HSF briefs

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

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
Dec 08, 2015
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Chris Pieters

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
Dec 08, 2015
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Matthew Kruger

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)
Dec 04, 2015
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Kameel Premhid

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.

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

The recent decision of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates to implement a quota in favour of black/female advocates is, no doubt, well-intentioned. The Bar remains one of South Africa’s most untransformed professions. However, quotas may not be the magical silver bullet. In the short-term, it may provide immediate redress. But, long-term challenges will be how to widen access to, and guarantee retention within, the profession.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act II : The game of ‘chicken’ and calling our bluff
Dec 02, 2015
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Andrew Barlow

As part of the out of cycle review of South Africa’s eligibility under AGOA, a call for comments was included. The American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa (AmCham), the organisation that represents 250 US companies operating in SA, responded by detailing which issues were of concern to its members. In what follows, I consider at length the two most pressing issues raised by AmCham. I suggest that the poultry dispute has set a new and strong-armed precedent to economic relations between the two countries, and that our future under AGOA is far from certain.

South Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act I : Much ado about chicken
Dec 02, 2015
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Andrew Barlow

A fifteen-year poultry trade dispute between South Africa and the US came to a head recently. Relations thawed, and the US gave our government a 60-day ultimatum in which to remove trade barriers to US bone-in chicken cuts that have blocked them from the SA market since 2000. But US concerns over South Africa's future commitment to meeting eligibility criteria are not limited to trade. The protection of existing investment through the legal recognition of property rights, as well as the creation and conservation of an environment conducive to foreign investors, are at least as important to the US government. In this pair of briefs, I begin by analysing the context the ultimatum was delivered in. I look at the nature of Agoa and our commitments under it, I chart the history of the trade dispute, and I consider the grounds and motivations underlying each side's actions. In the second brief, I examine the two most pressing issues impeding our future inclusion under Agoa. I conclude that US patience has likely run dry, and our future eligibility is far from certain.