How Does eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports Work?

The eJudgements’ South African Online Law Reports database is hosted on a SharePoint site.

Using the Judgements Library

In the Judgements Library views the user can see the list of cases, the type of case, the outcome, any further appeals, names of Judges, counsel, attorneys, etc.

There are various different views which will display the data relevant to that view (for technical reasons it is not possible to display all the tags applicable to a case, as it will retard performance too much).

Use the Judgements Library if you know exactly what you are searching for – eg all cases tagged with the Prescription Act, or counsel tagged as Smith, etc.

Using the Search Function

Users will be taken to a search screen, where they can add a basic search query (for example: exception non adimpleti contractus).

A search can be refined on the Advanced Search screen.

The search will generate a Search Results page, listing all the judgements which meet the criteria. By hovering over an entry, the user can see a preview of the judgement in the pop up screen on the right.

If the user is using Internet Explorer, by clicking on the file name, the judgement will open in a PDF reader, where the search criteria will be carried through, making it possible to find the search criteria in the actual text (this feature does not work with Google Chrome for technical reasons).

At the bottom of the Search Results page, the user can see how many results have been generated, and can chose to use the Advanced Search feature to modify the search criteria

A user can also set an alert to be informed when a new judgement is loaded which meets the search criteria

Results can further be refined by choosing one of the options on the left of the Search Results page (currently the only refinement is by court, but this will be expended soon to include the Judge who handed down the judgement, Subject Index (eg to search for Patent only under cases dealing with Intellectual Property), Rules of Court, etc).