Legal commentary now accessible via technological advancements

28 February 2019 00:00

Leaders in the legal technology space, LexisNexis have again raised the bar to new heights, bringing the industry an easily navigable electronic version of the complete encyclopaedic work on Roman-Dutch law by Johannes Voet.

The seminal work of Johannes Voet (1647 – 1713), considered to be the founding authority of South African common law is still referred to in the court system today, to bolster heads of argument and to support judgments. The work can now be searched electronically using keywords, using all the advanced functionality of the Lexis platform and chapters then printed or saved by legal researchers. The original chapters have been arranged in a subject index of modern legal concepts making this timeless work accessible.

The version adopted for the revolutionary technological delivery of Voet: Commentary on the Pandects, is the Paris edition. This version has been acknowledged to have been substantially enhanced with annotations and explanatory notes by Judge Percival Gane.

Highly respected South African judge, Judge Hiemstra referred to Gane’s books as “a monumental work” and “by far the greatest single contribution towards making the old legal authorities more accessible to the legal profession in South Africa.” At one of several awards, Gane was honoured as “a scholar, as one who scorning delights has lived laborious days to enrich the legal literature of South Africa.”¹

“This online tool will enable legal professionals to browse and navigate through the commentary, finding relevant law texts, where before the multiple volumes and manner in which the topics were spread throughout these, made this an almost impossible task,” says Louis Podbielski, Case Law Product Manager at LexisNexis South Africa.

The original works by Voet, arguably the foremost institutional writer of Roman-Dutch law, comprised multiple volumes which were 18 years in the making and classified in an outdated manner making the pertinent legal concepts inaccessible.

The time saving nature, the ability to harness technology to search through the volumes, pinpoint topics and information of relevance and ability to save or print these, makes this legal tech tool for practitioners and researchers invaluable. Access to this commentary will provide a deeper understanding of the law and a competitive edge when making arguments.

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