As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
We need to continuously remind ourselves and each other that a working democracy is not a society in which leaders are always right. If there was such a society, there would be no need for democracy because we could leave governing to the leaders. Democracy is, rather, a system in which mistakes are noticed and, quite often, corrected and in which leaders accept that citizens and the courts have the right to tell them that they were wrong. – Steven Friedman in The New Age, commenting on the Chief Justice affairBACK TO TOP