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.
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Max Price
Professor Pierre De Vos
Department of Public Law
Faculty of Law
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 at 17h30
Lecture Theatre 1, Kramer Law Building
University of Cape Town
Guests to be seated by 17h15
|Pierre de Vos was appointed as the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance in the Public Law Department at the Law Faculty of the University of Cape Town in July 2009. His tasks include the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Constitutional Law and engagement in public activities to promote respect for the Constitution of South Africa. He has obtained a BComm (Law); LLB and LLM (cum laude), all from the University of Stellenbosch; a LLM from the University of Columbia, New York; and an LLD from the University of the Western Cape.
He taught at the University of the Western Cape for over 15 years where he was first appointed as a lecturer in 1993 before being promoted to Professor in 2003. He has published widely on an array of topics dealing, broadly, with the use of law in promoting social justice. His research focuses specifically on the realisation of social and economic rights – including the right to housing and health care – and the prohibition on unfair discrimination – especially as it relates to discrimination against gay men, lesbians and people living with HIV/AIDS.
In 2008 he became the first legal academic in South Africa to write a regular Blog, entitled Constitutionally Speaking. Today the Blog is widely read and quoted, as is his commentary provided to electronic and print media in South Africa and abroad.
For the past 5 years he has served as the Chairperson of the Board of the Aids Legal Network, an NGO promoting a human rights approach to HIV/AIDS prevention, combatting discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, and government policies regarding HIV/AIDS treatment. He is also a Board member of the Triangle Project and the Ubuntu Development Forum.
In 1994 he published a novel – in Afrikaans – entitled “Slegs Blankes/Whites Only”. The novel told the story of a young Afrikaans man coming to terms with the fact that his father was a member of an apartheid hit squad, and with the fact of his own sexuality.
RSVP by 7 September 2011 to:
University of Cape Town
Communication & Marketing Department
La Grotta, Glendarrach Road
Tel: 021 650 4870
Fax: 021 650 5628
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