Legal Articles and Guides
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A father has won the right for his five-year-old son to carry his name, an action which sets a legal precedent. Family law experts said the ruling – by Judge Jacqui Henriques in the KZN High Court (Durban) – was a step forward in broadening the rights of unmarried fathers, notes a Sunday Times report.
Two more Jehovah's Witness families have been taken to the KZN High Court (Durban) to force them to allow doctors to administer lifesaving blood to their seriously ill children. The two matters were added to the court's roll as a third set of parents planned to defend their refusal to allow their five-year-old son, who suffers from sickle cell anaemia, to receive blood transfusions, notes TimesLIVE.
The provincial Department of Social Development has been cleared of wrongdoing for circumstances leading to the death of five-month-old Ava Barley at a Pinelands early childhood development (ECD) centre.
‘Physical punishment in the home is an antiquated form of discipline, which stems from a time when we did not know about child development and child psychology. But we know better now. Research shows that physical punishment does not teach children better behaviour. It may achieve short-term compliance but does not lead to insight and long-term changes in behaviour, which is what parents usually want to achieve when disciplining children.’
While child abuse should not be tolerated, the ‘reasonable and moderate chastisement’ of children as a form of physical discipline by their parents should be allowed, the Constitutional Court heard yesterday, according to a News24 report. This was the case put forward by Freedom of Religion SA (FOR SA), which has taken a judgment striking down this form of chastisement as a defence in criminal cases, on appeal.
The Constitutional Court will today consider the constitutionality of corporal punishment in the home, notes TimesLIVE. The top court prohibited corporal punishment in detention settings in 1995 and in schools in 2000, and will now turn its attention to possible prohibition in the home.
Should the Equality Court rule in favour of a transgender prisoner to express her gender identity as a female in a male facility, then the Standing Order in prison should be sent back to the Minister for review.
Employees who were not entitled to maternity leave before will now on be entitled to 10 days’ paid parental leave to be paid out of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. A TimesLIVE report notes that this follows the signing of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday, as reported in Legalbrief Policy Watch yesterday.
A mother whose baby died two days after he was born following negligent medical treatment by hospital staff will be paid nearly R300 000 as compensation for her pain, suffering, loss of earnings and medical expenses, says a TimesLIVE report. The Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) ordered provincial MEC for Health, Helen August-Sauls, to pay the mother R276 000.
The government will research the law governing the recognition and dissolution of all religious marriages, as it plans to appeal a Western Cape High Court judgment that ordered the state to recognise Muslim marriages under law. According to a Cape Times report, the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) had argued that by not recognising Muslim marriages under common law, Muslim women were not afforded legal protection and did not have access to the courts to assert their rights.
Judge Siraj Desai, of the Western Cape High Court, has authorised the Cape Fertility Clinic to perform artificial fertilisation requested by a same-sex couple that includes the simultaneous transfer of one embryo fertilised with sperm from the one father and another that had been fertilised by his husband. If the in vitro fertilisation is successful, the couple’s children would be twins with different DNA, notes a Sunday Times report.
A mother, who was ordered to return her biological son to a diplomat who helped raise him, will appeal the judgment, her Advocate Eliot Buthane said. As reported in Legalbrief Today, Gauteng High Court Judge Pierre Rabie ruled that should the mother fail to immediately return the minor child, the diplomat shall be entitled to apply for her to be held in contempt of court.
The Family Advocate: A hero for children's best interests. The purpose of the family advocate is to promote and protect the best interests of minor or dependent children in parental responsibilities and rights disputes. The family advocate assists parents to reach an agreement on disputed issues involving children.
Process for obtaining a court order for the enforcement of a parental plan
Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai has expressed dissatisfaction at the state’s failure to fulfil its obligation to introduce legislation to recognise Muslim marriages as valid, and to regulate the consequences of these unions, ordering the President and Cabinet, together with Parliament, to rectify the failure within 24 months.