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)
12 March 2010

Idasa Democracy Index now available

Idasa’s Democracy Index

Testing Democracy: Which way is South Africa going?

For electronic copy of index click here.

IdasaThis report from the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) suggests that South African democracy is developing slowly, stagnating in many areas and actually regressing in others. South Africa scored 5,8 on a scale of ten. Idasa’s Democracy Index rates any score below five as unacceptable, and any score above eight as being “as close to the democratic ideal as possible”. To order hard copies of this publication, contact the co-editors: Neeta Mirsa-Dexter nmirsadexter@idasa.org.za Judith February jfebruary@idasa.org.za Tel: 021 467 7601

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