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Constitutional Law

Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. We've identified some articles that may be of interest to readers below.

Civil society groups key to upholding Constitution

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 17 May 2018
Constitutional Law
Former Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs yesterday reflected on one of his last judgments, the landmark Biowatch costs ruling of 2009, saying it was a significant precedent-setting ruling for civil society organisations to be allowed to continue playing the role they did in ensuring a balance between development and human rights.

Asylum seekers visa rules issue in top court

A group of asylum seekers will argue in the Constitutional Court today that all foreigners, including asylum seekers and refugees, in SA are entitled to apply for visas. A Business Day report notes they are approaching the court for leave to appeal against a decision by the SCA in September 2017 that overturned a High Court judgment, which declared that a 2015 immigration directive by the Department of Home Affairs was invalid and inconsistent with the Constitution.

Ground-breaking study judgment for prisoners

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Constitutional Law Criminal Law
In what is regarded as a ground-breaking judgment for the rights of prisoners who are studying while in jail, a judge ordered that the Correctional Service’s policy that they may not use their personal laptops – minus a modem – in their cells, constituted unfair discrimination, notes a Pretoria News report.

National government takes control of North West

National government has taken control of North West, a move the Sunday Times notes is the first time an entire provincial administration has been taken over. At the same time, two-thirds of the province’s municipalities are being taken over by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, says the report.

LRC welcomes ConCourt's 'landmark' refugees ruling

A Constitutional Court judgment, which provides protection to asylum seekers whose applications for refugee status were under review, has been welcomed by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), says TimesLIVE. Twenty-nine asylum seekers, represented by the LRC, challenged the refusal of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office to renew their Section 22 asylum seeker permits pending the outcome of individual High Court reviews of each of their rejected applications.

JSC ordered to reveal 'closed door' deliberations

In a case brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation, the Constitutional Court has ordered the JSC to make public its deliberations on appointing judges. In a majority judgment delivered yesterday, the court ruled that a blanket ban of disclosure was unjustifiable in a democratic society.

Pensioners given go-ahead to recover billions

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Constitutional Law Litigation Pension Law
The Constitutional Court yesterday gave thousands of Transnet pensioners welcome relief when approving their claim to recover billions owed to them, notes Legalbrief. In 2013‚ 60 000 pensioners instituted a class action against the Transport Pension Fund‚ the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transnet based on a promise made to them in 1989 that they would receive the same pension benefits under a commercial entity‚ Transnet‚ as they did under the state entity that employed them until then‚ the SA Transport Services (SATS) and its two pension funds.

Pit latrine judgment likely to be appealed

The Limpopo High Court (Polokwane) yesterday dismissed the claims of Michael Komape's family for general and constitutional damages for the death of the five-year-old, who drowned in a school pit latrine in 2014. There's every chance the judgment, described by Section27 as a 'missed opportunity', will be appealed.

'Nine lawyers, one argument' on Muslim marriages

The Women's Legal Centre on Friday upset lawyers in the Western Cape High Court when it pointed out that nine counsel had been appointed by the state to argue the organisation's application for the recognition of Muslim marriages, and all nine had advanced the same argument.

Court battle over claims to RDP houses

The residents of Olievenhoutbosch in Centurion will oppose the eviction of residents who are illegally occupying RDP houses meant for residents of Mooiplaas informal settlement. A News24 report says the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements approached the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) yesterday seeking an eviction order to remove illegal occupiers from 888 low-cost houses built in Olievenhoutbosch.

ConCourt rejects Pistorius appeal bid

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Constitutional Law Criminal Law Litigation
The Constitutional Court has dismissed an application by former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to appeal his 13-year sentence for murder.

Judge hears arguments on ‘Inxeba’

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 29 March 2018
Constitutional Law Litigation Media Law
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has heard arguments on whether the Film and Publication Board and its Appeals Tribunal should both be part of the matter involving the reclassification of the award-winning film Inxeba. The Witness reports Judge Joseph Raulinga argued he had watched the film to help him with the case.

ConCourt order ensures grants payments

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 26 March 2018
Constitutional Law
Acting Sassa boss Pearl Bhengu and former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini must present affidavits to the Constitutional Court showing why they should not be held personally liable to pay costs for the social grants payment debacle.

Moseneke awards set precedent, says listeriosis lawyer

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 22 March 2018
Constitutional Law Litigation
Tiger Brands has reason to worry after the Esidimeni arbitration award‚ as life in SA might not be so cheap anymore, according to Richard Spoor‚ a class action lawyer representing families who lost loved ones in the listeriosis saga against the food giant.

Don't fear expropriation, Ramaphosa tells MPS

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 15 March 2018
Constitutional Law Property Law
Although short on detail of how it might be achieved, President Cyril Ramaphosa insisted expropriation of land without compensation would be implemented in a way that would not damage the economy or compromise food security, notes Legalbrief.

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