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Rule 63 reply to question

17 December 2009

I agree with Mr Schaafsma's submission - Rule 63 Reply - that the purpose of behind the provisions of Rule 63(1) is of an evidentiary nature.

Rule 63's requirements are, however, not a one way street. Rule 63(2) also requires the authentication of documents executed within the republic for use outside the republic.

It is also important to note that, on 30 April 1995, the Republic of South Africa became a member to the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention effectively streamlined the process of authenticating documents for use in member countries, but still retained certain requirements for the authentication of documents intended for use in other member states. The abolishment of Rule 63 alone will thus not bring much relief with regard to the authentication of trans-border documents. We will still be bound, by virtue of international law, to the provisions of the Hague Convention.

It seems to me that Rule 63(3) might not just be a South African legal principle, but a legal principle or rule incorporated in most legal systems throughout the world. One can speculate that the principle is seated in a historical mistrust, between states, of each other's legal and administrative principles.

Nonetheless we as a profession should not seek to further limit the exclusivity of our profession, but rather promote and protect the small amount of functions still exclusive to the office of attorney, conveyancer or notary.

Charles Pearson
De Klerk Vermaak & Partners Inc.


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