Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
20 July 2012

Inaugural lecture by Professor Wouter de Vos: Is a Class Action a ‘Classy Act’ to Implement outside the Ambit of the Constitution?

The Inaugural lecture by Professor Wouter de Vos: Is a Class Action a ‘Classy Act’ to Implement outside the Ambit of the Constitution?

 July 31st: OT Moot Ct, Kramer: 17h30 and afterwards for refreshments

RSVP: Liesel.Collins@uct.ac.za

In his paper Professor de Vos first gives a brief overview of the leading foreign jurisdictions in the field of class actions. Thereafter he analyses the present legal position in South Africa with reference to the constitutional provision and the leading cases dealing with class actions. He concludes with an appeal to government to follow the leaders in this area and to adopt comprehensive legislation regulating this complex procedure. It is arguable that the courts can entertain and develop class actions by virtue of their inherent jurisdiction but such an approach is not supported because it would not lead to uniformity and certainty.

Wouter de Vos (BA LLB LLM LLD (RAU)) was admitted as an advocate in 1978 and practised at the Johannesburg Bar for three years. Over the next 27 years he lectured at UJ, US, and Rhodes and he joined the Department of Public Law at UCT in 2009 where he teaches Law of Evidence and Criminal and Civil Procedure. He is the author of over 40 articles.

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