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)
30 December 2006

Saddam HUssein Executed this morning

Saddam Hussein was executed this morning in Bagdad after being convicted of various attrocities by a court of sorts.

For me his execution is a reminder that in international affairs there is no such thing as morality.

Many of the attrocities for which Hussein was sentenced to death was committed during the time when the USA supported him and his regime. If he never turned against the USA he would probably still have been in power today.

Even if one supports the death penalty – which I do not – the killing of Hussein in these circumstances under the auspices of the USA seems like a stain on the name of the country who is supposed to be the beacon of liberty in our world.

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