Clearlaw’s General Terms and Conditions
Use of this website
- Continuing your legal learning is simple with our one-of-a-kind system. We work hard to bring you information from various countries, institutions, authors and agencies that is both valuable and helpful, in an online format.
- “We” are Clearlaw, and “you” are any person who accesses and uses the Clearlaw website or our services, or both.
- You can download all of these terms and conditions, or simply click on any of the headings below to get the full set of terms for that section.
- You use this website at your own risk. If you click onto a link to another website, we are not responsible for what you access. Please bear in mind that the internet is an inherently flawed system that is susceptible to hacking, and the security of this website and its content is the best we can achieve in these circumstances.
- You may use this website only for personal, non-commercial purposes; and may download or print documents from the website only for personal, non-commercial purposes, provided that you do not change any copyright and other intellectual property notices in the documents.
- You may not change, attempt to change, distribute, decompile, reverse engineer, circumvent the technology in the website, access to content or online learning system, or otherwise deal with Clearlaw than as set out in the terms.
- If you have any queries about the website, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note the site is not monitored in the evenings – if you have an urgent query please send an email and it will be attended to first thing the next morning.
Storing and using your data
Monitoring and recording
Changes to these terms
- The content that is made available through or on this website must be accessed through the internet. It would be ideal if your connection is at least 2Mbps because the speed of your internet service will determine how quickly the site responds.
- You will be able to access all content on any mobile device, although the content may look different from the content you access on a computer.
- You may be able download some content to work on it offline.
- The website may contain links to websites or content or internet resources of other companies or third parties which are provided solely as a convenience to you. Clearlaw does not endorse any of the linked websites’ content or resources and cannot give any guarantee that those links will work properly or at all.
- Some of the content that is available on this site will be available at no charge. Other content may be available to you at no charge for a period of time, and thereafter you will need to register and pay a fee to access that content, either on a subscription or item basis, or to facilitate access to online learning and Registration for some courses. Conferences and training courses will be provided at the fees shown on the website. Content which is provided from sources outside South Africa may be charged for in a foreign currency. Regardless of who uses your account to access content, you will be charged as the account holder.
- On this website we provide two entrances – one to online learning and content in general, and the other to a Meeting Room where you can publish your own articles or learning materials and make them available to other users; or attend after-work talks over drinks and snacks in venues around the country. We refer to the option to publish your articles as user-generated content. Additional terms and conditions apply to user-generated content (see User-Generated Content).
- Content may not be available when you choose to access it, because we are carrying out maintenance or for reasons beyond our control. Please contact us if you are experiencing any problems but note that the site is not monitored at night.
- Clearlaw may terminate your ability to access the website and the content if you are in breach of any of the General Terms and Conditions, or if your payment fails to clear or you do not make payment, or for all of these reasons. We may also be required to terminate your access by law, or your access may be terminated for reasons that are not within our control.
- You can download all of these terms and conditions, or simply click on any of the headings below to get the full set of terms for that section.
If you have any queries about any of our content, please email us at email@example.com.
- Clearlaw both produces and collects relevant, interesting and high-quality content including educational materials, and makes it available in an easy to find format. We ensure that all courses and resources have been appropriately categorised and accredited according to the Clearlaw content rules. However, because we are also making third party content available, we are not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.
- The content that is made available on this site may be accredited by a professional body or a professional person. If this is the case, the content will contain details of the accreditation. We may offer access to third party content through links or directly, with acknowledgements.
- This is not a service that is intended to nor does it provide legal advice.
- At the date of publication, the content we produce is up to date. All content is provided on an “as is” basis. If you spot anything that is not correct, please do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We do not endorse the views of third parties, although we may consider them valuable for purposes of legal education. This is because we believe they are likely to stimulate debate, stretch your intellect, or challenge your views.
- If you find any of the content offensive or inappropriate, you may contact us at email@example.com with your reasons, and we will try to accommodate your viewpoint. However, the purpose of this site is to offer content that interests and challenges you, and that appeals to a wide audience. We welcome all feedback.
