April 2009


From My Window - April 2009 From My Window April 2009

Some among us have been wondering for years whether successive governments have been frankly afraid to take on the taxi drivers who drive like modern-day pirates across, on and over us and the road network. For much too long law-abiding South African motorists have been put to the 21st century equivalent of the sword by an unbridled gang of transport terrorists.

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Big business beware – class and derivative actions are coming Company Law April 2009

The trend over the past decade in the USA (and more recently in the UK after the enactment of its new Companies Act in 2006) towards more aggressive shareholder activism seems likely to be followed in South Africa once the new Companies Act becomes operative. This new Act is only awaiting its formal promulgation, though it will only come into operation at least one year after being signed by the President

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The King is dead; long live the King Company Law April 2009

Adraft of the King III Code and Report was released on February 25 by the Institute of Directors (IoD). The review of the current King II Code and Report was prompted by international corporate governance trends and the reform of South Africa's company laws with the likely introduction of a new Companies Bill in 2010

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Business rescue in the 2008 Companies Bill Company Law April 2009

In Ancient Rome, a penalty of slavery or being cut into pieces was imposed for declaring bankruptcy; the choice was left to the creditor. Things have improved.

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The Right to Privacy Constitutional Law April 2009

Where does the right to privacy begin? Where does it end? Consider the much-publicised litigation between the former Minister of Health, Tshabalala-Msimang, and the Sunday Times, which had obtained copies of the Minister's confidential medical records and published an article reporting the circumstances of her admission to hospital.

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Kicking up a fuss about making a noise Constitutional Law April 2009

For centuries, noise wasn't a big issue. But continuing urbanisation has brought with it litanies of disturbances which intrude on people's use and enjoyment of their own property. Noise has become a pollution issue and one for which legal redress can be sought.

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Triumph for the right to write Media Law April 2009

Sunday World recently published an article – Mohlala 'Silenced' – which revealed that municipal speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, was in the process of laying charges of fraud against the company Lefika, before he was assassinated in front of his son.

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Reverse onus provision + director’s criminal liability = a formula for constitutional uncertainty Constitutional Law April 2009

This article should be read together with that on p21 – “Competition Law casts its net wider" The reverse onus clause has plagued the Constitutional Court for over a decade. Now, with the proposed insertion of s73A to the Competition Act, the opportunity is ripe for the Constitutional Court to rule conclusively on the legality of the "reverse onus" provision. Does s73A create a scenario which falls within the ambit of what the Constitutional Court has described as a "reasonable and justifiable" limitation of one's constitutional rights or should the constitutionally enshrined rights contained in s35 of the Constitution take precedence?

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Competition law casts its net wider Constitutional Law April 2009

The amendments envisaged in the Competition Amendment Bill (B31D-2008), will leave few, if any, stones unturned

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Hedging your bets (patents) Intellectual Property April 2009

Double patenting" is the protection of one invention by two or more separate patents. It sometimes happens that an applicant for a patent for a new invention will file separate patent applications with overlapping claims directed to different aspects of the invention. This could be – but is not necessarily – double patenting. On the very rare occasion it has even happened that two separate inventors have devised the same invention completely separately from each other and filed competing patent applications for the same invention.

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Smile for the camera . . . but it may be a negative Intellectual Property April 2009

In the South African photography industry, advertising agencies are often the parties which have leverage in negotiations regarding ownership of copyright in photographs taken in relation to an advertisement.

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One year later and going strong -.co.za domain name disputes Intellectual Property April 2009

Before the Alternate Dispute Resolution Regulations were introduced the recourse to parties caught up in .co.za domain name disputes was to institute high court proceedings.

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Do you really want to be a lawyer? Management April 2009

To read some lawyers' contributions to the legal blogs you would be forgiven for thinking that becoming a lawyer today isn't the shrewdest career choice. It is certainly true that some firms are cancelling (or postponing) training contracts; that the legal profession (in the UK at least) is soul-searching whether the partnership model is dead; and I suspect we all think that the time of super-rich (if never easy) pickings for the legal-eagles may also be disappearing fast.

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Beware those hidden suretyships Financial Law April 2009

When Ralph Cooper Agencies CC went insolvent owing Royal Canin SA R2,2 million, the creditor sued the two individual members of the CC relying on a personal suretyship contained in the CC's credit application form.

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Rub them out -no need to tell anyone Financial Law April 2009

The Co-operatives Act (14 of 2005) provides for, inter alia, the formation and registration of cooperatives and the winding up of co-operatives. The Act's aim is to uphold the values of self help, selfreliance, self-responsibility, democracy, equality and social responsibility. It recognises that the viable, autonomous, self-reliant and self-sustaining co-operative movement can play a major role in the country's economic and social development of South Africa; government is committed to providing a supportive legal environment to enable cooperatives to develop and flourish.

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