ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF CG VAN DER MERWE. Eds H Mostert and M J de Waal Lexis Nexis (www.lexisnexis.co.za), 2011. xxii + 412 pp. ISBN 9780409052015. R400.

Date01 May 2013
DOI10.3366/elr.2013.0157
AuthorAndrew J M Steven
Pages265-266
Publication Date01 May 2013
<p>Cornie van der Merwe is a personification of the strong bond between Scottish and South African academic private law which has been established since the demise of apartheid. For the greater part of his career he was a professor at Stellenbosch. But, as the preface to this festschrift recounts, his first academic appointment in fact was as lecturer in Roman law at Glasgow. And then on his formal retirement in South Africa he was appointed to the Chair of Civil Law at Aberdeen. During his tenure of that chair, in collaboration with David Carey Miller and Roderick Paisley (both contributors to the volume), he significantly enhanced Scotland's most northern Law School's reputation for research in property law. He had a firm foundation on which to build. His <italic>Sakereg</italic> (first published in 1979) is the foundational text for modern property law in South Africa. His international comparative work on apartment law is unrivalled. This reviewer met him for the first time at a conference in Regensburg in 1997 and could see immediately why he is held in such high regard by his colleagues and students. It is a pleasure to review this volume.</p> <p>The essays reflect Cornie van der Merwe's interests in property law and more widely. While a couple – by Johann Neethling and Jean Sonnekus – are in Afrikaans and were thus beyond this reviewer, the other seventeen are in English. A number, unsurprisingly, are on the law of apartment ownership. Peter Smith contrasts the very recent reforms in Ireland with the relatively new but failing tenure of commonhold in England and concludes broadly that the latter has things to learn from the former. Lu Xu compares the said commonhold with Scottish law under the <a href="https://vlex.co.uk/vid/tenements-scotland-act-2004-808375133">Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004</a>. He regards the default scheme for management provided by <a href="https://vlex.co.uk/vid/tenements-scotland-act-2004-808375133">the 2004 Act</a> as insufficiently comprehensive and hopes that developers will use the more sophisticated, but optional, Development Management Scheme. There are further contributions on apartment law in Portugal (Sandra Passinhas), Singapore (Teo Keang Sood) and South Africa (Riël Franzsen).</p> <p>There are three essays from Scottish-based academics. David Carey Miller looks at the interesting subject of spuilzie, the Scottish remedy for recovery of possession unlawfully removed. In stark contrast to its South African sister remedy of the <italic>mandament van spolie</italic>, it is little used in modern times. The reasons for this are something which this reviewer has discussed with Cornie van der Merwe. Carey Miller...</p>

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