Scholars review outdated laws

22 September 2008 | Story by Myolisi Gophe

Ingrid Tufvesson

Scores of UCT academics have been appointed by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Bridgett Mabandla, to advisory committees of the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC).

The committees were appointed to participate in the SALRC's Project 25 dealing with statutory law revision.

Statutory law revision is the process of identifying and proposing the amendment or repeal of statutes that are no longer of practical use. The revision also targets statutory provisions that are obviously at odds with the equality provisions of the Constitution. The appointed committees will review legislation administered by 14 government departments.

Among the 112 experts on the committees 15 are from UCT, and all but one, Dr Ingrid Tufvesson (above left), transformation manager in the Faculty of Commerce, are from the Faculty of Law.

Professor PJ Schwikkard, deputy dean and head of the Department of Criminal Justice and also a Commissioner of the SALRC, was appointed as the project leader for the advisory committee on the legislation administered by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Other UCT scholars on the committees are Debbie Collier, Aifheli Tshivhase, Alexander Paterson, Mohamed Paleker, Karin Lehmann, Graham Bradfield, Dr Danwood Mzikenge Chirwa, Caroline Ncube, Kelly Phelps, Professor Evance Kalula, Professor Rochelle le Roux, Tracy Gutuza, and Professor Tshepo Mongalo.

Pierre van Wyk, researcher at the SALRC, said the committees would deal with about 2 800 individual statutes, some dating back to 1910, and some enacted to promote and sustain apartheid.

"A substantial number of these Acts or statutes serve no purpose anymore, while many others still contain unconstitutional provisions that have given rise to expensive and sometimes protracted litigation," explained Van Wyk.

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