An ‘important purpose of section 34 [of the Constitution] is to guarantee the protection of the judicial process to persons who have disputes that can be resolved by law’ and that the right of access to court is ‘foundational to the stability of an orderly society. It ensures the peaceful, regulated and institutionalised mechanisms to resolve disputes, without resorting to self-help. The right of access to court is a bulwark against vigilantism, and the chaos and anarchy which it causes. Construed in this context of the rule of law and the principle against self-help in particular, access to court is indeed of cardinal importance’.The right guaranteed s34 would be rendered meaningless if court orders could be ignored with impunity:the underlying purposes of the right — and particularly that of avoidance of self-help — would be undermined if litigants could decide which orders they wished to obey and which they wished to ignore.
I am flying off to Eastern Europe this afternoon and will only be back on 4 July. I am embarking on a very adventurous holiday with my four sisters (no spouses or partners allowed). My colleague, Jaco Barnard-Naudé, with whom I have co-authored several academic articles (we are just completing an academic article in Afrikaans on The Spear saga for Litnet Akademies), has kindly agreed to act as the guest blogger here at Constitutionally Speaking in my absence. Jaco is a professor in the Department of Private Law at the University of Cape Town and teaches and conducts research in critical jurisprudence. He is an NRF rated researcher and recipient of the UCT Fellows’ Award and also a contributor to the Mail & Guardian Thought Leader Blog.
Hope you enjoy the new perspectives and insights that Jaco will bring to the Blog in my absence. I won’t be blogging unless something earth-shattering happens in South Africa during my absence. (And what can the chances be of that ever happening — after all, this is South Africa where something earth-shattering, like the firing of a Police Commissioner hardly ever occurs!)
Have fun.BACK TO TOP