Quote of the week

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.

Plasket AJ
Victoria Park Ratepayers' Association v Greyvenouw CC and others (511/03) [2003] ZAECHC 19 (11 April 2003)
27 August 2009

Book News: The Constitution in the Classroom

The Constitution in the Classroom: Law and Education in South Africa 1994 – 2008

Authors: Stu Woolman & Brahm Fleisch

About the publication:

The law on education and educational practices in South Africa would exhaust the capacity of any meaningful monograph. Instead, the authors of this book engage six discrete topics that refl ect the broader currents and conflicts in South African education debates: (a) school choice; (b) school fees; (c) the right to an adequate basic education; (d) single medium public schools; (e) school governing bodies; and (f) independent schools. The book has two further aims. First: To move beyond the debates taking place separately in the education policy community and the legal academy, and to demonstrate how these disciplines, working in concert with each other, can advance our understanding of law and education in South Africa. Second: To show that the ANC’s complex education agenda must mirror the egalitarian, utilitarian, democratic, and communitarian commitments found within the Constitution. How these competing political claims refl ected in our basic law play themselves out in the enabling education legislation, the case law and government education policy, frames each topic assayed in this work.

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