Book Review: Street Law – Practical law for South Africans

Sep 22, 2015 | 2015, News

Street law refers to the laws that affect ordinary people in their everyday life on the street. There is a huge need for people to be informed and educated about their rights and remedies, how the law affects them, and how they can use the law.

This welcome completely-revised third edition of twin companion manuals, 25 years after the pioneering first edition was published, explains in clear and understandable language the ins and outs of a broad spectrum of circumstances where people come into contact with the law.

• The Learner’s Manual provides essential information about the law, practical advice and useful answers to solving legal problems. Simplified meanings of more complex terms are listed, and the text is enlivened by a series of no less than 263 often witty and graphic illustrations by a talented team of artists – Andy Mason, Jeff Rankin, Grant Cresswell, Luke Molver, and Themba Siwela.

• The Educator’s Manual is a practical guide to conducting the exercises set out in the Learner’s Manual, designed to teach law to learners from a variety of backgrounds including law students, school learners, school educators, police officers, correctional services officers, security personnel, trade unions, employers, workers, community and civic organisations, family protection agencies, NGO’s and those involved in training such persons and groups.

The topics covered include consumer law, family law, employment law, criminal law, socio-economic rights and child justice. Many relevant issues are pertinently addressed, from cyber stalking, foster care, emergency medical treatment, legal aid, small claims courts, child pornography and powers of the police to debt counselling and many others.

This brace of remarkable books is a veritable compendium, a treasure trove of readily accessible and useful information with extraordinary potential to reach out to assist, and educate those who most need assistance but are ill-equipped and under-resourced when confronted with legal issues.

Publishers Juta, Street Law South Africa and all the contributors are to be commended on this outstanding publication. This is no dry and dusty encyclopaedia – the passion and commitment of all the contributors and their ability to connect with the lay ordinary reader is quite exceptional. Special mention must go to the General Editor, Professor David McQuoid-Mason, who in an illustrious academic career of over 40 years has been instrumental in pioneering the concept of street law not only in South Africa but in many countries around the world.

Review by Louis Rood BA, LLB (UCT) of Fairbridges Wertheim Becker


Practical law for South Africans

Educator’s Manual (370 pages)
Learner’s Manual (696 pages)
(Third Edition)
Juta & Co (Pty) Ltd

by David McQuoid-Mason with Lindi Coetzee, Lloyd Lotz, Malebakeng Forere and Rowena Barnard