oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Dicey and new dispensations; the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



It is clear that in the collective mind of the South African government, although the views of scholars such as Arend Lijphart on consociationalism may be currently à la mode, the views of A V Dicey, also still prevail. Thus the government considers that, even as regards a tri-cameral parliament which has moved away somewhat from the 'Westminister' model, the 'sovereignty' of that parliament militates against the insertion of a justiciable Bill of Rights into the constitutional structure of South Africa. The discussion in the article draws upon recent Canadian experience, first to point out that there are views other than Dicey's Victorian ones as to the requirements of parliamentary sovereignty - that the sovereignty of parliament does not necessarily imply the supremacy of parliament; and second, to suggest that there can be an intermediate position on introducing concepts of 'civil liberties' into the constitutional structure which' does not even demand an abandonment of the formal Diceyian position.

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