Category Archives: South Africa

Young Legal Scholars Society – South Africa

Sarvani Morgan, Labournet; Nic Preston, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr; and Neil Searle, Fasken Martineau are members of the SASLAW Young Legal Scholars society.  This team has been active in recruiting student memberships since the beginning of 2014.

Their activities include:

  • The creation of a project and marketing plan
  • Visits to the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg to a student career day and to a 4th year class to promote SASLAW membership
  • The creation of a Twitter account – @SASLAW0
  • The planning of a student conference in July 2014 at the University of Pretoria
  • The committee made a proposal to the SASLAW national committee to attend the Dublin Regional Conference in September. SASLAW will assist with accommodation and registration, and the committee members are to find sponsorship for their own flights

The SASLAW national committee has sent out a call to the Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth chapters to appoint a young scholar/attorney to the national YLS committee.

April 2014

Activities of the Young Legal Scholars Section Update

The Latin American Branch

After the very interesting session that took place during the American Regional Congress, the Latin American Branch of the Young Legal Scholars Section is currently working on the edition of the reports presented on that occasion by the various national delegations. The draft of the book will be submitted to a double-independent opinion, before being published by the Law Research Institute (IIJ) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM.

The Branch has also launched a doctrinal development investigation around the theme of the “employment relationship” that will be discussed at the International and Comparative Seminar of Margarita Island. To this end, we have defined four main themes, namely: 1. “The role of private or voluntary initiative in the establishment and modification of working conditions”; 2. “The construction of the concept of the employment relationship”; 3. “The employment relationship and labour law” and 4. “Building up the notion of the employment relationship with the aim to preserve labour law”, whose respective coordination is assigned to lawyers of various nationalities.

We are pleased to note that the national associations of Argentina (also their subsidiary in the province of Cordoba), Chile, Costa Rica and Peru have formed their own sections of young legal scholars, in response to the call of ISLSSL.

All young American legal scholars who are interested in participating in these activities may contact Dr. Juan Pablo Mugnolo (jmugnolo@yahoo.com.ar).

The European Branch

During the next European Regional Congress of Dublin, there will be a Young Scholars Session, in parallel with the first experience of the American Regional Congress of Guayaquil. The session has been scheduled in the Congress’ program on Wednesday, 17th September, 12:15 (beginning of participants’ registration) – 2:30 p.m., in the Sutherland School of Law. The guideline document containing the call for participants, as drawn up from the European coordinator Prof. Stefano Bellomo and his working group, has been posted on the ISLSSL website and will be sent in the next weeks to each European National Member.

Concerning the activities of the National Members, it should be noted that the Spanish Association of Labour Law and Social Security has created its own Young Legal Scholar Section, already very active and which organizes its yearly meetings in September (for more information, please contact the section’s responsible: Mr Josè Maria Miranda Boto at (jmmiranda@gmail.com).

Also the South African Association, SASLAW has recently created its Young Scholar Section, whose head is Sarvani Morgan (smorgan@labournet.com).

Finally, the Austrian Society for Labour Law has appointed Ms Elisabeth Kohlbacher from the Business University of Vienna (Elisabeth.Kohlbacher@wu.ac.at) and Mr Elias Felten from Salzburg University (Elias.Felten@sbg.ac.at), as contact persons for Austria in order to establish the Young Scholar Section. The Austrian Society also announced that during its next national conference, to be held from 26 to 28 of March 2014 in Zell am See (Salzburg) there will be a meeting of young labour lawyers.

News from South Africa

Membership of the SA Society for Labour Law (SASLAW) increased by 206 members (19%) this year and currently stands at an all-time high of 1240. The increase in membership is attributable in the main to members gained as a consequence of our pro bono project, described below.

Main activities undertaken by the Society during the year

(i) Pro bono project

The Society now has pro bono advisory offices up and running at all four Labour Courts around South Africa. In total, 247 members logged 3,274 hours while assisting 4,125 clients during the year.

More than 40 of our senior members acted as judges of the Labour Court in Johannesburg on a pro bono basis for a week during the recess in December / January 2011/12 and July 2012 to assist the court in addressing the backlog of cases.

(ii) Chapter seminars

SASLAW has four provincial chapters based in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. A total of 36 chapter seminars were conducted during the year, attracting a total of 2,009 delegates (an average of 55 per seminar).

(iii) Public comments and nominations

Important amendments to three of South Africa’s main labour statutes have been debated since 2010 and are expected to be enacted in 2013. The Society submitted detailed public comments on the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and Basic Conditions of Amendment Bill in June 2012.

This led to the Society being invited to make a presentation on its comments to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour.

(iv) SASLAW Annual Conference

SASLAW’s annual conference was held on 18 and 19 October 2012 in Johannesburg. The star attraction was a debate between Advocate Martin Brassey SC and Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of COSATU (the largest trade union federation in South Africa) about contemporary labour issues which were chaired by Judge Dennis Davis of the Cape High Court. A record 403 people attended the conference. SASLAW is most grateful to the delegates, speakers and sponsors for making the conference an enormous success.

(v) The 2015 ISLSSL World Congress

Following the Society being awarded the right to host the XXI ISLSSL World Congress in Cape Town in 2015, a local organising committee (LOC) was appointed under the chairmanship of Judge Andre van Niekerk of the Labour Court. Planning for the congress is well advanced. In September 2012, Prof Darcy du Toit and Prof Marylyn Christianson (both members of the LOC) attended the 2012 ISLSSL World Congress held in Santiago, Chile, with a view to gaining insight and experience in preparation for the 2015 World Congress.