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Judging the Judges: Towards an Appropriate Role for the Judiciary in South Africa's Transformation

Abstract

In this article I draw on John Dugard's criticism of apartheid judges to initiate a discussion of the role and functioning of judges in the post-apartheid era. Using John's critique of the limits of judicial interpretation in an illegitimate order, I extend the analysis to review the record of the Constitutional Court in adjudicating socioeconomic rights cases post-1994. In doing so I propose a radical interpretation of the Court's role in society and an activist functioning of judges in South Africa's constitutional democracy. I conclude that, notwithstanding the momentous changes in the South African legal order since 1994, John's critique of the judiciary retains much value and applicability today.

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
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