Unformatted text preview: LAW OF PERSONS THE ULTIMATE LAW OF PERSON’S EXAM PACK: 1 Simplified notes 2 Summarised court cases 3 Past exam papers with solutions For more information & other modules: Call 0123230662/0712468412 Prepared by Stacy Mulenga (BBL-Unisa) (071 161 5920) www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 1 Introduction Law of persons Law of persons determines: 1. which beings are legal subjects 2. how a legal subject originates and comes to an end 3. what legal status involves 4. what effect various factors have on a person's legal status Confined to treatment of the natural person only: not juristic persons. Deals virtually exclusively with the status of natural persons in the field of private law. Different kinds of legal subjects Legal personality is bestowed only on legal subjects. In SA we have: 1. The natural person 2. The juristic person Factors determining recognition as a legal subjects Legal personality is conferred only to entities the law sees fit to recognize as legal subjects. The following factors determine what is recognized as a legal entity within a country: 1. Legal norms and views of a particular community 2. The needs of commercial traffic 3. Historic and cultural background of a specific nation Thus, as these factors change, what is recognized as a legal entity is subject to change. Natural Person All human beings, irrespective of age, mental capacity or intellectual capacity, are recognized as legal subjects: known as “natural persons” Thus: every human can have rights, duties and capacities based on mental capacity & age. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 2 Exceptions before modern law Slavery was not abolished in the Cape until 1834: until then slaves in SA were legal objects who could not have rights, duties or capacities. Monstra: babies born so deformed that they lacked the human form and human mind were not legal subjects under Roman & Roman Dutch law: today any abomination is regarded as a legal subject. Juristic person Legal personality is also bestowed on certain associations of natural persons. The association itself is granted legal personality and is called a juristic person. Characteristics of a juristic person 1. Enjoys a legal existence independent from its members or the people who created it 2. Must always act through its functionaries, i.e. directors of a company 3. When functionaries act on behalf of the juristic person, it juristic person acquires rights, duties and capacities, i.e. be bind itself to a contract, be owner of things, etc. What is recognized as juristic persons? 1. Associations incorporated in terms of general enabling legislation, i.e. companies, banks, close corporations and co-operatives 2. Associations especially created and recognized as juristic persons in separate legislation, i.e. universities, semi-state organizations, public corporations (Eskom, SABC) 3. Associations which comply with the common-law requirements for the recognition of legal personality of a juristic person, i.e. churches, political parties, trade unions: known as universitates: Must meet following requirements: a. Association must have a continued existence irrespective of the fact that its members may vary b. Must have rights, duties and capacities c. Its object must not be the acquisition of gain Trusts and partnerships are not recognized. Beginning of legal personality Legal personality begins at birth: foetus is not a legal subject. Requirements for the beginning of legal personality: 1. Birth must be fully completed: complete separation between mother & foetus; umbilical cord does not have to be severed 2. Child must live after the separation: stillborn foetus does not acquire legal personality. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 3 Viability (child can live independently of mother) is not a requirement for commencement of legal personality in South Africa due to viability being a vague concept that could lead to impossible problems of evidence (how to determine viability, length of life before viable, etc.). Determining whether a child was alive 1. Purposes of criminal proceedings: Section 239(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977: if the child has breathed, it was alive; child did not have to have independent circulation; child does not have to be entirely separated from its mother. 2. Courts: rely on medical evidence: normally whether child breathed or not; any other medical evidence by which life may be proved should be acceptable. Registration of births Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992 1. The Director General of Home Affairs must be notified of the birth of every child that was born alive within 30 days of the child’s birth. 2. Duty rests on the parents to give notice: if neither can, notice must be given by: d. The person who has charge of the child e. The person the parents requests to do so 1. Anyone may apply to the Director General to assume a different surname 2. If a child’s surname has changed, the birth register may be changed to reflect the change. Naming of legitimate children under the act 1. Child must have a first name and a surname 2. Notice of legitimate child’s birth: must be given under the surname of either parent or both surnames joined together: double-barrelled. 3. Children born as a consequence of artificial fertilisation of a woman who is a partner in a same-sex life partnership are also legitimate due to J v Director General, Department of Home Affairs: (2) thus counts for them too Naming of extra-marital children under the act 1. An extramarital child is registered under surname of mother unless parents jointly request that the father’s surname be used 2. If an extramarital child is registered under father’s name, the father must acknowledge paternity in presence of person to whom the notice of birth is given and enter his particulars on the notice of birth www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 4 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. A father who wants to acknowledge paternity of an extramarital child and enter his particulars on the notice of birth after the birth has already been registered, may do so with the mother’s consent If the mother withholds consent, the father may apply to the high court for a declaratory order confirming his paternity and dispensing with the mother’s consent If an extramarital child is registered under her father’s surname, the surname may only be changed with the father’s written consent. No provision is made in the act for double-barrelled surnames of extramarital children. If the parents of an extramarital child marry after the birth has been registered, the register can be altered as if the parents were married at the time of birth. Definition of extra-marital/legitimate 1. “Child born out of wedlock” (extra-marital) does not include children whose parents were married at the time of conception or at any time thereafter before the completion of the child’s birth. 