Search

Home > Staff > Helen Scott
Staff

Helen Scott

BA (Hons) LLB Cape Town
BCL MPhil DPhil Oxon

Tel: (021) 650 5610
Fax: (021) 650 5770
Email Helen Scott

Helen Scott is a professor in the Department of Private Law at the University of Cape Town, having joined the UCT Law Faculty permanently in May 2009. Between 2005 and 2009 she was a University Lecturer in Law at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Tutor in Law at St Catherine's College Oxford, and before that a Fixed Term Fellow in Law at Trinity College Oxford.

She studied classics and law at the University of Cape Town (BA with distinction in Latin and distinction overall, 1995; Honours in Latin, first class, 1996; LLB magna cum laude, 1998) and subsequently completed BCL (with distinction, 2000), MPhil (with distinction, 2001) and DPhil (2005) degrees at Oxford.

She is an occasional lecturer in Roman law in the Oxford Law Faculty and from 2008 to 2014 was a visiting professor at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) where she taught a course in the common law of tort. At UCT she teaches courses on unjustified enrichment (RDL4506S), delict (RDL3003H), advanced Roman law (RDL4503F) and comparative legal history (RDL1004/7H).

Her research interests fall within the comparative law of obligations (particularly tort/delict and unjust/unjustified enrichment) and civilian legal history (particularly Roman law). She has recently finished updating the chapters on harms to personality, strict liability and unjustified enrichment in Wille's Principles of South African Law (10th edition to be published by Juta in 2016), and is currently working on a textbook provisionally entitled The South African Law of Delict with Anton Fagan and Alistair Price, also for Juta. Her major research interest at the moment is the history of the foreseeability concept which dominates both Aquilian liability in South African law and the tort of negligence in the common law. 

In January 2012 she received a Y1 rating from the National Research Foundation, and in October 2014 she received the UCT College of Fellows Young Researcher Award: details are here.

Recently she wrote a short piece for The Conversation on the delictual issues arising from the publication of the Rhodes reference list, and was interviewed by Jeremy Maggs on Power FM.

Publications

Books

  • Unjust Enrichment in South African Law: Rethinking Enrichment by Transfer (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2013)the link to the Hart catalogue can be found here, and a full review here. Unjust Enrichment in South African Law was shortlisted for the 2015 Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship: see here.
  • With Eric Descheemaeker (eds), 'Iniuria and the Common Law' (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2013)the link to the Hart catalogue is here and a full review can be found here.

Chapters in Books

  • 'The death of doctrine? Private law scholarship in South African today' in Jürgen Basedow, Holger Fleischer and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds), Legislators, Judges, and Professors (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2016) 223-248
  • Revision of chapter 39 ('Unjustified Enrichment') in Graham Bradfield (general ed), Wille's Principles of South African Law, 10th edition (Cape Town, Juta, 2016)forthcoming
  • With Alistair Price, revision of chapters 40 ('Delict: Introduction'), 43 ('Compensation for harm to the personality—the actio iniuriarum') and 44 ('Remedies based on strict liability') in Graham Bradfield (general ed), Wille's Principles of South African Law, 10th edition  (Cape Town, Juta, 2016)forthcoming
  • 'Defence, Denial or Cause of Action: "Enrichment Owed" and the Absence of a Legal Ground' in Andrew Dyson, James Goudkamp and Frederick Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Unjust Enrichment (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2016) 53-68: available (in close to final form) via SSRN. See also Yotam Kaplan's discussion of my chapter inter alia on the New Private Law blog here
  • 'Liber homo suo nomine utilem Aquiliae habet actionem: D. 9,2,13 pr in context' in Jan Hallebeek, Martin Schermaier, Roberto Fiori, Ernest Metzger and Jean-Pierre Coriat (eds), Inter cives necnon peregrinos: Essays in honour of Boudewijn Sirks (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014) 699-714: link to final draft.
  • Pits and Pruners: Culpa and Social Practice in Digest 9.2' in A Burrows, D Johnston and R Zimmermann (eds), Judge and Jurist: Essays in Memory of Lord Rodger of Earslferry (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013) 251-64: link to final draft.
  • With Eric Descheemaeker, ‘Iniuria and the Common Law' in Eric Descheemaeker and Helen Scott (eds), Iniuria and the Common Law (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2013) 1-31: a late draft is available via SSRN.
  • Contumelia and the South African Law of Defamation' in Eric Descheemaeker and Helen Scott (eds), Iniuria and the Common Law (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2013) 119-39: link to final draft
  • With Daniel Visser, ‘'The Impact of Legal Culture on the Law of Unjustified Enrichment: the Role of Reasons' in E Bant and M Harding (eds), Exploring Private Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010) 153-174: link to CUP catalogue

