Book Review: Law of Persons by T Boezaart

Mar 2, 2017 | 2017, Book Review, News

Reviewed by Louis Rood.

Every individual person is unique in personality, humanity, and being. Yet we all have much in common. We are conceived, we are born, we live and we die.

This book, now in its sixth edition, deals concisely but comprehensively with all aspects of the law relating to persons, from legal capacity to domicile, from the protection of the interests of the unborn to the rights of minors, from the status of children conceived by artificial fertilisation to the effect of mental illness.

Trynie Boezaart BA LLB LLD, Professor of Private Law at the University of Pretoria, has authored this work from the publication of its first edition in 1995. She is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, founder of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria, and has served as an Acting Judge of the High Court. She edited Child Law in South Africa (Juta 2009), and is the author of the companion to this book, Law of Persons Sourcebook (6th Edition Juta 2016).

The transformation of the law of persons is an ongoing process, reflecting cultural and societal changes. The author expertly addresses these developments and analyses many pertinent issues such as the parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers regarding their children. Well organised chapters discuss not only the care and maintenance of children, but also adoption, birth control, medical treatment and operations, marriage and much more. The wealth of academic, professional and practical experience of the learned author makes this an exceptionally useful textbook. It includes extensive footnotes, tables of relevant cases and applicable statutes, including the Uniform Rules of Court, a valuable bibliography and a detailed index. Short summaries, highlights, and the way the subject matter is placed within the broader context of private and public law, deftly illuminates the content.

The Law of Persons is also available in Afrikaans as Personereg. It will be welcomed by students, legal practitioners, and all tasked in the private and public sector with the many aspects of the protection, care, administration and advancement of children, dependants, parents and families in need of social, medical, educational and specialised general support.

The distinguished author and publishers Juta are to be commended for continuing to produce an ever-valuable resource in this critical area of law.