2. Concept of “marriage” has been expanded to include customary marriages and marriages concluded or solemnized according to the tenets of any religion: thus child = legitimate. 3. Religious marriages in (2) have not been afforded full recognition in our law, thus child is only considered legitimate for the purposes of registration of birth and not for all purposes. Interests of the unborn child (nasciturus) Nasciturus fiction Law protects the potential interests of the nasciturus by employing the fiction that the foetus is regarded as having been born at the time of conception when it is to his advantage. In such a case, the legal position is kept in abeyance (interests are kept aside) until birth of the child or until certainty has been reached that foetus will not become legal subject (abortion, miscarriage, etc.). If foetus does become a legal subject, he receives the rights that have been kept in abeyance for him. Unborn foetus cannot have rights, duties or capacities. Requirements when employing the fiction 1. Child must have been conceived at the time that the benefit would have accrued to him 2. Child must subsequently be born alive www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 5 Limitations of the fiction 1. A third person may benefit from the application of the fiction if such a benefit is a natural consequence of the application of the fiction in favour of the nasciturus, but the fiction may not be employed if only a third person will benefit, thus: f. If inheriting nasciturus dies shortly after birth, fiction will not be employed as only a third party benefits and not the child. g. If nasciturus inherits an estate large enough to support it, the parents will not be liable for its maintenance: thus parents and nasciturus benefit. 1. Fiction cannot be employed to the detriment of the nasciturus Interests taken into account In common law the nasciturus fiction was mainly employed in the field of succession. In SA, he fiction’s application has been extended beyond the law of succession: Patrimonial interests Succession Intestate succession (person dies without a will) Nasciturus is employed: Distribution of assets is postponed until it is certain whether or not a live person has been born. If child is alive: inherits as if already alive at time of deceased’s death. If child is not alive: does not obtain rights and is not considered when estate is divided. Testate succession (testator leaves a valid will) If testator’s intentions regarding the unborn child is clear, testator’s intention is carried out. If intentions are unclear, rules of the law of succession must be employed. Examples: 1. If X leaves property specifically to A, B and C while D has already been conceived at the time of the testators death but has not yet been born, D gets nothing. 2. If X leaves property to his (grand)children who are “born or still to be born”, any such (grand)children born after X’s death will inherit regardless of whether or not they had already been conceived at the time of X’s death. 3. If X does not appoint beneficiaries by name but as members of a class (i.e. “children of Y”), a child in that class who was already conceived at the time of X’s death can inherit. Ex Parte Boedel Steenkamp: X left stuff to “children who are alive at the time of my death”: Judge decided conceived child should also inherit as the words “are alive” do not rebut the strong natural presumption that the testator intended to include the nasciturus. Steenkamp demonstrates: www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 6 1. 2. Court’s unwillingness to act to the prejudice of the nasciturus A testator who wishes a nasciturus not to inherit must express that intention very clearly. Fideicommissum Testator has ability to leave stuff to persons as yet unborn or unconceived: A leaves farm to B, proviso farm must devolve to B’s eldest son, C, after B’s death, and to D after C’s death: 1. Institution know as fideicommissum 2. B is known as the fiduciary (fiduciarus) 3. C and D are known as the fideicommissaries (fideicommissarii) Fideicommissum: protection of the interests of the unborn child 1. B may not alienate or mortgage the farm without the high court’s permission h. If all fideicommissaries are majors and consent to alienation or mortgaging, there will be no problem in obtaining such an order i. If there is a minor or unborn fideicommissary, the court must give or withhold its consent as upper guardian of all minors 1. The court will only give its consent if the alienation or mortgaging will be to the advantage of all beneficiaries, including the unborn Standard protection of the interests of the unborn child 1. Immovable Property Act 94 of 1965 provides that the court has the power to remove or modify restrictions on immovable property which have been imposed by a will if it is to the advantage of the unborn or unconceived person. 2. Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965 provides that a. if an unborn child will after birth become entitled to money or movable property which is subject to somebody else’s usufructuary of fiduciary rights, that person must give security to the master of the high court for the payment of the money or delivery of the property to the child after its birth. b. The master may consent to the subdivision of the land on behalf of the unborn heir if this is expedient and equitable 3. In legal proceedings involving property in which an unborn person may have an interest, a curator ad litem looks after the unborn child’s interests. Maintenance In Chisholm v ERPM 1909 it was held that: 1. a child whose father is killed prior to her birth as a result of someone else’s delict has a dependant’s action for damages of support against that person. