oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - A Bill of Rights - lessons from Bophuthatswana

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In 1984 Prof Devenish praised Bophuthatswana's human rights record which, he believed, reflected "the high priority accorded by both its president and its executive in general, to both the substance and spirit of a constitution protecting fundamental rights." The fundamental rights, to which he referred, were embodied in a Declaration of Fundamental Rights contained in chapter 2 of the territory's Constitution. This article traces the subsequent fate of those rights and concludes that they were, especially during the later years, severely denuded in the face of legislative meddling and judicial restraint. The article includes a brief sketch of the Declaration of Fundamental Rights.

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