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Constitutional Law

  • Constitutional Law

      • South African constitutional law relates to the interpretation and application by the courts of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

        From 1994 to 1996 the Constitutional Assembly concentrated on the drafting of the new Constitution. The Constitution of the
        Republic of South Africa, 1996 took effect on the 04th of February 1997. The Constitution forms the basis of a democratic nation and
        the legal foundation for the existence of the Republic of South Africa.

        Sources of constitutional law:

        As with any other branch of law, the sources of constitutional law are legislation, common law, case law and customary law.

        • Legislation is the most important source of constitutional law. ‘Legislation’ refers to generally applicable rules of law made
        by government authorities. Laws regulating constitutional law mainly emanate from parliament, but provincial laws and
        ordinances on local government are also sources of constitutional law.

        • Case law was an extremely limited source of constitutional law prior to 1994. This changed drastically. The Constitution,
        which can be enforced by courts as the highest law, has resulted in continuous stream of case law in which
        constitutional law is applied.

        • Section 2 of the Constitution states that “The Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic, law or conduct inconsistent
        with it is invalid and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled.” The reference to “law” includes the common law.

        • Customary law is protected under the Constitution provided that it is in line with the Bill of Rights, which protects the right
        to culture, but also protects the right to equality and non- discrimination and the right to dignity. This means that courts
        will have to measure customary law rules which treat people unequally against the right of people to use their customary
        laws and cultures.

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        Hi, I’m Kailash Pillay, an attorney from the city of Johannesburg. My passion for the law
        stems from a desire to improve upon the lives of the vulnerable who fall prey to a
        corrupt system.
        I studied at the University of Johannesburg where I obtained my Bachelor of Laws
        degree, the starting point to the long journey of becoming a legal practitioner.
        This profession has taught me to persevere through the complexities of the law and to
        continually develop my skills as a legal professional.