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 7 2. damages are calculated on the basis of putting the child in the position it would have been in had the father not been killed In Shields v Shields 1946 it was held that: 3. A mother or father cannot waive his or her unborn child’s right to claim maintenance 4. An agreement to that effect would be contra bonos mores. If a pregnant mother divorces the father of her unborn child, the court may provide for the child’s maintenance in the divorce order in order to avoid the need for legal proceedings about maintenance after the child’s birth. This is not based on the nasciturus fiction, it is merely a common sense approach based on expedience. Personality Interests In Pinchin v Santam Insurance Co the nasciturus fiction was extended to the field of delict: the father claimed damages for the infringements of the child’s personality rights. The legal question was whether a person has an action for injury inflicted on him while still a foetus in his mother’s womb. Judge Hiemstra, after looking at various sources, decided our law was flexible enough to extend the nasciturus fiction to the field of delict. He accordingly held that a child does have an action to recover damages for pre-natal injuries. See Cases for full exposition. Criticism against Hiemstra’s judgement The question which arose in Pinchin could have been solved without invoking the nasciturus fiction: 1. The ordinary principles of the law of delict would have given the child an action for prenatal injuries anyway. 2. All the elements of a delict need not be present at the same time and that it therefore does not matter that the conduct and its consequences do not manifest themselves at the same time 3. Thus the requirements of conduct and damage are met even if the disability which the child suffers after birth was caused by the driver before birth Arguments for Hiemstra’s judgement Nasciturus fiction has to be applied in order to give an action for pre-natal injury: 1. An unborn child has no legal personality and thus no rights that can be infringed by a delict 2. Thus in order to provide the child with an action, the child’s legal personality must be pre-dated to before the birth so that the child has legal personality at the time of the conduct causing the injury www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 8 Guardianship and custody Guardianship and custody are the 2 components of parental authority. Guardianship: capacity a parent has to administer his child’s estate and assist child in the performance of juristic acts. Custody: controlling the person of the child. If a woman is pregnant and gets divorced, the court may include an order regarding custody & guardianship in the divorce: done to obviate further legal proceedings once the child is born. Same as maintenance: nasciturus not invoked; merely for convenience once child is born. Parental authority does not arise until the child is actually born: 1. A pregnant woman cannot have parental authority over a part of her own body 2. A father cannot have parental authority over a part of the woman’s body 3. The father cannot stop the mother from having an abortion, thus he cannot even have parental authority over the foetus 4. Question of how one would exercise parental authority, especially custody, over an unborn child arises Friedman v Glicksman 1996: Mother wants to enter into a contract for her unborn child. Problems with this: 1. Legal personality only begins at birth, thus mother may not enter into a contract on behalf of a non-existent principle. 2. Nasciturus can also not be used: would mean that parental authority is conferred on parent before birth of child (not possible) Solution to this: rd 1. Parent enters into a contract with a 3 person 2. Parent (A) enters into a contract with somebody else (B) in terms of which B undertakes to keep open an offer of contract with the unborn child (C) after his birth 3. C is thus not party to the contract, only A and B, thus it does not matter that C does not yet exist Termination of Pregnancy Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996 regulates termination of pregnancies. Circumstances under which pregnancy may be terminated 1. On the request of the woman during the first 12 weeks of the gestation period th th 2. From the 13 to the 20 week of the gestation period if a medical practitioner, after consultation with the pregnant woman is of the opinion that: www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 9 3. a. The continued pregnancy of the pregnancy would pose a risk of injury to the woman’s physical or mental health b. There is a substantial risk that the foetus would suffer from severe physical or mental abnormality c. The pregnancy resulted from rape or incest d. The continued pregnancy would significantly affect the woman’s social or economic circumstances After the 20th week of the gestation period only after a medical practitioner in consultation with another medical practitioner or a registered midwife is of the opinion that the pregnancy would a. Endanger the woman’s life b. Result in severe malformation of the foetus; or c. Pose a risk of injury to the foetus Before the 12th week a termination may be performed by either a midwife or a medical practitioner. After the 12th week only by a medical practitioner. Consent by mentally able women 1. Termination may only take place with the informed consent of the pregnant woman. 2. No consent other than that of the woman is needed, unless the woman is incapable of giving consent 3. Minors must be advised to consult with their parents, guardians, family members or friends before termination but may not be denied if she prefers not to do so. Consent by mentally disabled and unconscious women Termination with consent of spouse/guardian/curator personae 1. If (1) the gestation period is less than 21 weeks and (2) the circumstances listed under point 2 of 3.7.1 are present the pregnancy may be terminated by a guardian or spouse if the woman: a. is mentally disabled to such an extent that she is incapable of understanding and appreciating the nature or consequences of terminating her pregnancy, or b. she is in a state of continued unconsciousness without a reasonable prospect of regaining consciousness in time to request and consent to the termination 2. The curator personae may consent if the woman’s guardian or spouse cannot be found 3. Two medical practitioners or a medical practitioner and a registered midwife must also consent to the termination www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 10 Termination without consent of