Emeritus Professor Dale Hutchison


Dale Hutchison was born in the Eastern Cape and educated at Dale College, Kingwilliamstown. He studied Law at UCT, graduating magna cum laude. After doctoral studies at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he returned to UCT as a senior lecturer in Roman Dutch & Private Law. He received a Distinguished Teacher Award in 1982, and in 1983 was appointed to the Chair of Roman Dutch & Private Law. He has also served the Faculty as Deputy Dean; sat as a Commissioner of the Small Claims Court in Wynberg; and was a member of the Governing Body of a local school. His main teaching subjects are the Law of Contract and the Law of Cession, but he has also taught many other courses including: the Law of Delict; Succession; Trusts; Estoppel; and Criminal Law. A particular research interest of his has been the problem of economic loss on the border between contract and delict. He has published extensively and was General Editor of Wille's Principles of South African Law. He received an Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship in 1993 for study at the University of Regensburg. He has practised as an advocate of the High Court and is currently in-house counsel for a leading law firm.


Contract; law of cession; succession; law of trusts; delictual damages for pure economic loss.

UCT Distinguished Teacher’s Award; Humboldt Foundation award.

Publications (some recent)


  • 2012. Hutchison, DB and Pretorius, CJ (eds), The Law of Contract in South Africa 2nd edition (South Africa: Oxford University Press Southern Africa 2012) link to OUP Catalogue

Research Papers and Refereed Articles

  • 2006. "'Traps for the Unwary' - when careless errors are excusable" in G Glover (ed) Essays in Honour of A J Kerr (2006) 39-58.
  • 2004. "Breach of Contract" (with Eric Clive) in Mixed Legal Systems in Comparative Perspective : Property and Obligations in Scotland and South Africa (Juta 2004) 176-207.
  • 2004. "Back to basics: Reliance damages for breach of contract revisited" South African Law Journal; 121.
  • 2003. "The Exercise of Contractual Rights or Powers Against an Insolvent Estate" (with Fergus Reid) 2003 (120) SALJ 776-784.
  • 2001. "Non-variation clauses in contract: any escape from the Shifren straitjacket?" South African Law Journal: 118(4): 720-746.
  • 2001. "When rigs do roam: relational economic loss in Table Bay Harbour" South African Law Journal: 118(4):651-658.
  • 2000. "Relational economic loss (interference with contractual relations): the last hurdle." Acta Juridica 2000: 133-157.
  • 2000. "The disappointed beneficiary smiles at last". South African Law Journal: 117(2): 186-199.