Letters of demand (interpellatio extraiudicalis): substance and form


  • M. Paleker University of Cape Town, South Africa


The purpose of this article is quite simple: it is to discuss the relevance, importance, and theoretical aspects of the letter of demand (or interpellatio extraiudicialis as it is otherwise known) in practice and especially, in Civil Procedure. Most textbooks on Civil Procedure do not cover this aspect of legal practice in much detail and yet, whenever I have been asked to address law students, trainee magistrates, candidate attorneys or clerks of court on the civil litigation process, the starting point of discussion has always been the letter of demand. This article proposes not only to give an exposition of legal principles pertaining to the juridical nature of the letter of demand, but also to illustrate the application of those principles by way of practical examples.


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