- Except where we note that content belongs to someone else, all content produced by Clearlaw and made available on this site belongs to Clearlaw and may not be reproduced, published, or used other than by individuals, for their personal use, without our prior permission. If the content belongs to other people who are allowing Clearlaw to publish it, we may have to include their rules for access and use.
- You can expect to see a substantial amount of content being added each month. Please check back often.
- If you want to be notified of new content or content that you may be looking for and you have registered for this, we will send you a notice by your chosen method (see Registration).
- Clearlaw is intended to provide both interesting and educational information and a platform for ongoing learning. We produce high quality, varied and informative courses and want to ensure that all courses and resources have been appropriately categorised and accredited.
- We invite you to submit content to us for publication on our website, for a fee of R1,000 (one thousand rand), which we refer to as the publication fee. If you submit content to us for publication, please be aware that if it does not meet our requirements we will not publish it.
- Please ensure that your contribution is your own work, and where you have relied on or are quoting someone else, that you correctly attribute the work, use proper citations, and acknowledge your sources. Your name and other details may be published with your work – please inform Clearlaw if you do not want your details published.
- Submissions must be in Microsoft Word format. Please insert “UGC” in the heading of your email and direct it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you intend to publish the article in several different places, please make sure everyone is aware that they are not getting an exclusive publication, including Clearlaw.
- We reserve the right to edit the submission and will return the edited version to you for approval prior to publication. If you don’t like the edits we propose, then Clearlaw will not publish your submission and will refund your publication fee.
- If you wish to charge for access to your submission, please motivate your request and the fee you want to charge. If we agree, Clearlaw will deduct a percentage not exceeding 20% from any fee you request (and that deduction is in addition to the R1,000 publication fee). Payment for access to your submission by third parties must be made over the Clearlaw payment platform. After deducting our commission, the balance will be paid to you in not more than 30 days on receipt of a valid tax invoice from you.
- If you have submitted and we have approved your content for publication and you have paid the R1,000 publication fee, we will reward your diligence by paying you a R500 reward if your content is shared by 5 other (different) Clearlaw members. We call this the UGC reward. You can earn up to a maximum of R1,500 in UGC rewards if your submission is shared by a total of 25 separate people. Payment will be made in instalments of R500 (for the first 5 shares), and then R500 after another 5 shares, and so on. We will need your bank details to pay the UGC rewards to you. Payment will only be made after you get a multiple of at least 5 shares so, for example, you will not earn a reward if you only get 3 shares, and you will not earn a reward greater than R500 if you only get 8 shares.
- Clearlaw has developed a psychometric assessment, also called an aptitude test, working with a research psychologist and an industrial psychologist, according to best practice for these types of assessments. Its goal is to identify areas for personal development. It is a ‘psychological test’ as defined in law.
- The test is made available through Clearlaw who paid for the development of the test. It is made available online through the Clearlaw platform on Google forms or directly through the website. It may be accessed for completion by registered users who have paid the applicable fee. The fee includes your results in what we call the ‘basic’ form, based on standardised scoring and reporting processes. Remember that you do not pass or fail a psychometric test – it is an indication of ability. The results do not mean that you can never improve or change your ability – in fact, the purpose of the test is to indicate where you can make changes if you need to.
- The position in law regarding classification of psychometric tests has been unclear since a High Court case in 2017 involving the Associated Publishers of South Africa and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act have now been made (July 2020) so the current requirements in law are that the test be valid, reliable and applied and the outcomes assessed, in an equitable and non-discriminatory manner. The Clearlaw test meets all of these requirements. In addition, further studies will continue to build on the existing validation studies.
- Before taking the test, you will need to confirm that you understand the status of the test and consent to taking and receiving the results by electronic means. If you want to receive more detailed results from our psychologist, you will have to pay an additional fee. A face to face responses can be arranged and we will provide you with a quotation if you would like this.
