Quote of the week

As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.

Khampepe J
Zuma v Secretary of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector Including Organs of State and Others (CCT 52/21) [2021] ZACC 28 (17 September 2021)
20 December 2006

Same-sex relationships around the world

I recieved an email from prof Kees Waaldijk who sums up the situation regarding the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships at national level as follows:

  • Marriage has been opened up to same-sex couples in Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain (since December 2006), South Africa, and in one state of the United States of America.
  • A form of registered partnership for same-sex couples (and sometimes also for different-sex couples) carrying some, most or all legal consequences of marriage, has been introduced in Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland (from January 2007), United Kingdom, Uruguay?, and in parts of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and the United States of America.
  • Informal cohabitation of same-sex partners has become legally recognised (at least for some legal purposes) in most of the jurisdictions mentioned above, and also in several other, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Portugal, and parts of Australia, Italy and the United States of America.
  • For various practical purposes a foreign same-sex marriage would be recognised in Israel, and (probably) also in many of the countries that have introduced some form of registered partnership, but that have not opened up marriage. However (unlike Israel, after the judgement of its Supreme Court on 21 November 2006) most of these countries would not formally register a foreign same-sex marriage as ‘marriage’.
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