12 Juli 2021

An Ordinary Result for the Rule of Law

Late on Wednesday 7 July, former South African President Jacob Zuma turned himself in to police. He thus just about complied with the Constitutional Court’s judgment on 29 June, which found him in contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months’ imprisonment. This is not a victory for the rule of law. It simply is the rule of law. Continue reading >>
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11 März 2021
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COVID-19 in South Africa: A Year in Review

On 15 March 2020 with only 61 cases and 0 deaths recorded, President Ramaphosa quickly decided that swift action was required and declared a state of disaster. Despite this quick action, South Africa has recorded the highest number of cases in Africa. This post will consider whether its response has been legitimate, proportionate and subject to appropriate judicial oversight. Continue reading >>
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26 Juni 2020

“Race” and the Constitution: A South African perspective

For a South African constitutional lawyer, watching from afar, the current debate in Germany on the removal of the word “race” from section 3 of article 3 of the German Basic Law, is perplexing. In the South African context, a similar call would widely be viewed as a regressive step aimed at protecting white privilege and reinforcing the social and economic dominance of the white minority. The South African and German contexts and histories differ, and the word “race” might have different connotations in German than it has in English, but it may nevertheless be of interest to consider why the words “race”, “racial” and “non-racialism” are mentioned in several provisions of the South African Constitution. Continue reading >>
04 Oktober 2018

Open Secrets, Private Freedoms – The South African Constitutional Court Legalizes Marijuana Use in Private

Two weeks ago, the South African Constitutional Court legalized marijuana use under certain circumstances. Apart from its immediate impact, this ruling may signal shifts in the Court’s institutional self-conception. Continue reading >>
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30 August 2018

Fighting the Backlash – The South African High Court on the Suspension of the SADC Tribunal

Today, the South African Constitutional Court may have the last word on a case concerning South Africa's suspension of the Southern African Development Community Tribunal. On 1 March 2018, the South African High Court found that this foreign policy decision violated substantive human rights. Even though it is easy to criticize the judgment for its scarce reasoning, the decision entails intriguing ideas for building a more principled foreign relations law in the South African context. Continue reading >>
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08 März 2017

South Africa’s Withdrawal from the ICC: The High Court Judgment and its Limits

Domestic legal challenges to the South Africa government’s decision to withdraw from the ICC are underway, and while the first instalment has a distinctly Brexit flavor, it also foreshadows more substantive constitutional arguments to come. Continue reading >>
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