spouse/guardian/curator personae: prior to 21 st week of gestation 1. Pregnancy may be terminated without consent of spouse/guardian/curator personae if two medical practitioners or a medical practitioner and a registered midwife are of the opinion that a. The continued pregnancy would pose a risk of injury to the woman’s physical or mental health b. There is a substantial risk that the foetus would suffer from a severe physical or mental abnormality Termination without consent of spouse/guardian/curator personae: from 21 st week of gestation onwards 1. Pregnancy may be terminated without consent of spouse/guardian/curator personae if two medical practitioners or a medical practitioner and a registered midwife are of the opinion that the pregnancy would a. Endanger the woman’s life b. Result in a sever malformation of the foetus c. Pose a risk of injury to the foetus Sterilization 1. The Sterilization act 44 of 1998 permits the voluntary sterilization of anyone over the age of 18 years who is able of consenting. 2. Applies regardless whether or not the person is married 3. Person must give free and voluntary consent without inducement 4. Before consenting, the person must be a. given a clear explanation and adequate of the proposed plan of sterilization procedure b. told of the consequences, risks, reversible/irreversible nature of the procedure c. advised that consent may be withdrawn any time before the sterilization takes place 5. After (4), consent must be given on a particular prescribed form 6. Person under 18 will only be sterilized if failure to perform the sterilization would jeopardize his life or seriously impair his physical health 7. When sterilizing, the method posing the smallest amount of risk to the patient’s health must be used. Sterilizing mentally disabled people 1. For persons with severe mental disability, sterilization may be performed with the consent of person’s parent, spouse, guardian or curator. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 11 2. 3. 4. Desirability of sterilization must be evaluated by a panel consisting of a psychiatrist/medical doctor, psychologist/social worker and a nurse The panel must take all relevant facts into account, including that the person has reached the age of 18 and that there is no other safe and effective method of contraception If the person is incapable of consenting or incompetent due to severe mental disability, the sterilization may only be performed if the panel concurs that the sterilization may be performed and if the person is incapable of a. Making his own decision about contraception or sterilization b. Developing mentally to a sufficient degree to make an informed decision about contraception or sterilization c. Fulfilling the parental responsibilities associated with giving birth Is the nasciturus a legal subject? Nasciturus Rule Van der Vyver, Joubert and Van der Merwe maintain that the protection afforded to the foetus is based on the nasciturus rule and not a fiction: 1. Whenever a situation arises where it would have been to the advantage of the nasciturus had he already been born, all rights conferred on people are also conferred on the foetus 2. Thus follows that the foetus is a legal subject from the date of conception whenever his interests are at issue 3. Thus legal personality sometimes begins at birth and sometimes at conception Nasciturus Fiction Cronje & Heaton and Jordaan & Davel favour the nasciturus fiction: 1. Nasciturus is regarded as having been born at the time of conception if a situation arises where it will be to the foetus’s advantage had it already been born. 2. Not the protection of the “rights” of the nasciturus that is involved, but the protection of the rights of the child that will be born later 3. Thus the qualification that the nasciturus is regarded as having been born only if a living child is indeed born 4. If the child is not born alive, the protection falls away completely and it is as if there never was a nasciturus 5. Thus the interests of the as yet unborn child are kept open until he is actually born. 6. Accordingly, legal personality only begins at birth www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 12 The end of legal personality Legal personality is terminated by death: thus dead people have no rights or obligations. The dead person’s assets are protected to protect the interests of creditors & heirs. It is not clear what criteria are applied in determining when a person is legally dead: 1. Courts rely exclusively on medical evidence to establish a. whether someone is dead b. the moment of death 2. In the past: death = absence of natural heart and lung activity 3. Today: death = a process which sometimes extends over a period of time and involves cessation of natural heart, lung and brain activity 4. Medical experts suggest that brain death should be legally accepted as death 5. Human Tissue Act 65 of 1983 governs anatomical donations after death but does not specify criteria for determining when death takes place a. Provides that 2 doctors who have been in practice for at least 5 years must certify that the donor is dead b. 2 doctors may not be part of the transplant team c. Act thus places determination of death completely in the hands of the medical profession Proof of death Required for 2 reasons: 1. Once death is proved the deceased’s estate can be administered and distributed 2. The surviving spouse can remarry Death is proved by means of a death certificate signed by a medical practitioner or magistrate. After death has been registered, Director-General of Home Affairs issues an official death certificate which is prima facie proof of the death of the person mentioned in the certificate. Presumption of Death Common Law procedure If a person disappears and could be dead a presumption of death can be pronounced under the common law or, in some instances, in terms of statute. Procedure to get a missing person pronounced dead 1. Any interested party can ask the high court where the person had his domicile to grant a presumption of death 2. Case is brought by way of an application 3. All relevant facts and circumstances must be brought to the attention of the court www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 13 4. Applicant must prove on a preponderance of probabilities that the missing person is dead Factors and circumstances taken into account 1. Initially based on English law where presumption was granted after 7 years 2. Was