Legal Speak Made Easy - “Roman-Dutch law”
If you’ve ever wondered why so many legal principles referred to by our courts are stated in Latin or Dutch, the answer lies in the history of our legal system. “Roman-Dutch” law was based on old Roman law as applied in the Netherlands during the 17th and 18th centuries and was imported to the Cape during the Dutch colonial period. Although substantially modified since then by importation of English legal principles and by modern legislation, our common (unwritten) law remains Roman-Dutch and our courts still on occasion refer back to original Roman and Dutch laws, often using the original Latin and Dutch phrases.
Provided by Anthony Whatmore & Company
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