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Title:Some thoughts on current developments relating to class actions in South African law as viewed against leading foreign jurisdictions
Author:Hurter, EstelleISNI
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
civil procedure
Bill of Rights
Abstract:The term 'class action' is not always used in a consistent manner. It is often incorrectly used to refer to multiparty litigation in general, which leads to confusion. The class action was introduced into South African law by section 38(c) of the Constitution to address the infringement of a right in the Bill of Rights. This article explains the characteristics of the American-style class action and its function within multiparty litigation. It also disputes the notion that South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal in its decision in Permanent Secretary, Department of Welfare, Eastern Cape v Ngxuza, 2001, recognized a general class action in South African law, and it outlines the steps taken by South African courts to develop the South African class action in its present form. Finally, it calls for comprehensive legislation, not only to provide for a general class action, but to ensure the orderly development of a truly South African class action. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]