Browsing Law Clinic by Author "Van der Merwe, Stephan"
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- ItemCautioning the careless writer : the importance of accurate and ethical legal writing(Sabinet Online, 2014-12) Van der Merwe, StephanLegal professionals are required to write ethically, skilfully and accurately. Growing concerns over the quality of graduated students entering the profession has led to an increased sensitivity about the teaching of writing skills. This article will not consider the how to, but instead focus on the issue of why legal writers should be vigilant in guarding against the proclivity to write in a careless manner. It will be argued that the results of careless legal writing could have devastating consequences for the legal professional’s career as well as his client’s wallet. Legal writing has to be professional and ethical and reflect the writer’s respect for his or her own workmanship as well as for the intended recipient. Careful legal writing aims to avoid misunderstandings and litigation and aids in developing and clarifying legal analysis. It recognises the permanent nature of what is being written and the persuasive potential innate to legal drafting. Responsible legal writers are mindful of the specific legal consequences of their writing and recognise that they have, in their writing, the ability to appeal to the aesthetic sensibilities of the reader.
- ItemContemporary challenges facing law clinics(2018-11-01) Van der Merwe, StephanThe Stellenbosch University Law Clinic (SULC) held a conference in July discussing the contemporary challenges facing South African university law clinics. Before the conference began, the SULC hosted a dinner in celebration of its relaunch. The event celebrated SULC’s 30th anniversary, since the establishment of its organisational strategy for the period of 2018 to 2022 and the launch of its website (www.sulawclinic.co.za). The relaunch was followed by news of the shortlisting of SULC as specialist law firm of the year at the 2018 African Legal Awards where it was awarded the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa’s Achievement Award. Participants at the conference engaged in discussion on a variety of relevant and contentious issues, including the positioning of clinical legal education within the LLB curriculum, monitoring and evaluation and transformation and decolonisation
- ItemLitigation skills for South African lawyers, C.G. Marnewick : book review(2005-01-01) Van der Merwe, StephanSome time during the last quarter of 2003, my candidate attorney stormed into my office and demanded an immediate audience. She then proceeded to inform me, in a most animated fashion, that she had stumbled upon the proverbial ``holy grail'' of textbooks on litigation skills. During a consultation earlier the same day with a client at advocate's chambers, she was introduced to ``Marnewick on Litigation Skills'' (as I am sure this book will soon be commonly referred to). Her rave review and report was warranted not only by the quality of the work at hand, but also in the knowledge that a book of exactly this scope and magnitude was what so many legal practitioners were yearning for. Constitutional Court Judge Johann Kriegler's lavish praise in the foreword of the book is thus well motivated.
- ItemObjections in civil litigation, P. van den Heever : book review(2011-01-01) Van der Merwe, StephanIn this book the author deals in concise terms with the categories of objection which most frequently arise in civil litigation, and in relation to each of them, refers to and provides the most leading and useful authorities. The busy practitioner confronted with an unruly witness will thus have at his disposal the tools with which to formulate a cogent and legally sound argument, on short notice, as to why a particular piece of testimony should be excluded. His opponent will similarly be assisted in dealing with the objection in a helpful and lucid manner.
- ItemRobots and the Law(2018-01-01) Van der Merwe, Stephan; Richards-Bray, Beth; East, Alan; Hardy, StephenIn 2017, Coventry University in the UK established the Coventry Law School Advocacy Project in partnership with the Central England Law Centre. This move enables students to represent clients in front of appellate tribunals. To capitalise on this practical approach to clinical legal education, Coventry University’s Law School and Stellenbosch University in South Africa embarked on an innovative advocacy programme.
- ItemToo simple for National Credit Act matters : reconsidering the scope of Magistrates’ Courts rule 5(2)(b)(2019-10-01) Van der Merwe, StephanIntroduction Rule 5 of the Rules Regulating the Conduct of Proceedings of Magistrates’ Courts of South Africa in GN R720 GG 33487 of 23 August 2010 provides for the process that parties should follow when they institute an action against another in a magistrate’s court.
- ItemTraversing the South African emolument attachment order legal landscape post 2016 : quo vadis?(2019-06-01) Van der Merwe, StephanThe South African Constitutional Court delivered a landmark judgment in relation to emolument attachment orders (“EAOs”) in its 2016 ruling of University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services; Association of Debt Recovery Agents NPC v Clinic; Mavava Trading 279 (Pty) Ltd v Clinic. The court confirmed that EAOs were frequently obtained unlawfully and in circumstances where debtors’ constitutional rights and freedoms were completely disregarded. The judgment followed on decades of legal disputes between creditors, abetted by their collection agents, and debtors, represented by organisations like the University of Stellenbosch Law Clinic. Following this judgment, legislation has been enacted to address some of the more pertinent frailties in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 32 of 1944 (“MCA”) in order to provide for more robust judicial oversight in the granting of EAOs. This article offers a unique perspective on the background that merited this significant judicial and legislative intervention. It then considers the significance and impact of the judgment and impending law reform, and evaluates whether the enactment of the Courts of Law Amendment Act 7 of 2017 (“CLA”) addresses all the relevant concerns. It is suggested that uncertainty still remains regarding EAOs granted before the judgment, as well as with regard to the recovery of illegally deducted amounts.