Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Penguin SA

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Don’t Take Your Messy Divorce to Twitter, Warns Social Media Lawyer Emma Sadleir

Don't Film Yourself Having SexEmma Sadleir was recently quoted in an article on celebrity couples’ tendency to air their dirty divorce laundry on social media platforms.

The article focuses on Morgan Deane and Graeme Smith’s messy break-up, and the series of accusations that Deane published on Twitter about the cricketer.

Sadleir, author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, says that from a legal perspective couples who take their domestic spats to Twitter could land up in trouble with the law.

Read the article:

“What the courts are saying about domestic social media spats is that, even if the allegations are true, they cannot be published because they are not for the public benefit. The courts have been at pains to emphasise the distinction between what is interesting to the public as opposed to what is in the public interest. You cannot air your dirty laundry in public.”

Book details

» read article

Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: Die grootste risiko in die kuberruim is en bly kinders

Don't Film Yourself Having SexEmma Sadleir en Tamsyn de Beer se handleiding vir die gebruik van sosiale media, Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, het vanjaar by Penguin verskyn. Sadleir en De Beer is albei prokureurs wat gereeld met regskwessies in die kuberruim worstel.

Linette Retief het ná die bekendstelling van Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex ’n berig vir Netwerk24 oor die gevare en gevolge van sosiale media geskryf: “’n Mens hoef nie ver te soek na voorbeelde van sosiale netwerkers wat klei trap en dan die verreikende, soms internasionale, gevolge daarvan moet dra nie.”

Lees die artikel:

Moderne uitdagings

Die grootste risiko in die kuberruim is en bly kinders, want hulle kan op tallose maniere aan ’n magdom van gevare op sosiale media blootgestel word.

De Beer en Sadleir, albei prokureurs wat baie met skole en groot maatskappye werk, skets ’n kommerwekkende prentjie X van negejariges wat foto’s van hulself sonder klere aan probeer verkoop tot kuberboelies wat hul jong teikens tot selfmoord dryf.

In ’n veld wat deurlopend verander, bly wetgewing soms nie by nie. Regters moet beslissings vel oor regskwessies wat hulle nie verstaan nie, sê Sadleir. Trouens, ’n regter het onlangs droogweg opgemerk die gevolge van sosiale media kon nie heeltemal deur die oorspronklike Romeinse wetgewers voorsien word nie.


» read article

Vital Advice on Social Media at the Launch of Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex

Book Launch: Don't Film Yourself Having Sex

Don't Film Yourself Having SexWelcoming guests to Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s launch on Wednesday, Love Books owner Kate Rogan said Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex is the book she’s been waiting for.

As the mother of “digital natives” (as the glossary describes people who grow up with social media) Rogan acknowledged the difficulties of explaining to them the consequences of overstepping the boundaries on social media. She mentioned the example of Paul Chambers, whose story appears in Chapter 2: “If it’s not on Facebook it didn’t happen”. He tweeted his frustration with travel delays from an airport in 2010, ending by saying he would “blow the airport sky high”. Two years of lawsuits followed. Rogan described the book as sassy, witty and an enjoyable read, despite the seriousness of the subject matter.

Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex was written by Sadleir and De Beer, two South African lawyers and friends, both of whom have Master of Law degrees from the London School of Economics, specialising in media law. They now do educational work with companies, schools and universities on the responsible use of social media. They consult on defamation, privacy, data protection, revenge porn and online reputation management.

Sadleir noted how dramatically the way we communicate has changed in the last few years. When she was at school (not so long ago) the only way to be heard was to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper: “Nowadays everyone with access to the internet has instant global power”. But people need to understand the laws and the delicate balancing act between freedom of expression versus the right to privacy and dignity, Sadleir said.

De Beer explained that the book contained four key sections. The first deals with the law, privacy and intellectual property. The second is a common sense section, from which they chose the title for the book. One of the examples used here is that of a young woman whose then partner filmed them having sex without her knowledge. Five months later, after they had parted, this sex video appeared on porn-sharing web sites and mentioned her name and the company where she worked. Her only recourse was to change her name. This section also has chapters dealing with online dating and what happens to your information when you die.

