My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
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
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.BACK TO TOP