Terms of Use


What do these terms relate to?

These terms of use describe the permitted use for the LawLibrary ZA service available at and its subdomains.

Who are we, and how to contact us?

The LawLibrary ZA service is provided by the LawLibrary ZA programme of the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town and Laws.Africa NPO. You can contact us by email at or by filling out this form.

By using the LawLibrary ZA service you accept these terms

By using the LawLibrary ZA service, you confirm that you accept these terms of use and agree to comply with them.

Fair and reasonable use

You must use the service responsibly by not making too many requests. In order to maintain the integrity of the service for everyone, we may block or disable use of the service from certain IP addresses, for making too many requests.

We are a donor-funded organisation and bulk and frequent scraping affects our costs, endangering the sustainability of the service. There are more efficient ways of obtaining access to our data in bulk. Please email us if you would like to access our data in bulk.

Crawling and indexing

You may access the LawLibrary ZA service through the website, or access the data through our APIs.

We restrict external indexing of documents by search engine robots or spiders. You must adhere to the instructions in the robots.txt file at:

We may block or disable use of the service from certain IP addresses, if they appear to be compiling a search engine index.


LawLibrary ZA collects caselaw, legislation, African Union documents, journals, books and other materials through cooperation with regional, governmental, academic and non-profit organisations and sometimes individuals.

We strive to ensure high quality standards on all documents published on the platform. Where verification was not possible, this will be indicated on the document concerned.

Errors and omissions

We scan and digitize most of the documents made available on the LawLibrary ZA and affiliate LII websites. We use industry-standard Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert these documents to readable text and there may be errors introduced by this process.

Please contact us should you encounter errors in any of the documents published and we shall rectify them within a reasonable time.


Although we make every effort to authenticate information and include the source and history of documents published on this service, you should note that information on LawLibrary ZA is:

  • not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up-to-date;
  • sometimes linked to external sites over which LawLibrary ZA has no control and for which LawLibrary ZA assumes no responsibility;
  • not professional or legal advice (if you need specific advice, you should always consult a suitably qualified professional).

LawLibrary ZA and Laws.Africa, members of its staff, and its contractors shall not be liable for any financial or other consequences arising from the use of information or data contained on this site, including the inappropriate, improper or fraudulent use of such information or data.

LawLibrary ZA does not invite reliance upon, nor accept responsibility for, the information it provides. LawLibrary ZA makes every effort to provide a high-quality service. However, neither LawLibrary ZA nor the providers of data on LawLibrary ZA, give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided. Users should confirm information from another source if it is of sufficient importance for them to do so.

Hypertext links on LawLibrary ZA are (in most cases) inserted by LawLibrary ZA, not by the data providers. Automated insertion of hypertext links on LawLibrary ZA means that links will not be comprehensive or accurate in all cases. Neither LawLibrary ZA nor its providers of data, give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning hypertext linking.

Copyright and Licensing

You may use and re-use primary and secondary law content on LawLibrary ZA under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. Under this license, you may freely use, re-use and redistribute works from LawLibrary ZA provided you credit LawLibrary ZA as your source and your use is not for commercial gain.

Specific collections on LawLibrary ZA may be licensed under more permissive licenses. Examples of these collections are unedited African Union documentation, national and regional caselaw and government gazettes. Check the landing page of each collection for specific licensing information.

Use of legal materials published by LawLibrary ZA can be subject to additional conditions set by courts, regional and government bodies, and publishers claiming intellectual property rights relating to the documents. LawLibrary ZA makes an effort to indicate the existence of additional conditions on the pages of the relevant databases. Still, Users remain responsible for checking whether their use of the documents is authorised.

LawLibrary ZA reserves the intellectual property rights on the LawLibrary ZA name, website’s graphics and website design.


Information concerning the usage of LawLibrary ZA

LawLibrary ZA collects information which identifies, for each page accessed on LawLibrary ZA, the network identity of the machine which has accessed it. We use Google Analytics and in-house software to perform this function.

LawLibrary ZA retains this usage information for purposes of network analysis, usage analysis, and research into usage patterns to improve the LawLibrary ZA services. Access to and use of this information is restricted to Google Analytics, LawLibrary ZA management and staff, and to researchers working on LawLibrary ZA projects and subject to an agreement to adhere to these Terms of Use.

LawLibrary ZA reserves the right to gather more extensive information than stated above (i) about any attempted access to LawLibrary ZA which raise security issues (and, where necessary, to make disclosures to relevant authorities); and (ii) for network analyses on an occasional basis.

Personal information contained in LawLibrary ZA databases

Personal information in court cases

LawLibrary ZA 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, LawLibrary ZA operates on the core principle that all citizens and organisations should be provided with free, unconditional and unrestricted access to basic legal materials.

LawLibrary ZA undertakes to monitor and delete from published judgments personal information as directed by law or specific court order. LawLibrary ZA 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.

Personal information in government gazettes

Government gazettes and official journals are official publications of the states that publish them. The law mandates that certain personal information should be made public via the government gazette and government departments place these public notices in the government gazette with the intent of the contents being made accessible to the public.

LawLibrary ZA cannot withdraw from circulation, redact or amend the government gazette.

Automated monitoring

LawLibrary ZA performs automated monitoring and, where necessary, de-identification of judgments before publication and does not guarantee that all sensitive material has been correctly de-identified.

Should you have concerns over personal information published on the LawLibrary ZA website, please contact us.

Your responsible use of personal information

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

Right to amend these Terms of Use, Copyright and Privacy statements

We reserve the right to amend these terms of use, copyright, and privacy and security statements at any time. All amendments will be posted on this website. Unless otherwise stated, the current version shall supersede and replace all previous versions of this document.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this policy, please contact us.

Date of notice: 14 November 2022