The people, the court and Langa constitutionalism

Show simple item record Fowkes, James 2015-10-07T10:48:54Z 2015
dc.description.abstract The extra-curial writings of the late Chief Justice Langa contain several brief but suggestive references to the role of the People in South African constitutionalism – references that go beyond the standard court-centric picture in which the people, having underwritten the Constitution as popular sovereigns, are thereafter confined to supporting roles: bringing cases, complying with orders, supporting the courts to defend their independence. The writings of the late Chief Justice should encourage us to consider the more active and positive role that the people can play as constitutional agents, including as an ongoing source of interpretative activity. This constitutes an important qualifier to the dominant tendency in current writing on South African constitutionalism to see political forces as threats and public opinion as an obstacle. It is also more than an attractive but hypothetical possibility: I argue that it will assist us to see how much of the South African Constitutional Court’s activity since 1994, including all of its most globally-celebrated bold cases, are constructed to a significant extent on pre-existing public foundations built by forces both inside and outside the ANC government – an important rebuttal to prevailing court-centric accounts. en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2015-12-30
dc.description.librarian am2015 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Fowkes, J 2015, 'The people, the court and Langa constitutionalism', Acta Juridica, pp. 75-87. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0065-1346 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1996-2088 (online)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Juta Law en_ZA
dc.rights Juta Law en_ZA
dc.subject People en_ZA
dc.subject Constitution en_ZA
dc.subject ANC government en_ZA
dc.subject African National Congress (ANC) en_ZA
dc.subject Chief Justice Langa en_ZA
dc.subject South African constitutionalism en_ZA
dc.subject Political forces en_ZA
dc.subject Public opinion en_ZA
dc.title The people, the court and Langa constitutionalism en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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