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 NCOP committee voted today for an unamended version of the Civil Union Bill despite vociferous objections from religious groups. This just goes to show that the “compromise” of creating two marriage acts did not appease religious groups.
Why then compromise? Why not amend the Marriage Act and get it over with?
I suspect it has more to do with the politics within the ANC than with any attempt to appease religious groups. A separate act may have made it more palatable for ANC MPs to vote for the Bill. It gives them something to defend back home.
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