The third section concerns social media in the business world and the workplace. Sadleir mentioned the case of a first-year candidate attorney who loaded a photo of her desk on Facebook, showing the pile of work she had. Unfortunately the names of two of the firm’s top clients were visible on the top of the pile. British Airways emerged as an example of a company who sends CVs of all job applicants to a company who specialises in digital clearances. There are serious consequences to breaching your company’s good faith, which extends to its clients and your colleagues as well. Sadleir cited the case of a woman who was involved in a road accident and loaded three photos on Facebook with the caption, “F*****g K****r Taxi …”. She happened to work for a prominent company and was fired by 10 AM. Another casualty was the woman who tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Only kidding, I’m white.” She was met by a hostile “lynch mob” at Cape Town International Airport.

The fourth section deals with children. Parents are often too quick to give their children powerful communication devices without the tools to keep them safe. De Beer mentioned the dangers of cyber-bullying and how anonymity allows a greater degree of malice, which is permanent and inescapable. It is also much more public and has led to children committing suicide. This section also mentions “sexting”, where children as young as nine are sending nude pictures to each other. The law regards this as pornography and a 17-year-old was recently convicted for doing this. The reputational harm this causes cannot be undone, the authors pointed out.

There are new laws coming into effect, such as the Protection from Harassment Act, which can provide some online protection, and sites like give step-by-step instructions about how to delete online content. However, the authors advise that anything posted online should be treated “like a tattoo”. There is no “untweet” button. There is the potential for anything to go viral. In the digital age, everyone is a celebrity and every potential employer is Googling you. “Apply the billboard test”, Sadleir said. “If you don’t want everything you post online to be seen on a billboard on the side of the highway, don’t post it.” As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says, “Privacy is no longer a social norm.”

* * * * * * * *

Facebook gallery

Book details

» read article

Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex Author Emma Sadleir: The Pistorius Trial Taught Us About Social Media

Don't Film Yourself Having SexEmma Sadleir, social media consultant and co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, spoke to The Guardian about the consequences of Oscar Pistorius trial being broadcast live on television.

Sadleir had a slot on the 24-hour DStv channel that covered the trial, in which she answered viewers’ questions, sent in through Twitter. She says she was surprised how little South Africans knew about their legal system: “People asked the most rudimentary questions: Where’s the jury? Who is that sitting next to the judge? For me it was incredible to see people’s reactions to what was going on, to see justice being done. Before this they’d only see it in Hollywood movies.”

She also speaks about her experience with the “Pistorians”, vehement supporters of the former Paralympian.

Juries were abolished in South Africa in the 1960s and so there was no risk of jurors being swayed by the cacophony of voices. Instead it was a free-for-all for journalists, pundits and anyone with an opinion and internet connection. There was plenty of humour, with spoof Twitter accounts and rap songs featuring Nel and Roux. There were also the “Pistorians”, an international, mainly female group who fiercely champion the athlete and often lash out at his critics.

Sadleir, co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, was among those who felt their wrath. “The trial has been an illustration of everything good about social media and an illustration of everything bad about social media,” she said. “It was one of the most seminal moments in our legal history. As an educational thing it has been absolutely brilliant. It is a natural extension of open justice and will set a precedent.”

Book details

» read article

Judge Kgomo's Judgement and Announcing a New Edition of The Griekwastad Murders

The Griekwastad MurdersDie Griekwastad-MoordeJacques Steenkamp, the author of The Griekwastad Murders (also available in Afrikaans: Die Griekwastad-Moorde), has shared an update on the legal proceedings of the case. A new edition of the book, with an epilogue that covers the sentencing, will be released later this year.

Steenkamp’s blog post includes a link to the Judge Frans Kgomo’s judgement of Don Steenkamp, who turned 18 recently. Before this, being a minor, he could not be named in the media. He was convicted of raping and killing his younger sister and killing his parents, and is currently appealing his sentence.

I’ve uploaded Judge Frans Kgomo’s judgment with regards to the sentencing on this website. Please do read it. The new edition of my book will hit the shelves soon. This edition will include a new cover and an epilogue, which covers the sentencing.

