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.
“Looking back, I think we have triumphantly avoided being triumphalist. There is no officially commanded art. Artists may be poor but they are free. Freedom of artistic creativity is expressly guaranteed in the constitution, as is freedom of artistic expression. Ours is an admirably open and democratic society. It artists are afraid, it is that they might be regarded by their colleagues and critics as being too politically correct. We take this freedom for granted, which is as it should be. The range and diversity of themes and forms of expression are unlimited; Leading public figures are mimicked and mocked and frequently, if not always, join in the laughter. I feel proud of the maturity of our nation. We are in a strange position. No group is in charge; no section exercises cultural hegemony. The old establishment has lost its hauteur, but no confident and powerful new establishment has emerged to replace it.” – Justice Albie Sachs, Sunday Times, 15 October 2000BACK TO TOP