later superseded by the rule that no fixed period of time is required (see Beaglehole) 3. Factors and circumstances taken into account to prove probability of death: a. Length of time person has been missing b. The age of the person when presumed dead c. The person’s position in life d. The trade or occupation of the person e. The age of the person when the application is brought forward f. The person’s state of health at the time of the disappearance g. Whether or not the person manifested suicidal inclinations Procedure followed by our courts to issue presumption 1. After the hearing, the court sets a return date on which the final order will be made 2. Applicant must then a. give notice of rule nisi to interested parties indicated by the court b. publish the rule nisi in the Government Gazette c. publish the rule nisi in a newspaper in circulation in the area where the missing person used to live Statutory procedure There are 2 ways in which someone can be declared dead by statute: Inquests Act 58 of 1959 Section 5(2) of the Inquests Act 58 of 1959 says that: 1. If a magistrate is of the opinion that a death was not of natural causes, he must make sure that an inquest into the circumstances and cause of the death is held by a judicial officer 2. If the corpse is available, the district surgeon must examine it to determine cause of death 3. If the body cannot be found or has been destroyed and all the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is dead, the judicial officer must record his findings in respect of: a. The deceased person’s identity b. The cause or likely cause of death www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 14 4. 5. 6. c. The date of death d. Whether the death was caused by an offence If the judicial officer cannot find any of the above, the fact must be recorded If a magistrate has recorded findings regarding the deceased person’s identity and date of death, these must be submitted at the inquest for review by the high court having jurisdiction in the area where the inquest was held If the high court confirms the findings the effect is the same as if it had made an order presuming the person’s death Remarks re the Act In this act, the state takes the initiative because an unnatural death is suspected: thus not necessary for a private person to approach the court and ask for a presumption of death to be granted. According to the act, the judicial officer must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is dead: this differs from the common law presumption which only has to prove death on a balance of probabilities. Thus it is more difficult to prove a death due to the heavier onus of proof and it would be easier to have someone presumed dead under the common law. Aviation Act 74 of 1962 Section 12(1) of the act says: 1. If an aircraft is involved in an accident in or above the Republic or its territorial waters, or any South African aircraft is involved in an accident anywhere, the Minister of Transport may appoint a board of enquiry to investigate the accident. 2. If there has been loss of life and a judicial officer is part of the board of enquiry a. the same procedure as followed under the Inquests Act must be followed b. the inquiry may be a joint inquiry by the board and an inquest under the Inquests Act 3. If it is not found beyond a reasonable doubt that someone died, interested parties may still approach the court for an order presuming the person’s death. The effect of an order of presumption of death Order presuming death is binding on the whole world. Only the high court of the area where the person was domiciled has jurisdiction to pronounce or set aside an order presuming death. Rebuttable presumption 1. A presumption of death is a rebuttable presumption re the death of a person. 2. The order can be set aside if it turns out that the person might be/is alive 3. Application can be brought by any interested party or the person himself www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 15 4. If this happens, the formerly missing person may a. approach the court for an order that the estate not be further divided b. ask for an order setting aside the presumption of death c. get all their stuff back from people who have received benefits d. sue people under the condictio indebiti if they don’t want to give his stuff back Estate 1. 2. The estate of the person can be administered and divided amongst his heirs Courts may require heirs to furnish security if the missing person should appear Dissolution of marriage 1. Order presuming someone’s death does not automatically dissolve marriage 2. Dissolution of Marriages on Presumption of Death Act 23 of 1979 regulates the position: a. If a person has been presumed dead, the court may make an order that the marriage is deemed dissolved by death on a date determined by the court. b. The court will not dissolve a marriage on its own initiative: the application must be brought by the spouse c. Result of the order is that the marriage is dissolved as if by death of one of the spouses d. If an inquest was held under the Inquests Act and a presumption of death was given, the marriage is automatically dissolved and no application needs to be brought by the spouse Refusal by court to issue presumption of death 1. Court may refuse to order presumption of death, but may still divide person’s belongings between his heirs provided they give security should the person come back. 2. Court may also refuse to order presumption of death but may appoint a curator bonis to administer his affairs. Presumptions regarding sequence of death If people die together (commorientes), the courts may need to determine who died first to see who inherited from whom Law today is: 1. If the sequence cannot be proved on a balance of probabilities, no presumption of survival or simultaneous death will be made 2. