Terms of Use | SAFLII

Terms of Use

1. Disclaimer

(a) The Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII) maintains this website to enhance free public access to legal information from South Africa. Our goal is to keep this information timely and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them.

This information, however, is not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date. It is also sometimes linked to external sites over which SAFLII has no control and for which SAFLII assumes no responsibility.

(b) SAFLII does not offer professional or legal advice. If you need specific advice, you should always consult a suitably qualified professional.

(c) SAFLII, members of its staff and its contractors shall not be liable for any financial or other consequences whatsoever resulting from the use of information or data contained on this site, including the inappropriate, improper or fraudulent use of such information or data.

(d) SAFLII does not invite reliance upon, nor accept responsibility for, the information it provides.

While SAFLII makes every effort to provide a high quality service, neither SAFLII, nor the providers of data on SAFLII give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided.

Users should verify the accuracy of the information from another source if it is of sufficient importance for them to do so.

(e) Hypertext links on SAFLII are (in some cases) inserted by SAFLII and not by the data providers. Because of the automated insertions of hypertext links on SAFLII, links may not be comprehensive or accurate in all cases.

Neither SAFLII nor its providers of data give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning hypertext linking.

2. General principles

(a) SAFLII is a not-for-profit publisher that provides free (i.e. non-charged) access to individual end-users of the content it provides, to enable them to read, print and copy materials for their personal use, and any other uses permitted by copyright law.

(b) In order to provide this service, SAFLII has built a collection of primary and secondary legal materials through agreements with the various sources of the documents and rights-holders in the documents, and by other means such as scanning documents where documents are out of copyright or with the permission of copyright holders.

(c) SAFLII is not a data repository, in that it does not provide a service for other publishers to obtain documents from SAFLII for republication. Other publishers need to obtain those documents from their original sources or by other appropriate and authorised means.

(d) In relation to all documents that it republishes, SAFLII does not give permission for the value-added content that it adds to documents (including hypertext mark-up, and alternative citations) to be republished by others. This does not include any restriction on the use of neutral citations used by SAFLII, whether or not developed by SAFLII.

(e) SAFLII places particular restrictions upon the ways in which case-law documents on SAFLII can be copied and used. SAFLII may, at its discretion, block spiders and other automated agents from accessing its case-law via the Robots Exclusion Standard. The reasons for this policy include:

(i) the need to balance personal privacy against open access, particularly in relation to general purpose search engines; (ii) the need to allow compliance with take-down, anonymisation and other modification requests from courts and parties; and (iii) the need to comply with licence conditions under which data has been provided to SAFLII.

3. End use

(a) Individual end-users of the SAFLII system are free to access, copy and print materials for their own use in accordance with copyright law.

(b) In relation to case law, this is subject to (1) (e) above.

4. Copyright in content on SAFLII

(a) SAFLII is not the copyright owner in the source documents published on SAFLII and is not able to give permission for reproduction of those source documents.

(b) SAFLII claims copyright in all value-added content that it adds to source documents (including hypertext mark-up, and alternative citations). On request, SAFLII will usually give permission for reproductions of examples of this content for teaching, training or similar purposes.

(c) SAFLII retains full copyright of the Current South African Legislation, Current South African Regulations, Historical (Point in time) Versions of South African Legislation, and Historical (Point in time) Versions of South African Regulations datasets as published on the SAFLII website from time to time. Any requests for permission to re-publish any of these datasets should be made by contacting SAFLII directly.

For other collections, consult the relevant databse cover page for copyright terms specific to that collection.

5. Reuse of SAFLII data by other commercial and non-commercial systems

(a) SAFLII will not act as a data repository or re-supplier of source documents that it has obtained from their original sources, to other publishers for republication. This applies to both active re-supply of documents, and passive re-supply via spidering or other automated collection. Where spidering or other automated collection for these purposes is apparent, it will be blocked.

(b) SAFLII does in some cases negotiate agreements with other publishers for them to frame SAFLII pages as part of their services, including assisting them to identify the correct pages on SAFLII to which to link.

6. Provision of source documents by Courts and other data providers

(a) SAFLII supports Courts and other providers of public legal information in supplying the source data for which they are responsible (cases, legislation etc.) on the same basis to all publishers, both in relation to (i) on-going supply, and (ii) maintenance of archival copies of data previously supplied.

(b) SAFLII will assist Courts or other providers of public legal information in relation to (a) (ii) above if such assistance is requested.

(c) Each Court or other provider of public legal information sets its own policies in relation to such matters as privacy (including access by third party search engines), 'take down' or replacement of decisions and republication of data by third parties including copyright policies.

(d) SAFLII complies with the policies of each Court or other provider of public legal information, and supports efforts to develop standards concerning such policies.

7. Privacy

(a) For analysis and research into usage patterns, SAFLII collects anonymous information which includes computer and network addresses as well as page access data. SAFLII retains this usage information for purposes of analysis with the aim of using it to improve our services. Access to, and use of, this information is restricted to SAFLII staff and researchers working on SAFLII projects and subject to the terms outlined in this statement.

(b) SAFLII does not disclose or publish information which identifies individual machines or potentially identifies sub-groupings of addresses without prior consent. SAFLII, however, does publish anonymised aggregated information about usage patterns.

(c) SAFLII reserves the right to gather more extensive information than stated in section (a) where it relates to access outside the terms of use outlined in this document as well as in the case of potential security threats.

(d) SAFLII publishes comprehensive collections of court decisions with the consent of the public bodies concerned.

The electronic dissemination of judgments is in concordance with the open court principle, instituted to ensure the impartiality and transparency of the judicial process by allowing access to the record of judicial proceedings, including judgments.

Therefore, SAFLII operates on the core principle that all citizens and organizations should be provided with free, unconditional and unrestricted access to basic legal materials

(e) Some of SAFLII databases contain personal information included in the decisions of Courts and Tribunals. SAFLII publishes these databases with the consent of the public bodies concerned.

(f) SAFLII undertakes to monitor and delete personal information from published judgments as directed by the law or specific court orders. SAFLII, outside of those circumstances, also retains the right to remove personal information from judgments at its discretion where this is possible without distorting the meaning and context of the document.

(g) It is hereby expressly stated that SAFLII content is subject to automated monitoring and where necessary we will de-identify judgments prior to publication but this does not guarantee that all sensitive material has been correctly de-identified.

(h) SAFLII users should note that there are legal limitations on the use, publication and dissemination of some personal information contained in SAFLII databases. It is the responsibility of SAFLII users to comply with the laws of the land.

Should you have concerns over personal information published on the SAFLII website, please contact us on info@saflii.org.

8. Amendments

We reserve the right to amend these terms of use and policy statements at our discretion and, unless otherwise stated, the version appearing here shall supersede and replace all previous versions of this statement.

May 2020