I must say studying South African law is quite the experience, its certainly different to the “law” seen on law and order. Well that being from the criminal law perspective. I never intented studying law, in fact i graduated with a buss man diploma and went into trade, boring i know, but thats what i wanted to do. I became a manager, which i thought was quite an achievement, it was in some ways but in others not so much.
The south african legal system seems confused sometimes, when reading the cases the courts (in my mind) cant seem to make up their mind on whether we are following the roman dutch law or english law. In any event most of these decisions are made upon equity, what would be most fair to the parties. The old appelate division decisions are the best, i enjoy the classic english and the latin quotes, the quotes from roman law like ulpian or from the digest. And then the court will move through the roman dutch law and often quote Grotius or Hoogte Raad van Justi. Makes for interesting reading, its cool to see where our law comes from.
Then the courts will go through some english decision, from the english high courts to Lord Coke, once again the main aim is ascertain the meaning of the legal provision in question or form a basis for its reasons, all south african courts must give reasons for all their judgements. I its a bit of romanticism on my part, but i wish i could go back in time to that era and actually be their when some of the land mark decisions have been handed down, it would be awesome.
The south african legal landscape is changing and developing quite rapidly, from a constitutional perspective it is flourishing, from a criminal law perspective it seems to be declining. The city in which i live has a Magistrates court, it is an absolute mess, court files go missing, people don’t do their work, whole trees sprout out of toilet walls LOL >> seriously, i must take a pic and post it. Most of the tiolets bathrooms are falling apart. They have now instituted a card system for court employees to use to open doors ect…problem is? We as attorneys/advocates/law student people dont get any, we cant do our work proper without those cards, we cant get to the offices or people we need to get to in order to do our work!
All i can say is, the legal profession you see on tv is not what its like in real life and here where i live most of the work seems to consist of section 65’s (debt), divorce, maintenance and the occasional neck stabbing wanderer.
I recall one interesting case about a lady accused of fraud, the end! that was it. Maybe im better suited to become an advocate than a lawyer, i cant see myself doing section 65’s for three years, hell i cant see myself doing it for 3 months, lol! but we all need to start somewhere…
good luck for exams