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, however, court will find that all commorientes died together www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 16 Registrations of death Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992 requires every death to be reported to the Director General of Home Affairs. Applies to: 1. Deaths due to natural causes 2. Deaths due to unnatural causes 3. Stillbirths Giving notice 1. If someone died of natural causes, anyone who was present at the death or became aware of it or the person in charge of the funeral must notify the Director General 2. Notice is given by means of a medical certificate issued by the medical practitioner who attended to the deceased or attended the corpse or by means of prescribed notice 3. If someone died of unnatural causes, a certificate may not be issued and the matter must be reported to the police whereupon an inquest will be held under the Inquests Act 4. For a stillbirth, the medical practitioner present at the birth or who examined the corpse must notify the Director General 5. If no doctor was present at the stillbirth, the duty falls on anyone who was present 6. As soon as the death has been registered, the Director General will issue an official death certificate Duty to bury the deceased 1. No one may be buried or cremated before a burial order has been issued in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act: burial order is issued only once the prescribed notice of death/stillbirth has been given. 2. Written instructions by the deceased must be followed as far as possible. 3. In the case of verbal instructions, there must be clear proof of those instructions, especially if they contradict the written instructions. 4. If there are no instructions, the deceased’s heirs have the right and duty to determine the corpse’s fate. Status Status is derived from Latin stare (stand): thus status is concerned with a person’s standing in the law. Standing is determined by various attributes of a person or the condition in which he finds himself and to which the law attaches consequences, i.e.: 1. Domicile 2. Extra-marital birth www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 17 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Youth Physical illness or incapacity Mental illness or incapacity Intoxication Prodigality Insolvency A legal subject has several capacities which flow directly from the law and are influenced by the factors previously listed: 1. Legal capacity 2. Capacity to act 3. Capacity to litigate (locus standi in iudicio) 4. Capacity to be held accountable for crimes and delicts Only the high court is competent to give judgements regarding status. Legal capacity 1. Legal capacity is the capacity to have rights and duties. 2. All humans have this capacity irrespective of personal qualities 3. All legal subjects have legal capacity, but legal capacity does not extend equally far for everyone, i.e. a child cannot marry a. Certain legal subjects cannot have certain rights or duties at all b. Certain legal subjects cannot have certain rights or duties at a specific time c. Thus legal capacity can be limited from person to person but no legal subject will ever be entirely without legal capacity 4. Something that can never have rights or duties is not a legal subject but a legal object Capacity to act 1. Refers to the capacity to perform valid juristic acts. 2. Juristic act: an act to which the law attaches at least some of the consequences desired by the party performing the act 3. Children under 7 and mentally ill people have no capacity to act: law does not attach any validity to their expression of will 4. People between the ages of 7 and 21 have limited capacity to act: the law attached expression of will to certain acts but not to others Capacity to litigate Refers to the capacity to appear in court as party to a lawsuit Usually a close correlation between capacity to act and capacity to litigate. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 18 Some authors maintain that, because someone else can litigate on behalf of infantes and mentally ill people, these people do in fact have capacity to litigate: Cronje & Heaton do not support this. Capacity to be held accountable for crimes and delicts Refers to accountability: capacity to be held liable for crimes and delicts. Often coincides with capacity to act and capacity to litigate. To a large extent influenced by a person’s age and mental condition because intent (dolus) or negligence (culpa) is a requirement for criminal and delictual liability: mentally ill people or people that are very young cannot have criminal capacity. Domicile Domicile is used to determine which legal system is applicable to specific people when determining their status. Definition of domicile Domicile is: 1. the place where a person is deemed to be constantly present 2. for the purpose of exercising his or her rights 3. and fulfilling his or her obligations 4. even in the event of his or her factual absence To acquire domicile in the legal sense, one must have the intention of settling at a particular place for an indefinite period. Importance of domicile Domicile is important in many fields of private law. Examples: 1. Whether or not a child is legitimate or extra-marital is determined by the law of the child’s domicile of origin 2. Law of succession: if someone dies intestate, law of the country of domicile determines how movable property should devolve 3. Relevant when determining whether someone has the capacity to inherit 4. Determines what the matrimonial property regime of a marriage will be 5. Determines which division of the high court has jurisdiction in some matters: thus sometimes plays a role in law of procedure 6. A factor in determining international jurisdiction of a foreign court in order to recognise and enforce an order of such a court www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 19 General principled governing domicile Principles are governed by the Domicile Act 3 of 1992. Act is not retrospective: thus any right, capacity, obligation or liability which was acquired, accrued or incurred by virtue of the domicile a person had at any time prior to the date on which it came into operation, is not affected. 1. Every person must have a domicile at all times due to a person's status being largely dependent on his or her domicile in our law. The law therefore cannot allow a person to be without a domicile at any time. 2. The changing of a person's domicile is never accepted without proof. If it is proved that a person has established a domicile at a specific place, it is accepted that he retains that domicile until the contrary has been proved. The matter is determined on a balance of probabilities. 