Legal Issues in the Republic of South Africa

“Legal Issues in the Republic of South Africa” is a Web site of 59 short articles written by H.C.J. van Rensburg on various aspects of South African law. Topics include criminal law, evidence, animal law, business organizations, labor law, and consumer law. Free registration is required.

http://legalissues.co.za/

 

Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support

Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support 2nd ed.

http://diplomatshandbook.org/_resource.html

http://diplomatshandbook.org/pdf/Diplomats_Handbook.pdf

Table of Contents

Preface by President Vaclav Havel

Ministers’ ForewordChapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The International Context

Chapter 3: The Diplomat’s Toolbox

Chapter 4: Conclusions

CASE STUDIES:

Cuban Exceptionalism

Egypt: Will Democracy Succeed the Pharaoh

China’s Fifth Modernization: the Enduring Hope for Democratic Governance

South Africa: “The Long Road to Freedom”

From Independence to Real Democracy – Ukraine’s Orange Revolution

The Fall and Rise of Chilean Democracy: 1973-1989

Belarus: Europe’s Last Dictator?

The Suffering of Burma/Myanmar

Zimbabwe: From Hope to Crisis

Tanzania’s Road to Multi-Party Democracy: Focus on a Single Mission’s Efforts

Found online at http://www.diplomatshandbook.org/Tanzania

Sierra Leone: Belated International Engagement Ends a War, Helps Consolidate a Fragile Democracy. Found online at http://www.diplomatshandbook.org/SierraLeone

Resource List: Donor Organizations, Other Democracy Support Organizations and Election Assistance and Observation Organizations

Annex: International Human Rights Law

From the description:

The Diplomat’s Handbook is a project commissioned by the Community of Democracies, and produced by the Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD). The First Edition was produced with the financial support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Freedom House, the Princeton Project on National Security, the US Department of State, the Governments of Chile, India, and Morocco, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Government of Canada.

The Handbook project was conceived by Ambassador Mark Palmer. Preparation of the Handbook has been a partnership between Project Head, Ambassador Jeremy Kinsman (jeremykinsman@diplomatshandbook.org), who has been principally responsible for the text of the Handbook itself, and the Director of Research, Kurt Bassuener (kurtbassuener@diplomatshandbook.org), who has been principally responsible for producing the Handbook’s case studies

The text which follows and the case studies benefit from the generous contributions and advice of many former and current diplomatic practitioners, scholars, members of policy centers and nongovernmental organizations, and development experts. The case study on China was drafted by Chantal Meagher, the case study on Cuba by Jeremy Kinsman, and the case study on Egypt by a variety of experts, including Stephen McInerney, Moataz El Fegiery, Michele Dunne and Issandr El Amrani. The Belarus and Ukraine case study updates were undertaken with the assistance of Iryna Chupryna of the Democratization Policy Council.

 

 

Article: The Use of Foreign Decision by Constitutional Courts – A Comparative Analysis

SSRN has posted an article on the use of foreign law by constitutional and supreme courts. The author looks at the use of foreign law in constitutional law cases by courts in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, South Africa,  and Switzerland. The article is only available in Spanish.

The Use of Foreign Decision by Constitutional Courts – A Comparative Analysis

Rodrigo Brito Melgarejo

In Dret, Volume 2 (2010)

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1639031

http://www.indret.com/pdf/720_es.pdf

Abstract:

Despite the relevance of comparative law in constitutional adjudication has repeatedly been at the center of heated debates, in recent years, an increasingly transnational constitutional dialogue between justices has developed in many countries. Some members of a large number of constitutional courts have embraced the possibility of considering the constitutional decisions of other nation’s courts because the potential benefits of comparative constitutional learning are many. Considering other national court decisions or explaining disagreements with them, for example, may stimulate judges to rethink principles or priorities in ways that alter their own constitutional perspective and to find new valuable arguments that renew its own stock of constitutional ideas.

This paper aims at analyzing the way some constitutional courts are using foreign decisions in constitutional interpretation and tries to demonstrate that comparative constitutional reasoning tends every day more vigorously to universality.

Online Book:The Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice in Africa

The Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice in Africa

Authors:

Etannibi E. O. Alemika,  Richard Bowd, Simon Robins,  J. Nnamdi Aduba, Emily I Alemika, Irvin Kinnes, Annie Barbara Chikwanha

Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2009.

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?q51=Mali&ots591=0c54e3b3-1e9c-be1e-2c24-a6a8c7060233&lng=en&id=104300

Chapters:

Chapter 1

Criminal justice in Africa

Chapter 2

Criminal Justice Norms, politics, institutions, processes and constraints

Chapter 3

Status quo or traditional resurgence

Chapter 4

Restorative approaches to criminal justice in Africa: Case of Uganda

Chapter 5

Bail and Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria

Rule of Law Index

The World Justice Forum meeting in Vienna, Austria has just released the Rule of Law Index. The Index uses numerical indicators to gauge the strength of rule of law in 35 countries, including developed and developing countries.

Here are the 4 broad criteria , with sub-categories, used to create the scores  for each country. It includes compliance with international law.

1. Accountable Government

Government powers limited by constitution

Governmental and non‐governmental checks

Accountable government officials and agents

Accountable military, police, and prison officials

Compliance with international law

 

2. Publicized and stable laws that protect fundamental rights

Laws are clear, publicized and stable

Laws protect fundamental rights

Laws protect security of the person

Laws protect security of property

3. Accessible, fair, and efficient process

Accessible process

Fair and efficient administration

 

4. Access to Justice

Impartial and accountable judicial system  

Efficient, accessible and effective judicial system

Competent and independent attorneys or representatives

Fair and efficient alternative dispute resolution

Rule of Law Index 2009

http://www.abajournal.com/files/WJP_RuleOfLawIndex.pdf

Protecting Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants in South Africa

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) has posted online the 2009 report:  “Protecting Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants in South Africa”

http://www.cormsa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/Resources/CoRMSA%20Report%202009%20-%20Protecting%20Refugees,%20Asylum%20Seekers%20and%20Immigrants%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf

The CoRMSA site also contains policy briefs, reports, links, and South African legislation on immigration, refugee  and asylum law.

http://www.cormsa.org.za/

Documentary on women judges in South Africa

Courting Justice (2008)

Director: Jane Thandi Lipman

http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/pages/c740.shtml

A bit expensive at $295.

Elsie Bonthuys’ article, “The Personal and the Judicial,” in volume 24, Part 2 (2008) of the South African Jounal on Human Rights discusses the film. see pages 242-243. 

Description from the distributor’s Web site:

Courting Justice takes viewers behind the gowns and gavels to reveal the women who make up 18 percent of South Africa’s male-dominated judiciary. Hailing from diverse backgrounds and entrusted with enormous responsibilities, these pioneering women share with candor, and unexpected humor, accounts of their country’s transformation since apartheid, and the evolving demands of balancing their courts, country, and families.

New South African Law Journal – Constitutional Court Review

The South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC) and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria will release the inaugural issue of “Constitutional Court Review” later in September of 2008. This will be an annual, peer-reviewed publication.

Constitutional Court Review 

http://www.saifac.org.za/programmes/concourt_review.htm

Journal description from the SAIFAC Web site:

The journal contains lead essays, responses, short articles and case comments devoted to the jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court in the previous year. The journal has a 20-person editorial board, including 10 international members. The inaugural issue of the CCR will be published in September 2008.  In order to stimulate research for this publication, an annual conference will be held in July of each year at which contributing authors will present their draft papers.  The first such conference will take place at the Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West, Western Cape, in July 2008.