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)
18 February 2008

Serious slap in the face for the SCA

I have been rather critical of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the past and have argued that it has not always embraced the values of the Constitution and the changes the advent of the new Constitution requires in our legal culture. But in recent years the SCA has improved and I was therefore surprised by the ANC resolution to downgrade this court.

Here is my take on this matter published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday.

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