August 2009


From My Window - August 2009 From My Window August 2009

According to the latest available statistics from the South African Police Service, there were 36 190 reported cases of rape in 2007. That's 99 a day, four an hour or one every fifteen minutes. According to a study conducted by Tshwaranang Legal resources and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and released in October last year, of every 25 men accused of raping a child or woman, 24 walk free. And the same study revealed that, of 34 convicted rapists who could have been handed a life sentence, 30 got away with lighter penalties. All this comes on top of an admission under oath by acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, that South Africa's justice system is failing its child rape victims.

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Fighting needless suffering Animal Rights August 2009

Animal welfare organisations, such as the Highveld Horse Care Unit (HHCU), face unique problems in South Africa. While animal rights laws are similar across the globe, the local population presents unique challenges as a result of decades of poor education about animal care and the fact that the levels of poverty in communities often times leave them with little choice in the care of their animals.

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Time to turn harpoons on whale killers Environmental Law August 2009

By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder- world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air." (Herman Mellville, from the novel “Moby Dick")

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The remorseless sea and coastal property Environmental Law August 2009

Among the impacts of the warming of the earth's atmosphere are rising sea levels and increased flooding in low-lying areas. In turn, these occurrences impact on our pockets – collectively, when coastal municipalities are required to repair damaged infrastructure and insurance companies raise their premiums; individually, when those lucky enough to own or visit coastal property are faced with collapsing terraces and fault lines through their sitting rooms.

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When the stethoscopes went on strike Labour Law August 2009

The recent strike by medical personnel brought into focus the conduct of an employer in deciding the fairness of the dismissal. Striking medical personnel demanded that the Department of Health comply with undertakings made two years ago to introduce increases in remuneration specific to various professions.

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Pandemics Labour Law August 2009

Every employer in South Africa has a general obligation in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (85 of 1993 (OHSA)) to provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees (s8) . This general duty includes an obligation to provide information, instructions, training and supervision that may be necessary to ensure health and safety at work.

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Unfair Labour Law August 2009

S194 (4) of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 provides that the maximum compensation in unfair labour practice disputes is the equivalent of 12 months remuneration. Compensation must, furthermore, be just and equitable dependent on the circumstances of each case.

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The demons of the internet Communications Law August 2009

Wikipedia defines a blog as a web site, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs – and the source of legal problems for many Internet Service Providers.

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Legal eavesdropping and the consequences Communications Law August 2009

The Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Amendment Act (48 of 2008 (the Amendment Act)) is an amendment to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (70 of 2002 (the Principal Act)). The Amendment Act came into force on July 1 20091.

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Bandwidth for South Africa: tax incentives proposed Communications Law August 2009

Information is primarily remitted in one of three ways: physically moving matter from A to B, broadcasting electromagnetic waves through space, or sending signals through wires.

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Ruling from the grave Intellectual Property August 2009

The entertainment world recently bad farewell to actress Farrah Fawcett and music icon Michael Jackson. In an era in which entertainment is king, millions of fans around the world will always treasure those special performances of their favourite entertainers. But the true treasure lies in the Intellectual Property heritage that most performers leave behind. And, like the tributes, the money just doesn't stop rolling in.

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Why contempt applications cannot be ignored Intellectual Property August 2009

The proprietor of a registered design and its licencees (the appellants) obtained an Appeal Court order interdicting two firms from infringing the registered design which relates to plug sockets. The sole shareholder and managing director of the two firms then caused a close corporation to be converted into a company of which he was also the sole shareholder and director. The company thereafter commenced selling plug sockets in South Africa, and applied for revocation of the design registration Appeal Court had found to be valid and infringed by the two firms.

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When geography counts Intellectual Property August 2009

The Western Cape High Court has handed down judgement in Swartland Winery Limited v Group LFE (SA) (Pty) Limited and another, Case No. 16231/2008, a case which confirms that a trademark consisting of a geographical indicator may be capable of distinguishing the goods and services of the proprietor if it has become distinctive as a result of substantial use.

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Why IP is just as real Intellectual Property August 2009

Brief examination of the Intellectual Property profession

The field of intellectual property (IP) (if not also the practitioners), is sometimes perceived to have a certain mystique and otherworldliness, fuelled, no doubt, by the image of a solitary inventor working away in a laboratory, inventing all kinds of things. The reality of an IP practitioner's life can be quite different: a practitioner is often presented with a new mouse-trap, biltong slicer, or bottle opener, and is requested to obtain “world-wide" protection for the “unique" device. This leaves aside those firmly believing they have invented a device based on the perpetual motion principle.

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