- Your test results will be kept strictly confidential and made available (i) only to you unless another person paid for you to take the test, in which case we will make the results available to that person; (ii) to Clearlaw and its psychologists for research purposes on a de-identified basis, and to modify and improve test exercises from time to time; (iii) to Clearlaw and its service providers for purposes of determining what training might be suitable to improve the aptitude of users in identified areas; and (iv) if required by HPCSA, to them on a de-identified basis.
- For busy professionals, particularly those that sell time, it is not an attractive proposition to have to spend time doing things other than billing or meeting a deadline. However, the LPA) is doing what no other law in South Africa has done, and that is bring the legal profession into line with other professions in requiring us to keep up to date with our education after we have qualified. The LPA also puts South Africa on a more equal footing with international best practice. Online learning is therefore an obvious choice.
- Our online learning platform is being developed to meet the needs of seasoned lawyers, new lawyers, wannabe lawyers, and other people interested in various aspects but not all, of the law. We have built an LMS – a learning management system – which is practical, simple to use, and valuable as a resource and a tool. This will be developed on an ongoing basis to meet your needs.
- You will know if you use online tools or your computer or a mobile device that there can be signal issues and other technical issues, some of which will be caused by your computer or device but we may also experience technical issues that affect our online learning platform if one of the service providers we rely on experiences a fault. Please let us know if you encounter technical issues associated with our platform. We aim to restore service within the shortest possible time if the fault is on our platform.
- Since Clearlaw’s primary purpose is that of education and interest, we offer you the opportunity to gauge how, if at all, you believe the content will assist you in your career. It would be helpful if you could answer the 2 or 3 questions that will appear at the end of some of the articles and other teaching content. Your answers will be helpful to us and no information in the email will be used other than the answers you provide which will not be used in any way to identify you. They can be provided by clicking here.
- When you reach the stage where you want or need to register with Clearlaw, you will need to create an account. This will require you to provide certain personal details – primarily to ensure your own access is protected – but also to ensure that we can accurately track payments and your access to and use of the site and the services. We will not ask for credit card details unless a Payment is required.
- Authorisation from Clearlaw to access your account will be sent to you in the form of an account number, access code, or password which you will be required to enter on the website to gain access to the content and online learning platform.
- If you want to publish content on the website, we will need more information from you than we will ask for in relation to opening an account. This information will be dealt with in accordance with the terms and conditions that apply to User-generated content.
- If you wish to establish an account for several users with only one Payment mechanism (so many people can use that account and only one entity is responsible for payment), please ensure you have accurately completed the details for each user. We will then allocate a code for each user under a group coupon.
- When you register, you will be asked to indicate how you wish to be contacted in future (by SMS or email or WhatsApp) – you may opt out of any contact, but in this case, you will not be able to access any content that must be paid for or any subscriptions.
Storing and using your data
- We will need to ask you for and store your personal data (information about yourself including your identity number, contact details which may include an address and telephone number, and your bank details if you choose to pay by cash. We will also receive the test results from the psychometric assessment). We refer to all of this as “personal information”.
- We will use this personal information only for the reasons indicated in these terms and conditions, many of which are set out below.
- We may aggregate parts of your personal information which we call “data” with the data of other users for statistical analysis. This is likely to include your age, gender and occupation.
- No personal information will be disclosed to anyone outside of Clearlaw unless you specifically authorise this, or unless Clearlaw has to disclose it by law.
- We will need to use your personal information to notify you of new types of content, changes to the terms and conditions, to send you promotional information, or if Clearlaw has to take action against you for breaching these terms and conditions or failing to make payment as required for any service.
- The online learning system can record and monitor your use and access of the system to record your CPD points (see Monitoring and Recording). When the LPC introduces its formal obligations to continue your legal education and if you are an admitted attorney and governed by the LPA, then we will be able to use your personal information to assist you to prove to the LPC that you have completed courses that count towards your CPD points. We do not know how that system will operate yet, and it is not in place yet.
- At the moment we create and store certificates for you in your personal account on our system, which confirm that you have completed a course. Each certificate contains your personal information because we need this to create the certificate. You are the only person who can download or print the certificate.
