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Law Academic Uses Research as a Tool for Teaching and Learning

October 27, 2014

Mr Darren Subramanien.
Mr Darren Subramanien.

School of Law academic and doctoral candidate Advocate Darren Subramanien’s passion for research has led to two of his papers being published in the law journal, Obiter.

The papers are titled: “Unconscionable Abuse – Section 20(9) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 - Ex parte Gore NO and Others 2013 (3) SA 382 (WCC)”; and “A Note on ‘Tacit universal partnerships’- Recent Judgments”.

The first article examines whether the remedy provided for in Company Law of “piercing of the corporate veil” - previously existing only  in Common Law - has now been  expressly incorporated into legislation under the Companies Act 71 of 2008  (hereinafter ‘the Act’).

The second article examines the rights of parties in a cohabitation relationship to inherit from or submit a maintenance claim to a deceased domestic partner’s estate if there is no will.

Subramanien says doing research in the areas of Commercial Law, Business Law and Corporate Law not only enriches his doctoral studies but also enhances the knowledge he imparts to his students.

‘The research I have undertaken has greatly assisted me in improving my teaching.  I find that there is no better way to keep my course material current than to peruse the latest research and update the material so that it reflects current understanding,’ said Subramanien. ‘The understanding of recent legislation and legal principles continues to grow as new judgments emerge from our courts.  I have found that students will be more poised to make important contributions during lectures if they are well-versed in current developments in the law.’

Subramanien has also written five other articles this year which are in advanced stages of the review process. His PhD thesis is titled: “ The Common Law Rule in Foss v Harbottle and its Relationship with the Statutory Derivative Action under the Companies Act 61 of 1973 and the Companies Act 71 of 2008”.

‘I am a firm believer that education is an investment in oneself and I am committed to research within the academic environment. I am currently preparing an article with regard to a recent case involving an elderly woman who unwittingly signed ownership of her home over to an unknown party.

‘The case deals with the importance of thoroughly reading a contract before you sign it as well as the demands of public interest that complex legal documents, which would have draconian results, be properly explained to the signatory,’ said Subramanien.

Subramanien will also present a paper on tax avoidance with respect to the Tax Administration Act at a conference at the University of Cape Town next month.

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