Journal Articles

  • 'Rationalising the South African law of enrichment’ (2014) 18 Edinburgh Law Review 433-51: PDF of full text
  • 'Killing and causing death in Roman Law' (2013) 129 Law Quarterly Review 101-22: PDF of full text 
  • With Daniel Visser, 'Excess baggage? Rethinking risk allocation in the Restatement (Third) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment' (2012) 92 Boston University Law Review 859-83: link to full text on HeinOnline
  • 'Absolute ownership and legal pluralism in Roman law: two arguments'  Acta Juridica  (2011) 23-34: link to full text on HeinOnline
  • ‘The requirement of excusable mistake in the context of the condictio indebiti: Scottish and South African law compared' (2007) 124(4) South African Law Journal 827-66: link to full text on HeinOnline
  • ‘Liability for the mass publication of private information in South African law: NM v Smith (Freedom of Expression Institute as Amicus Curiae)' (2007) 18 Stellenbosch Law Review 387-404: link to full text on HeinOnline
  • ‘Omnes unius aestimemus assis: A note on Liability for Defamation in Catullus V' (2006) 3 Roman Legal Tradition 95-110: link to full text at romanlegaltradition.org
  • ‘Restitution of Extra-Contractual Transfers: Limits of the Absence of Legal Ground Analysis' (2006) 14 Restitution Law Review 93-105
  • With Nicholas Barber, ‘State Liability under Francovich for Decisions of National Courts' (2004) 120 Law Quarterly Review 403-406 

Book Reviews

  • Review of Jacques du Plessis, The South African Law of Unjustified Enrichment (2013) 24 Stellenbosch Law Review 638-643: link to full text on Sabinet
  • Review of Daniel Visser, Unjustified Enrichment (2009) 17 Restitution Law Review 258-259
  • Review of Ernest Metzger, Litigation in Roman Law (2007) 66 Cambridge Law Journal 234-36

Annual Digests

  • 'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2016) 24 Restitution Law Review 298-307
  • 'Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2014] 1160–65
  • 'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2015) 23 Restitution Law Review 255-260
  • 'Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2013] 1182-1198 - full text available on Sabinet
  • 'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2014) 22 Restitution Law Review 235-242
  • 'Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2012] 1046-1052 - full text available on Sabinet
  • 'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2013) 21 Restitution Law Review 204-212
  • '‘Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2011] 1257-1260 - full text available on HeinOnline
  • 'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2012) 20 Restitution Law Review 231-234
  • ‘'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2011) 19 Restitution Law Review 246-252
  • '‘Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2010] 1400-1409 - full text available on HeinOnline
  • ‘'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2010) 18 Restitution Law Review 176-183
  • ‘'Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2009] 1238-1252 - full text available on HeinOnline
  • ‘'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2009) 17 Restitution Law Review 221-229
  • '‘Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2008] 1249-1264 - full text available on HeinOnline
  • ‘'Regional Digest: South Africa' (2008) 16 Restitution Law Review 220-226
  • With Daniel Visser, ‘'Unjustified Enrichment' Annual Survey of South African Law [2007] 1183-1186 - full text available at HeinOnline