3. No one can have a domicile in more than one place at the same time. Some common law writers maintain that it is possible to have more than one domicile, but most modern authors submit that it is not possible. Kinds of domicile Domicile of origin Refers to the domicile the law assigns to a person at birth. Prior to the Domicile Act a person’s domicile of origin revived if he abandoned his domicile of choice without assuming a new domicile. Domicile Act, however, provides that no one loses their domicile until they acquire a new domicile and specifically provides that the domicile of origin does not revive. Thus, because of the Domicile Act, domicile of origin has lost its significance: it is merely the first domicile assigned to a person by operation of law. Domicile of choice Section 1(1) of the Domicile Act provides that anyone 1. regardless of sex or marital status 2. over the age of 18 or under the age of 18 who legally has the status of a major 3. who does not lack mental capacity to make a rational choice is competent to acquire a domicile of their choice Prior to the act, a wife followed the domicile of her husband: was called domicile of dependence. Requirements for acquiring a domicile of choice To acquire a domicile of choice, the person concerned must: www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 20 1. Settle at the particular place (factum requirement) have the intention of residing permanently at the place (animus requirement) The 2 requirement must at some time or another exists simultaneously but need not come into being simultaneously. 2. Factum Requirement 1. Determining whether a person’s residence meets the factum requirement is done objectively. 2. No specific period of physical residence is required, but the person must not just be visiting the place 3. Courts sometimes take into consideration the duration of the physical presence of a person when determining intention of remaining there. 4. Once domicile of choice has been established, the person’s continued presence is not required. Domicile Act recognizes only lawful presence for purposes of acquiring domicile of choice. Thus: 1. Illegal immigrants cannot acquire domicile 2. Deported people lose their domicile, because their return would be unlawful 3. Fugitives do not lose their domicile at the place from which they fled. a. Reason for this: preclude fugitive from relying on the fact that court does not have jurisdiction in area that he fled to Animus Requirement 1. Determining whether person had intention (Animus) of staying somewhere is subjective. 2. Person acquires a domicile of choice at a particular place when they have the intention of staying there “for an indefinite period”. a. Thus the requirement can still be satisfied even if the person envisages moving at an unknown future date 3. Person must be able to carry out the intention of settling at a particular place. a. Thus previously military staff, diplomats, public servants, employees of foreign governments or businesses and prisoners were thought to not be able to decide where they were going to stay due to employers deciding where they would stay. b. According to Cronje & Heaton the mere fact that a person has been posted to, stationed or imprisoned at a specific place does not mean they do not have animus. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 21 Common law situation re military personnel, prisoners, etc From Baker v Baker it has been decided that military personnel could acquire domicile at the place they are stationed. From Naville v Naville it has been decided that diplomats, public servants and employees/officers of foreign governments or businesses could acquire domicile of choice in South Africa. From Nefler v Nefler it has been decided that prisoners who are imprisoned for life automatically acquire a domicile of choice in prison. Domicile by operation of law Section 2(1) of the Domicile Act provides that: Anyone that does not have the capacity to acquire a domicile of choice is domiciled at the place with which he is most closely connected People who cannot acquire domicile of choice: Children below 18 who have not attained majority status People who do not have the mental capacity to make a rational choice The law assigns a these people a place of domicile (the place with which they are most closely connected). Domicile of a child Section 2(1) applies. Section 2(2) contains the rebuttable presumption that if a child stays with his parents, his domicile is his parental home. Domicile is assigned only if person is under 18 and unmarried: when person reaches 18 or marries, he retains the domicile he had by operation of law until he establishes a new domicile. Parents of the child include: adoptive parents parents who are not married to each other: thus law does not distinguish between children born in/out of wedlock Domicile of a mentally incapacitated person Section 2(1) applies. Formerly: mentally incapacitated people retained the domicile they had before becoming incapacitated mentally capacitated people followed the domicile of their curator Extra-marital birth Legitimate child: www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 22 One who is born of parents who were legally married to each other at the time of the child’s conception or at any intervening time Illegitimate child: Parents were not married to each other at any of the above stages Categories of illegitimate children Natural Children (spurii or liberi naturales) Children born of parents who were not married but could have validly married Adulterine Children One or both of the child’s parents were married at the time of conception Incestuous Children (overwonnen kinderen or overwonnen bastaarden) Children born of parents who were too closely related to be able to marry Artificial fertilisation Children produced by artificial fertilisation of a woman with her husband’s semen are legitimate, irrespective if the husband consented to his semen being used. Children’s Status Act 82 of 1987, section 5(1) states that: A child born to spouses who consented to the use of another person’s gametes for purposes of artificial fertilisation is deemed legitimate. No right or obligations arise between the child and the gamete donor/donor’s relations, unless the donor is a woman who gave birth to the child, or the donor is the woman’s husband at the time of the artificial fertilisation Section 5 does not apply to married women who do not have their husband’s consent unmarried women, unless she is a life-partner in a same sex relationship (J v Director General, Department of Home Affairs: see Cases) Also extends to surrogate motherhood but is ill suited to deal with all the problems surrounding surrogacy. Surrogacy will be addressed in the SA Law Commission’s in its proposed Children’s Bill. Draft Children’s Bill states that: 1. A child who is born to a surrogate mother who entered into a valid surrogate motherhood agreement, becomes the child of the commissioning parents for all purposes from the moment of birth. 