Research Articles (Law Clinic)

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    The South African class action vs group action as an appropriate procedural device
    (Juta Law Publishing, 2019) Broodryk, Theo
    In Trustees for the time being of the Children’s Resource Centre Trust v Pioneer Food (Pty) Ltd (Legal Resources Centre as amicus curiae), Wallis JA held that in defining the class it is not necessary to identify all the members of the class otherwise the question would arise whether a class action was necessary as joinder in terms of the court rules would be permissible. He held that what is required is that the class be defined with sufficient particularity that a specific person’s membership can be objectively determined by examining his or her situation in light of the class definition. It can accordingly be inferred that, where the claimants are all identifiable, irrespective of the size of the class, they may need to be joined as plaintiffs to the proceedings. Class action proceedings may therefore not be the appropriate procedural device to be utilised in such circumstances. The problem, however, is that where the class comprises a large group of persons, joinder may be cumbersome and largely unfeasible. This potential problem is significant in that a court ordering joinder in such circumstances could potentially undermine the very foundation for the incorporation of the class action in to South African law, namely, access to justice. The article will accordingly consider what the test is that our courts should apply and what the factors are that it should take into consideration when determining the appropriateness of a class action as opposed to joinder. These issues have not yet been subject to a comprehensive and critical analysis with regard to the procedural approaches of prominent foreign jurisdictions, which is what the article will aim to do.
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    Fundamental procedural rights of civil litigants in Australia and South Africa : is there cause for concern? (part 2)
    (2019-10-01) Broodryk, Theo; De Vos, Wouter Le R.
    Die artikel oorweeg die verskillende wyses waarop fundamentele prosedurele regte van siviele litigante in beide Australië en Suid-Afrika erken word. Die artikel oorweeg verder die mate waartoe moderne hervormings wat tot die siviele prosesregsisteme van voorafgaande jurisdiksies aangebring is hierdie regte beïnvloed. Die moderne hervormings wat in die artikel bespreek word hou primêr verband met die toenemende behoefte in hedendaagse gemeenregtelike sisteme aan prosedures wat daarop gemik is om siviele dispute op ’n goedkoper, vinniger en meer effektiewe wyse op te los. Die artikel oorweeg gevolglik of die Australiese- en Suid-Afrikaanse prosesregtelike sisteme op die regte pad is betreffende die beskerming van partye se fundamentele regte en of daar rede tot kommer behoort te wees. In beide Australië en Suid-Afrika speel geregtelike saakbestuur ’n toenemende belangrike rol gedurende litigasie, met die gevolg dat geregtelike saakbestuurders se magte voortdurend aan die uitbrei is. Daar bestaan ook voortdurende meedoënlose druk om weg te beweeg van verhore en om van alternatiewe geskilbeslegting, veral bemiddeling, gebruik te maak om siviele dispute op te los. In die artikel argumenteer die outeurs dat hierdie hervormings om verskeie redes ’n ontkenning van siviele litigante se fundamentele regte tot gevolg kan hê. Die breë spektrum van magte wat aan geregtelike saakbestuurders verleen word om prosedurele beslissings te maak kan ’n nadelige effek hê op die wyse waarop ’n party sy of haar saak pleit en voorlê vir geskilbeslegting. In die artikel argumenteer die outeurs dat dit ’n onregverdigbare beperking op ’n party se reg om gehoor te word tot gevolg kan hê. Die outeurs argumenteer verder dat die toenemende beweging weg van verhore en meer na alternatiewe geskilbeslegting die belangrike grondwetlike rol van die howe in siviele geskilbeslegting en die ontwikkeling van die reg kan benadeel. Dit maak verder ook inbreuk op ’n persoon se reg op toegang tot die how
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    Class action certification and constitutional claims : the South African case
    (2020-09-21) Broodryk, Theo
    This article considers whether, in the case of South African, there is a valid basis for requiring certification of certain types of class actions only. Specifically, the article will consider whether a preliminary certification requirement should apply to constitutional claims against the government in the same way it applies to other class actions. To determine this issue, the purpose of certification is considered with a view to establishing whether said purpose is only given effect to in certain circumstances. If certification would serve no purpose in the context of Bill of Rights claims or claims which display a public character, it may be prudent not to require class action certification in such cases. Conversely, if certification would still serve a purpose in those types of cases, it should remain part of class proceedings. To assist in making this determination, the position in several European jurisdictions, Ontario and the United States is considered.
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    Litigation skills for South African lawyers, C.G. Marnewick : book review
    (2005-01-01) Van der Merwe, Stephan
    Some 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.
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    Robots and the Law
    (2018-01-01) Van der Merwe, Stephan; Richards-Bray, Beth; East, Alan; Hardy, Stephen
    In 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.