Book details

» read article

Video: Sean Davison Discusses How Assisted Dying Gives People the Opportunity to Have a Dignified Death

Before We Say GoodbyeAfter We Said GoodbyeFollowing Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu speaking out in support of assisted dying, Dignity SA founder Sean Davison was interviewed by Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath on News24.

Davison is the author of Before We Say Goodbye and After We Said Goodbye, which detail how he assisted his terminally ill mother’s suicide and was sentenced to house arrest in New Zealand as a result.

“The emphasis is on the word ‘dying’, the person needs to be towards the end of their life, terminally ill. In terms of the law change we have been seeking we are recommending a prognosis of 12 months. So, in effect, its not suicide, we call it assisted dying,” Davison explains. “The person is probably suffering, they’re near the end and this gives them the option to choose their time of death and have a dignified death.”

Book details

» read article

Bertus Preller, Author of Everyone's Guide to Divorce and Separation, on How to Handle "Divorce Season"

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationJanuary and February is “divorce season” – when warring couples who have made it through the festive season decide to throw in the towel – family and divorce law specialist Bertus Preller looks into why.

In a post on Divorce Attorney, Preller, the author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, explains why so many divorces happen after Christmas, and warns of the impact that divorce can have on children.

Going through a divorce is a painful process for all concerned mainly when there are children involved. A question that remains very difficult for warring couples to answer is “do we stay together for the sake of our children and pretend that all is hunky-dory between us”; or “do we make the decision that we, as individuals, and our children will be better off without having to endure the daily incidents of watching us as parents behave like teenagers throwing cutlery across the table”?

Book details

» read article

Bertus Preller Looks at the Role that Parents Need to Play in Preventing School Violence

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and Separation“Parents do play a vital role in helping to prevent violence at schools and children are in most instances a symbol of where they come from”, writes Bertus Preller for News24 Voices, “If we as parents fail our parental responsibilities we fail our kids and society at large.”

Preller’s recent column looks at the problem of violence in schools and discusses how children are influenced by their home lives. Preller is the author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation and is a family law and divorce attorney who has written previously about the importance of ensuring children’s needs are put first in family situations.

Violence in schools generated considerable media attention in South Africa in recent years. In the past year alone, local media coverage have again fuelled public opinion that school violence in South Africa is escalating at an alarming rate and that something needs to be done about it. Most of us have seen the shocking video of a school boy assaulting a teacher and the most recent video of a school girl assaulting another girl.

Book details

» read article

Bertus Preller Discusses a Court Case Which Marks a Victory for Unmarried Parents

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationBertus Preller, divorce attorney and author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, has written about a recent ruling by the Eastern Cape High Court, which granted unmarried parents who are in a life partnership equal rights to married parents.

Preller discussed the case and pointed out: “It is therefore possible for an unmarried mother to obtain urgent interim relief for maintenance of a child pending an investigation by the Family Advocate’s Office into the care and contact issues of a child.”

A ruling by the Eastern Cape High Court granting unmarried parents who have been in “a life partnership” equal rights to married parents was an “important victory” in child maintenance cases.

The Applicant (mother) approached the Eastern Cape High Court in East London by way of urgency for an order, inter alia, that the Family Advocate institute an enquiry and furnish a report regarding the parental rights and responsibilities of the mother and father and that pending such a report the mother remained the primary carer of the child. Pending the report by the Family Advocate the father was entitled to reasonable contact with the child at all reasonable times every alternate weekend from a Saturday morning at 09h00 until 17h00 and from 09h00 until 17h00 on the Sunday, reasonable telephonic contact, special occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc.

Book details

» read article

Bertus Preller Shares the Top Three Reasons for Divorce in South Africa

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and Separation“Infidelity or adultery, more commonly known as cheating, is near the top of the list of reasons for divorcing in South Africa. Infidelity undermines the root of the relationship – trust,” Bertus Preller told Nivashni Nair from The Times.

Preller, divorce attorney and author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, was explaining what the top causes of divorce are in South Africa. Other common causes are a lack of communication and abuse.

Cheating may no longer be one of the main reasons for divorce in the UK, but in South Africa infidelity is still among the top three causes of marital break-ups.

A UK-based company, Co-operative Legal Services, has found that couples today are half as likely to list cheating as the reason for divorce as they were 40 years ago.

Book details

» read article