A mixed legal system with a constitution on top: South African law in the era of democracy
AbstractIn 1994, with the advent of democracy in South Africa, the legal system then in force was left intact, but was turned upside down. A new, but interim, constitution was adopted (and replaced in 1996 with a final constitution) which made all law subordinate to the constitution, and introduced a Bill of Rights, entrenching certain fundamental human rights and the values of freedom, equality and dignity for all. The constitution is now the supreme law of the land and any law inconsistent with it has no effect. The author looks at the significance and effect of the constitution on the legal system formerly prevailing in South Africa by outlining its origin and history. Article by Carole Lewis, Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa (Inns of Court and Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Fellow 2004) published in Amicus Curiae - Journal of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies. The Journal is produced by the Society for Advanced Legal Studies at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London.
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