This paper tracks the first years of the South African Constitutional Court. The author provides insight into the unusual two-stage process through which South Africa’s Constitution was developed, and explains the role that the Constitutional Court played in certifying the text of the final Constitution. the paper the n describes the initial meetings of the new Constitutional Court. The Court thought it imperative to demonstrate to the people of South Africa that the values of the new Constitution were reflected in the manner in which the Court conducted its business. Thus, the Court’s early administrative decisions, from the question of how the justices would robe to the design of the courtroom, reflected the Constitutional Court’s commitment to the values of human dignity, equality, accountability and openness. Foreign jurisprudence featured prominently in the early judgments of the Constitutional Court. In particular, Canadian Charter jurisprudence significantly influenced the Court’s interpretation of South Africa’s Bill of Rights. The paper also discusses notable instances in which the Constitutional Court struck out in new directions. The author concludes that remarkable progress has been made in South Africa since the end of Apartheid. In its short life, the Constitutional Court has built a positive reputation that is recognized throughout the democratic world, particularly in the area of social and economic rights.
Goldstone, Richard J..
"The First Years of the South African Constitutional Court."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.