oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Passports and the right to travel - the South African perspective

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The article argues that South African law has lagged behind in the sphere of passport law and the recognition of a general freedom to travel. While a common-law right to freedom of movement recognised the wider concept of a right to travel abroad and to return has received little attention even though this right has enjoyed international status since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The fact that South Africa is not a signatory should be no excuse for ignorance of developments in the international field. Perhaps, when the bill of rights which has been mooted for South Africa does indeed come to fruition, a right to travel will feature in it. In the meantime, there should be no reason why the heritage of both English and Roman-Dutch law should not be put to good use. It is a basic precept of our law that everything which is not forbidden is permitted, and that legislative encroachment on individual freedom should be interpreted in favour of the individual. E

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