- Your personal information will be stored in a facility called the cloud. This is a secure backed up storage system that uses encryption to protect personal information.
- You may ask for access to your personal information and you may ask us to delete your personal information at any time by contacting email@example.com. You can also ask us to stop sending you promotional information by sending us an email or phoning us.
- Subscription fees or the price to access and download content, participate in online learning, or take the psychometric assessment will be displayed on the website. Clearlaw takes reasonable steps to ensure that the services and the prices are accurately reflected on the website but if there are any errors in the way that either the services or the prices are described, Clearlaw will not be liable for those errors and your sole remedy shall be to request a cancellation of your order.
- Clearlaw uses an online payment system called Payfast (www.payfast.co.za). If you make payment using this system you will be subject to their terms and conditions. Clearlaw does not warrant the availability, utility and security of the payment mechanism if you pay by credit card.
- Unless required to do so by law or by the online payment system, we will not retain any credit card information and you may ask us to delete it at any time except during a transaction.
- Bank or credit card details (as the case may be) that are supplied by you to Clearlaw will be deemed to authorise us to deduct payment of the price from your bank or credit card and you will be representing to Clearlaw that you have authorised the deduction and that there are sufficient funds to make the payment. Clearlaw only accepts VISA or Mastercard.
- If you are registering a company or group of users under one account (see Registration), other payments methods may be accepted. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Although Clearlaw is a South African company we may make content available from international sources which require payment in a foreign currency. Please note that this may require you to pay a bank fee to your bank. You may request an invoice when you make the payment. In some cases, Clearlaw will send you the invoice separately from the payment transaction.
- You will not be entitled to any refund once you have made payment, for any reason at all unless the content you are trying to access is permanently unavailable. If you have subscribed to any service whether provided by Clearlaw or merely on the Clearlaw platform and you do not wish to continue with the subscription, you will have to give written notice as indicated on the subscription terms.
Monitoring and recording
- When the requirement to continue your legal education is introduced under the LPA, you will need to comply with a framework that will likely include setting a target for the number of hours you devote to this. To help you get used to this discipline, our system records and stores your access and enables you to see what you have achieved by converting time spent into points.
- When you register, you will have your own account which you can use to record points you have accumulated and what they were for (see Registration).
- The Clearlaw learning platform will provides a guideline for you to follow when using the site by accessing content as some of the content will reflect the number of points that you will gain by accessing, reading and for some content, completing an online course, and answering the accompanying questions. The purpose of the platform posing the questions and you answering them is to ensure that you have assimilated, understood and can reflect on what you have learnt. Points are allocated to content by Clearlaw based on the matrix you can access here.
- The Clearlaw platform will also enable us to track your access to the site and to all the content on it. This is for two reasons. First, so that we can make some deductions about the suitability and interest value of the content. Second, so that you will have your own record of what you have accessed, participated in, attended, or read and the points you have earned, as indicated above.
Changes to these terms
- Clearlaw may obviously need to make changes to the website and content, and the terms on which they are provided, from time to time. When these changes are made we will publish them to the website so that you can review them.
- If you no longer wish to be subject to the amended terms, you can de-register as set out under Registration. You will not be able to access courses if you de-register.
- We are not liable for any failure or interruption of your internet connection or any part of the system you use to access the internet; or the introduction or effect of any software virus, malware, or other internet disruptors, including hacking and cybersecurity issues that you may experience while you are using the website. If you access the psychometric assessment through Google forms, we cannot be liable for any issues arising with that platform; it is a recognised and trusted platform, and we have taken all the precautions that we can to ensure the assessment is secure.
- Your use of the services, backup, website and payment mechanism is at your sole risk and these are provided to you “as is” and Clearlaw makes no representations or warranties concerning any of them.
- Clearlaw’s total liability arising from any cause whatsoever, shall be limited to the amount paid by you to Clearlaw in the immediately preceding 6 months. Clearlaw shall not be liable for any indirect or consequential loss of any kind at all and whether or not it was foreseeable.
- These General Terms and Conditions are to be interpreted and will be governed by, the laws of South Africa.