Precedent & Possibility: The (ab)use of Law in South Africa

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Juta and Company Ltd, 2009 - Law - 201 pages
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Not a day goes by in present South Africa when the role of law, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the future of constitutional democracy is not debated. This book will take the reader into the heart of the legal system, the understanding of which is necessary when wrestling with these pressing questions. The book examines a series of key cases over the past 60 years, the judgements in which changed the political or social landscape of the country. The choice of cases for inclusion in the book was made both to tell compelling and significant historical stories, as well as to illustrate the possibilities inherent in law, and the potential for its abuse and use. All of the chosen cases were ones where the country held its collective breath before judgement was delivered. Through the stories told, the reader will not only engage with critical aspects of South African history, but will be exposed to the manner in which the possibility of our new constitutional democracy is linked to the legal precedents, traditions and culture which were built up over the past century.
 

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Contents

Who can rid me of this troublesome court?
17
The Rivonia trial Competing visions
36
The challenge to the pass laws
60
Exposing detention without trial
81
A bridge over our troubled waters?
100
A break with the past a view of the future
121
Activism denialism socioeconomic rights
141
A special relationship
159
Conclusion
178
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Dennis Davis is a graduate of UCT and Cambridge. After a long a career as an academic lawyer, he was appointed to the Bench in 1998. He is a honourable professor at UCT where he continues to teach in the Law Faculty. He is also known for being the host of a TV Programme 'Judge for Yourself', due to continue in 2008.

Michelle Le Roux is a graduate of UCT and New York University. She practiced as a member of the New York Bar for eight years specializing in civil rights, employment and commercial litigation. In 2007, she decided to return to South Africa and has joined the Johannesburg Bar as an advocate.

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