Counterfeiting is a huge problem in Africa, affecting people and players across the board – IP owners, consumers, law enforcement authorities and governments. In many African countries there are now reasonably effective anti-counterfeiting initiatives in place, and in some countries there is even specific anti-counterfeiting legislation. Yet counterfeiting continues unabated. So are there any lessons to be learnt from Europe, where there is significant multinational co-operation?
South Africa's mining industry has always been a cornerstone of the economy, and it has, particularly in recent years, been a key contributor to transformation, growth and development. As with all other stakeholders, mining companies have been affected by COVID-19 outbreaks. The implementation of the national lockdown has resulted in limited commercial activity, and mining projects either slowing down or being put on hold indefinitely. Publically available information suggests that mining activity slowed down by 21,5% during the period 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020. Views have been expressed that this is the biggest drop in six years, with manganese, iron ore and chromium being the biggest contributors to this decline.
On 12 December 2019, in the matter between Houtbosplaas (Pty) Ltd, TBS Alpha Beleggings (Pty) Ltd (the Applicants) and Nedbank Limited (the Respondent), the Pretoria High Court raised contentious issues for determination, which directly impact how accountable institutions (AI's) in South Africa, (a) verify their customers' information as required by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (38 of 2001) (the FICA), and (b) restrict or freeze their customers' accounts.
As South Africans and consumers, we have many criticisms about the running of this country, but our banking system should certainly not be one of them. Among other measures, according to the Banking Association of South Africa's latest Transformation in Banking report, almost 80% of South Africans now have a bank account, up from just over 50% in the late 1990s.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting health controls imposed by the United Kingdom (UK) government are causing substantial loss to businesses in the UK, particularly to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Those dependent on these businesses for their livelihoods are experiencing immense financial strain.
The crypto asset economy has shown sporadic growth in South Africa. Currently there is no regulatory framework which regulates the use of crypto assets within South Africa and, accordingly, no protection or recourse available to investors in crypto assets and/or users of crypto assets.
Over 11 years since the creation of Bitcoin – the world's largest crypto currency by market capitalization – and many countries have implemented a policy position and/or enacted legislation on crypto assets. The main aim of these policies has been to clarify the rights of individuals and businesses transacting in crypto assets, and to limit the associated risk.
At the end of May, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his role as the African Union chair, hosted a virtual meeting of African heads of states and declared: "The challenge of this pandemic has shown how Africa is able to work together to solve its own problems. Day by day, across our continent, we are seeing the unity that is our strength being put to the service of saving lives and supporting the vulnerable."
The Recorder reports that a New York State Bar Association task-force group, citing federal and state case law, said that, for the sake of public health, it should be mandatory for all Americans to have a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it is available. And this should include those who won't want it for "religious, philosophical or personal reasons".
Washington court sunsets limited license programme for non-lawyers
The Washington Supreme Court is phasing out the state's Limited License Legal Technicians programme that has permitted non-lawyers to perform legal tasks within family law. LLLT was introduced in 2012 to find innovative ways to provide accessible, affordable legal help to many people needing legal services. The overall costs of sustaining the pro- gramme, and the small number of interested individuals, led the court to decide that the programme is not an effective way to meet these needs. Existing licenses will be maintained but no new licenses will be granted.
Lyle Moran June 8
Recusal is a consistently contentious issue across African courts, with criticism of judges for standing down when they should not agree to do so and for not recusing themselves when commentators believe they should. Against this background, alarm bells go off in my head whenever I notice a case involving recusal, whatever the jurisdiction, and I took a look to see how the question was handled.
In recent years, there have been growing calls for land reformation and a fairer distribution of property in South Africa. Many have called for expropriation of land without compensation, while others view this as a dangerous and radical procedure. Despite the differences of opinion, we are currently observing what could become one of the most significant changes to land reform in the history of SA's democracy. Seemingly given the backseat in light of our current struggle against the Covid-19 pandemic, an amendment to s25 of our Constitution is on the cards and could result in a variety of changes to the current state of land restitution.
Since time immemorial, fatalities on South African roads due to motor vehicle accidents have been a major contributor to unnatural deaths and negative economic growth and development. It has been estimated that the annual cost to the economy of road accidents is in excess of R164 billion.
This article raises questions which are critical to our politico-legal system of separation of powers and the legitimacy of judicial decision making, with the Constitutional Court as the guardian of the Constitution. After having considered recent judgments on the courts' approach to the doctrine of separation of powers, this offers a way in which the judgments of the Constitutional Court could be reviewed, without them enduring as a binding decision as the stare decisis principle demands.
It is a well-known fact, and has been stated on various occasions in South Africa's legal resources, that the 'magistrates courts have no inherent jurisdiction and that their jurisdiction must be deduced from the four corners of the statute under which they are constituted'. With that said, magistrates' courts cannot adjudicate many application procedures, even if they fall within the monetary jurisdiction, with the consequence that applicants are required by law to refer their dispute to the high court. This has a significant cost and time-delay implication for the applicant. Hence the subject of this article – does the magistrates' courts' lack of jurisdiction to adjudicate application procedures obstruct the constitutional right of access to justice?