Butterworths 1999.
De Waal Johan Iain Currie Gerhard ErasmusThe Bill of Rights handbook. 4 th ed. Cape Town: Juta 2001.
Rautenbach I.M. and E.F.J. MalherbeConstitutional law. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Juta 1999.
Christie R. H. The law of contract in South Africa. 4 th ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 2001.
Van der Merwe Schalk. (et al.). Contract. general principles -- Cape Town: Juta 1993.
Burchell Jonathan M. and John MiltonPrinciples of criminal law. 2 nd ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1997.
Snyman C. R. Criminal law. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 1995.
Bennett T. W. Human rights and African customary law. under the South African Constitution. -- Cape Town: Juta 1995.
Bennett T. W. A sourcebook of African customary law for Southern Africa. -- Cape Town: Juta 1991.
Burchell Jonathan M. Principles of delict. -- Cape Town: Juta 1993.
Neethling Johann J.M. Potgieter (and) P.J. Visser. Law of delict 4 th ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 1999.
Glazewski Jan.Environmental law in South Africa. -- Durban: Butterworths 2000.
Schwikkard Pamela Jane A. St. Q. Skeen S.E. van der Merwe Principles of evidence. Cape Town: Juta 1997.
Family and Persons
Boberg P. Q. R.Boberg's law of persons and the family. 2 nd ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1999.
Cronje D. S. P. Jacqueline Heaton South African family. -- Durban: Butterworths 1999.
Cronje D. S. P. Jacqueline Heaton The South African law of persons. -- Durban: Butterworths 1999.
Davel C.J (ed.) Introduction to child law in South Africa. Cape Tow n. Juta Law 2000.
Sinclair June The Law of Marriage. - Cape Town: Juta 1996.
Inheritance and Succession
Corbett M. M (Michael McGregor)The law of succession in South Africa / by M.M. Corbett H.R. Hahlo Gys Hofmeyr; with an appendix on the conflict of laws by Ellison Kahn; general editor H.R. Hahlo. 2 nd ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 2002.
De Waal M. J. M.C. Schoeman N.J. Wiechers Law of succession: students' handbook. 2 nd ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 1996.
D avis Dennis. Estate planning .-- Durban: Butterworths 1989 (loose-leaf updates)
Burrell Timothy D. Burrell's South African patent and design law. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 1999.
Dean O. H.Handbook of South African copyright law. -- Cape Tow n. Juta 1987 (loose-leaf updates)
Webster Geoffrey Charles and N.S. Page.South African law of trade marks unlawful competition company names and trading styles. 4 th ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 1997 (loose-leaf updates)
Dugard John International law. a South African perspective. 2 nd ed. -- Cape Town: Juta 2000.
Basson Annali. (et al.)Essential labour law. 2 nd ed. -- Groenkloof: Labour Law Publications 2000.
Brassey Martin.Employment and labour law. -- Cape Town: Juta 1998 (loose-leaf updates)
Du Toit Darcy (et al.) (eds.)Labour relations law. a comprehensive guide. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 2000.
Grogan John.Workplace law. 6 th ed.-- Cape Town: Juta Law 2001.
Hahlo H. R. and Ellison KahnThe South African legal system and its background. -- Cape Town: Juta 1968.
Hahlo H. R. The Union of South Africa: the development of its laws and constitution. -- Cape Town: Juta 1960.
Thomas Ph. J. C.G. van der Merwe and B.C. StoopThe historical foundations of South African private law by Ph.J. Thomas. -- Durban: Butterworths 1998.
Zimmermann Reinhard and Daniel Visser (eds.) Southern Cross: civil law and common law in South Africa. -- Cape Town: Juta 1996.
Maritime and Shipping Law
Hare John E. Shipping law admirality jurisdiction in South Africa. -- Cape Town: Juta 1999.
Carey Miller D. L. Miller with Anne Pope Land title in South. -- Cape Town: Juta 2000.
Kahn E. (et al) Principles of the law of sale and lease. -- Cape Town: Juta 1998
Silberberg Harry Silberberg and Schoeman's The law of property. 3 rd ed. -- Durban: Butterworths 1992.
Van der Merwe C. G. M.J. de Waal. The law of things and servitudes. -- Durban: Butterworths 1993.
