The law, like the suburban American house, is designed to order a particular pattern of relationships, many of them oriented around the heterosexual nuclear family. For real people in contemporary circumstances to inhabit the house the law built, one has to find side doors and discreet corners, while the dominant space changes little and the façade remains unaltered. The two big L.G.B.T.-rights Supreme Court victories that came before Bostock—Windsor and Obergefell—did exactly that: they carved out a place for monogamous same-sex couples who want to marry (statistically, these are more apt to be white middle-class people like the plaintiffs) in the house of the American nuclear family.
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