Justice and Public Interest

Karel | Nov 20, 2018
China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief V
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the final brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at why the BRICS Bank was not used, on what basis government is able to refuse disclosing further information on the loans, and finishes with a conclusion for the series.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief IV
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the fourth brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it is a summary of the lessons learned from the experiences of the six countries analysed, which have also taken on Chinese debt.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief III
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the third brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief II
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the second brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Argentina.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief I
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the first brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China. This brief is an overview of South Africa’s debt situation, how the loans from China fit into this, and why we need to look at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt.

Companies Amendment Bill, 2018: Our submission to the Department
Cherese Thakur
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Dec 12, 2018

This brief summarises the Helen Suzman Foundation’s submission to Department of Trade and Industry regarding the Companies Amendment Bill, 2018. It proposes that in order to promote openness and transparency, the Companies Act should be amended to allow the public to access share registers by request to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

Parliamentary Submission: Competition Amendment Bill, 2018
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Aug 30, 2018

On 17 August 2018, The Helen Suzman Foundation Made Written Submissions In Response To The Portfolio Committee On Economic Development’s (The Committee) Call For Public Comment On The Competition Amendment Bill, 2018 (The Bill).

Constitutional damages: Recent decisions in focus
Michelle Toxopeüs
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Jun 14, 2018

This brief explores the concept of “constitutional damages” in South Africa and why they were awarded to the loved ones and survivors in the Life Esidimeni arbitration, but not to Michael Komape’s family.

Judging the Judges
Jade Weiner
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May 10, 2018

This Brief considers circumstances in which judges can be impeached for gross misconduct specifically considering the case of Judge Nkola Motata

The Constitutional Justice Report: Judging The Judges II - Assessment
Cherese Thakur
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Feb 08, 2018

This is the second part of a two-part brief concerning the Assessment of the Impact of the Decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal on the South African Law and Jurisprudence (Report). It will consider questions arising from the findings of the Report and highlight some issues of concern.

The Constitutional Justice Report: Judging The Judges? Part I - Context And Main Findings
Cherese Thakur
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Feb 08, 2018

This is the first part in a two-part brief concerning the “Assessment of the Impact of Decisions in the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal on the Transformation of Society” , otherwise known as the Constitutional Justice Report: an assessment of South Africa’s highest courts commissioned by the Minister of Justice.

Judicial overreach: a purely South African phenomenon?
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 23, 2017

Much has been said recently in South Africa on whether courts were interfering in the realm of the executive. This brief by Anton van Dalsen shows that this discussion doesn't just take place here.

The Traditional Courts Bill: Are they getting it right?
Richard Griffin
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Feb 14, 2017

This brief discusses the recently published Traditional Courts Bill. Earlier versions of this Bill were introduced in 2008 and 2012, but were withdrawn following public opposition to them. The brief considers whether the revised version of the Bill deals with the objections to earlier versions, and whether it should be passed.

IN DEFENCE OF SECTION 16(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION: A reply to David Saks
Matthew Kruger
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Jul 18, 2016

In this brief, Matthew Kruger replies to David Saks (Associate Director of the South African Jewish Board Deputies), criticising Mr. Saks' support for the Board's proposal to amend the Constitution and thereby limit further the right to freedom of expression.

In Defence of Harm, Offence and Hate: Part II
Matthew Kruger
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Jul 06, 2016

In Part I of this brief, it was explained that the proposal by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies ("SAJBD") to amend section 16 of the Constitution is conceptually confused and should be rejected. In Part II, it is explained why we must not only reject the proposed amendment, but also reassert our freedoms to harm, offend and hate certain people.

DEMOCRATIC QUALITY IN TESTING TIMES
Charles Simkins
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Apr 05, 2016

The extent of democratic consolidation is not manifest in tranquil times. It becomes visible in testing times. Choices made then determine whether the quality of democracy improves or deteriorates. Crises rule out the option of continuing business as usual

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: III – Authoritarian, anti-democratic and unconstitutional
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 08, 2015

In the first of this three-part series, Matthew Kruger analysed aspects of the democratic foundations of the Constitution and argued that the source and formation of customary law is essentially democratic in nature. In the second brief, Chris Pieters provided a summary of some of the existing legal framework regulating traditional rule, as well as the attitude of the ANC to this form of rule. The third and final brief offers insight into the constitutionality of aspects of the Bill’s structure and content.

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: II – The current regulation of traditional leadership
Chris Pieters
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Dec 08, 2015

In the first of this series of briefs, Matthew Kruger analysed the democratic foundations of the Constitution and explained that the nature of the source and formation of customary law is essentially democratic. This second brief is a short summary of some of the existing legal regulations of traditional rule, as well as the ANC’s attitude towards this form of rule. The third and final brief will offer some insight into the constitutionality of aspects of the Bill’s structure and content.