Davis Dennis. Lynette Olivier Gavin Urquhart Juta's income tax. -- Cape Town: Juta 1999 (loose-leaf updates)
Meyerowitz on Income Tax. -- Cape Town: The Taxpayer 1999 (loose-leaf updates)
Silke Aubrey S.Income Tax Act no. 58 of 1962: updated to include the residence basis of taxation. -- Durban: Butterworths 2002.
A S election of U seful W ebsites for S outh A frican L egal R esearch
Government and Legislation :www.polity.org.za/ ) is a privately run free site providing a wealth of government information. The site includes the full text of legislation (Bills and Acts ) from 1993 onwards and also provides the full text of: White Papers ; Commission reports ; Discussion Documents ; Green Papers. Notices and Regulations ; Policy Documents ; Press Statements ; Proclamations ; Reports ; and Speeches. In addition the site provides links to the South African Parliament site various Government Departments and other statutory bodies. www.parliament.gov.za/ ) provides full text of Acts passed from 1993 onwards and the full text of bills from 1995 onwards. The site also provides background information on the legislative process www.gov.za/ provides full text of Acts passed from 1993 onwards and the full text of bills from 1996 onwards. The full text of many regulations is also reproduced here. The site also provides useful background information on various aspects of the South African governmental structure and process. www.pmg.org.za/ tracks the activities of Parliament and the Parliamentary Select Committees and follows the progress of discussion papers white papers and bills (i.e. it provides background information on the legislative process) www.sabinet.co.za/ ) a subscription service has a searchable version of the Government Gazette in full text since 1994 which includes the full text of Acts regulations and white papers as well as other government information www.butterworths.co.za/ )
Courts and Judgments
Several South African courts make their judgments available on the Internet at no charge. These include:www.concourt.gov.za ) wwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/sca/ )
Unlike sites like the British Bailii the sites offering free access to South African case law do not include a specialised search facility and there is no subject access. Cases may be found by browsing chronological and alphabetical indexes.www.jutastat.com/ ) .
South African Law Schools and Law Librarieswww.uovs.ac.za/faculties/Law/ ) . www.up.ac.za/asservices/ais/law/law.htm ) wwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/lawlibrary/lawlibrary.htm ). The Wits site hosts the reported judgments of the South African Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.
L egal Publishers
There are two major legal publishers in South Africa Butterworths and Juta Law both of which publish in print and electronic form.
Miscellaneouswwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/salc/salc.html ) provides full text access to its discussion papers and reports www.sahrc.org.za/ ) was established by the Human Rights Commission Act of 1994 with the objective of building democracy and a human rights culture in South Africa. Various of its publications are available in full text on line. www.lssa.org.za/ is the umbrella body of the attorneys' profession in South Africa. www.legalnet.co.za/ ) is primarily a fee-based information service aimed at legal professionals. However a certain amount of current awareness material is available for free. Includes a link to De Rebus the professional journal of South African attorneys. sunsite.wits.ac.za/osall/ ) .
There is no official method of legal citation in South Africa. Editors tend to have their own house-style.
In general however an act is cited by Name of the Act Act no. and year followed by individual sections of the act if necessary: e .g. Castle Management Act 207 of 1993 s.19.
Cases are cited in the form used by the publisher. This will usually be: Names of the Parties; the year of the law report in which the case was published; the volume number of the report; an abbreviation indicating the report series; the page number on which the case begins; and an abbreviation indicating the court which delivered the judgment.
Worman v Jones 1968 (4) SA 762 (C) at 768 refers to a case reported in the South African Law Reports volume number 1968 (4) heard in the Cape High Court and specifically cites page 768.
Pillans v Jooste (1999) 1 All SA 367 (A) at 372 refers to a case reported in the All South African Law reports volume number 1999 (1) heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal and specifically cites page 372. It should be noted that while Butterworths the publisher of All SA uses (A) as the symbol for this court Juta Law the publishers of the SALR now uses SCA (but also used (A) for the pre-1994 Appellate Division of the Supreme Court).
There is a growing tendency for courts to number the paragraphs of their judgmentswww.lib.uct.ac.za/law/ which details requirements for assignments submitted to the University of Cape Town s Law Faculty which are based on the South African Law Journal house-style.
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