2. The surrogate mother and her husband or life partner and their relatives have no rights in respect of the child, although the parties may agree that they have access to the child www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 23 3. 4. 5. The child has no rights of inheritance or maintenance against the surrogate mother, her husband or life partner, or their relatives If the surrogate agreement is terminated before the child’s birth, the child is the child of the surrogate mother and her husband or life partner as from the date of birth. If the agreement is terminated after the date of birth, the child becomes the child of the surrogate mother and her husband or life partner and the commissioning parents lose all rights in respect of the child. Proof of parentage Presumption of Paternity Married persons If a child is born to a married woman it is presumed to be legitimate: thus it is rebuttably presumed that the woman’s husband is the father. Expressed in maxim: pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant (the marriage indicates who the father is) Courts are hesitant to declare children extra-marital (F v L, B v E) In cases where woman remarries soon after a divorce, the second husband is rebuttably presumed to be the father. Rebutting the presumption of paternity The presumption is rebuttable: The fact that the husband is not the child’s father must be proved on a balance of probabilities. The right to rebut the presumption of paternity does not lapse in the course of time. Any interested party can rebut the presumption, not just the child’s mother or husband Paramount considerations should be the child’s interests Unmarried persons Section 1 of the Children’s Status Act of 1987 says: A man is presumed to be the father of an extra-marital child only if it is proved by way of judicial admission or otherwise that he had sexual intercourse with the child’s mother at a time when the child could have been conceived. Presumption is rebuttable. Once the presumption operates, the onus is on the man to prove on a balance of probabilities that he cannot possibly be the father of the child: insufficient to prove that he probably isn’t the father. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 24 Corroboration of the mother’s evidence Formerly: courts did not accept mother’s corroboration without evidence: rejected in Mayer v Williams. In Mayer v Williams JA Trengove decided that: The court should use the cautionary rule used in criminal proceedings when using the women’s testimony with regard to the paternity of the child Cautionary rule requires the court to recognize: The danger of relying upon a complainant’s evidence in respect of a sexual offence The need for some safeguard reducing the risk of a wrong conviction Safeguard may be found in: Corroboration the absence of contradictory evidence, or the untruthfulness of the accused as a witness Thus, court does not always require corroboration, but corroboration may serve as a safeguard However, Mayer v Williams, will probably not be used due to the rejection of the cautionary rule in S v J. Rebuttal of the presumption/allegation of paternity Absence of sexual intercourse If it can be proved that the man did not have sexual intercourse with the child’s mother at any time when the child could have been conceived the presumption/allegation is refuted The gestation period Roman & Dutch law accepted that a child born between 180 to 300 days after conclusion of a marriage was conceived during the marriage. In our law there is no fixed gestation period: courts make a decision on an ad hoc basis. Courts rely on: Medical evidence as to when conception could possibly have taken place The “normal” period of gestation:+- 270 to 280 days Sterility Allegation/presumption is refuted if it can be proved that the man is sterile. www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected] or call on 012 323 0662/071 246 8412 25 The exceptio plurium concubentium If a man has sex with a woman during the time that a child could have been conceived, but the woman also had sex with another man, the defence is called the exceptio plurium concubentium. The problem arises as to who is the father of the child. Solutions to the problem: All the men involved could simply be absolved would be sexist, unfair, reflect a view not in keeping with modern-day notions of morality and not be in the best interest of the child All the men could be held liable would be unfair to the men and open to abuse as it would be to the benefit of the woman to name as many men as possible in order for her to get maintenance from at least some of them The man named by the mother can be held liable unless he can prove that he cannot be the father, i.e. due to sterility seems to be generally accepted in our law today, thus the exceptio plurium concubentium is not in use today as a rebuttal of the presumption of paternity and it would not help the man to prove that the woman had sexual relations with other men Problems obviously arise with this approach as a man who is not the father could be named by the mother. Cronje & Heaton allege that the mother’s right to choose the father should be reconsidered due to: Availability of sophisticated blood and tissue tests Violation of the father’s right to equality before the law and equal protection and benefit of the law due to the mother’s right to choose Physical features He fact that the physical features of the child do or do not resemble those of the alleged father do not have much weight, but can be considered in conjunction with other factors which prove or disprove paternity. Contraception Proof that contraceptives were used during sexual intercourse does not refute the presumption of paternity. Blood and tissue tests I’m too tired to do this. Just study the cases. May a court compel a child and an adult to undergo blood tests in order to determine paternity? www.btsclearning.com For more information on other modules assistant tutorials, bookings, revision class etc please contact [email protected]
Вот запястье в самом деле болит. Болван этот полицейский. Ну только подумайте. Усадить человека моих лет на мотоцикл. Просто позор.