A critical analysis of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015: I - The Constitution, democracy and customary law
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 08, 2015

This is a series of three briefs that critically analyses aspects of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015. The first brief, written by Matthew Kruger, outlines some important features of the nature of South Africa’s constitutional democratic state that are relevant to the Bill. The second brief, written by Chris Pieters, provides a short summary of some of the existing regulation of traditional rule, as well as the ANC's attitude to this form of rule. The third brief, written by Matthew Kruger, argues that the Bill is in certain respects unconstitutional, in that its structure and content are inconsistent with the democratic foundations and values of the Constitution. The issues that we consider are broad and complex. As such, the various arguments made and conclusions reached in these short briefs are neither final nor complete. We hope, rather, that they contribute to an existing discussion around a Bill that we think is constitutionally unacceptable.

Transformation of the Legal Profession: Briefing Patterns in the Spotlight (Legal Aid)
Kameel Premhid
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Dec 04, 2015

This brief addresses transformation of the legal profession through the reformation of Legal Aid. This policy option may be unpopular in some quarters but could provide answers to the Bar’s problems. This brief is occasioned by correspondence between the author and a high-ranking official at Legal Aid, and demonstrates the need for radical policy thinking to address complex societal problems.

Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture 2015
Andrew Barlow
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Nov 05, 2015

Summary of the seventh Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture, delivered by Ms Gill Marcus at the Gordon Institute of Business Science on the 3rd November, 2015.

The rise and fall of Uniform Rule 49(11)
Chris Pieters
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Oct 22, 2015

Uniform Rule 49(11) was used as a method of enforcing court orders while the appeal process was underway. This has been repealed and its empty place is a reminder of how rules can be managed.

The Sidelined State Attorney
Chris Pieters
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Mar 12, 2015

In recent legal interventions involving the unlawful suspension of the National Head of the Hawks, the Helen Suzman Foundation became aware that the Minister of Police had, at the expense of taxpayers, sought the help of a large private firm. The State Attorney is the Office charged with the functions of dealing with State litigation. This revelation leaves one wondering what the State Attorney is doing.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse: A beginner’s guide…
Chris Pieters
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Nov 21, 2014

One consequence of the recent litigation engaged in by the HSF – involving the independence of the Hawks as well as the processes adopted in the appointment of judicial candidates – relates to a range of inquiries concerning the legal system and its processes. This Brief seeks to elucidate the legal processes that are followed.

The Public Protector - a Jewel in South Africa's Constitutional Crown
Chris Pieters
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Sep 17, 2014

The Office of the Public Protector is not beyond review or criticism. But there is an important line that needs to be drawn beyond which criticism can degenerate into abuse whether of the incumbent or the office. This brief seeks to elucidate that very line.

Understanding the Spy Tapes Saga
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 01, 2014

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that the ‘Spy Tapes’ are to be released to the Democratic Alliance (DA), is an important decision for the rule of law. This brief tracks the case’s history and explains what the next steps will be.

Report back: Roundtable on Consultation and the Constitution
Chris Pieters
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Sep 01, 2014

On 26 August 2014 the HSF hosted a Roundtable event on Consultation and the Constitution. The event featured Mtende Mhango, Iraj Abedian and John Jeffery. This brief summarises some of the main themes of the evening.

The HSF and the JSC
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Aug 05, 2014

This brief details the HSF's ongoing litigation against the JSC.

Parliament Clarifies ‘Motion of No Confidence’ Rules
Kameel Premhid
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Mar 20, 2014

With the release of the Public Protector’s Nkandla Report, questions will arise concerning a possible ‘motion of impeachment’. It is important that Parliament clarifies how ‘motions of no confidence’ should work in light of the Constitutional Court’s Mazibuko ruling.

The Meaning of the Marikana Judgment
Kameel Premhid
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Sep 06, 2013

The Marikana costs judgment recently handed down by the Constitutional Court is a result of Constitution’s commitment to the separation of powers.

Tlokwe and the Rule of Law
Kameel Premhid
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Aug 16, 2013

Tlokwe (Potchefstroom) has been the site of an intense political battle between the ANC and the DA. The unfolding of the drama there provides incisive lessons on the rule of law.

HSF Takes JSC to Court: Update
Kameel Premhid
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Jun 20, 2013

This Brief gives an update on the HSF’s pending court case against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Service Delivery: What does the Constitutional Court say?
Kameel Premhid
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May 23, 2013

This Brief examines the recent judgment of the Constitutional Court in Rademan v Moqhaka Municipality and Others delivered on 26 April 2013. This case dealt with the non-payment of rates on the grounds of lack of service delivery. The findings of the Court are important for future service delivery disputes of this kind.

POSIB: President urged to act
Kameel Premhid
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May 09, 2013

This Brief looks at the passage of POSIB and argues that the President should not sign the Bill.

Public Interest Litigation Threatened by Legal Practice Bill
Kameel Premhid
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Apr 10, 2013

In this Brief (‘Public Interest Litigation Threatened by Legal Practice Bill’), Kameel Premhid, HSF Intern, examines proposed changes to fee structures in the legal profession and what negative implications this could mean for the work conducted by NGOs like the HSF.

Introducing HSF Briefs
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Mar 06, 2013

As part of our mandate to facilitate and stimulate dialogue on matters relating to our liberal constitutional democracy, the Helen Suzman Foundation is embarking on a project to research and publish a series of Briefs.