“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.

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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.

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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.

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