Date Updated: July 2022
For an Introduction to South African Law, simply follow our guide below:
1. What is the “law”?
- The law is a system of rules that determines how people must behave in a community.
- These rules are made, applied, and enforced by the Government. If these rules are not followed, it will result in a sanction (punishment or penalty). One could say that the purpose of the law is to bring about peace and order.
- There are different types of law, for example:
- Laws that tell you what to do, as well as how certain things should be done.
- Laws that regulate the relationship between the Government and the community and there are laws that regulate the relationship between people in the community. For example, criminal law and criminal procedure law; constitutional law and family law.
2. Where can a person find the law?
- Common law.
- Legislation, also referred to as statutes or acts.
- Court cases, also referred to as court decisions, court judgments and judicial precedents.
- Customary law.
- Work of modern authors, for example, legal books or articles. These are not binding law, but the opinions of these authors can lead to certain judgments and amended legislation.
- International law – if the law in South Africa does not deal with a specific matter, foreign law may be used for guidance.
3. How can LegalWise assist you?
Should you require an explanation or further clarification on this topic, please contact your nearest LegalWise Branch, call, e-mail or WhatsApp us. For more information about our membership options visit our legal services page or visit our join now page.