Cyberlaw expert joins ‘Scorpions’ of the mobile industry.

Published on: November 10, 2008

Leading CyberLaw expert Sizwe Snail has been appointed as an adjudicator tasked with resolving any complaints mobile consumers may have with the 147 full and affiliate members of the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association of SA (WASPA).

Mr Snail is an attorney at the law firm of Couzyn Hertzog & Horak who specialises in Cyber Law and Civil Litigation after completing his Baccalareus Legum (LLB) at the University of Pretoria in 2004. He was admitted as an Attorney of the South African High Court in 2007 after serving his Articles at Barend Burgers Attorneys. He is a member of the Black Lawyers Association.

According to Leon Perlman, chairman of WASPA, “Sizwe joins WASPA’s ensemble of eminent technology lawyers who adjudicate in terms of the WASPA Code of Conduct, ensuring consumers of mobile content and services that their interests are being protected by WASPA and its independent adjudicators. WASPAs world-class self regulation model using adjudicators has been a great success.”

“I believe I will add value to consumers’ mobile experiences by enabling them to consume mobile products and services safe in the knowledge that there is someone they can trust to objectively settle any potential disputes with WASPs,” said Mr Snail.

WASPA adjudicators are tasked with mediating between consumers and WASPs when a member of the public makes a complaint to the organisation about one of its members that cannot be resolved amicably. Their role is to enforce the WASPA Code of Conduct as independent adjudicators trusted by all parties. The Code covers issues such as spam (unsolicited commercial communications), subscription services, advertising and pricing, competitions, complaint resolution, and adult services. All adjudicators are specialist Information Communications Technology (ICT) lawyers at a range of law firms throughout South Africa.

If the service provider is found in breach of the code, the Adjudicator can issue a reprimand, fine or suspension and can order compensation to be paid. The WASPA Code has been in place since 2005 and is updated constantly as new issues arise.

Mr Snail is currently enrolled for a Magister Legum (LLM) degree specializing in Information Technology Law at the University of South Africa under the title “An Appraisal of the South African Law of e-Contract”. He is also co-founding member of the Annual Cyberlaw Conference and Legal Coordinator for ICTLA.za (Information Communication Technology Law Association of South Africa) and a guest lecturer for the University of Johannesburg’s Cyber Law Diploma.