n Acta Juridica - Freedom and the dignity of citizens

Volume 2008, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



One of the most striking features of South Africa's constitutional vocabulary is that 'dignity' enjoys considerably more prominence than 'freedom'. To be sure, the Constitution itself, and therefore also court decisions and legal treatises, list an impressive number of freedoms. However, whereas legal discourse emphasises that the role of human dignity is not confined to the express constitutional right in which it features but suffuses the Bill of Rights as a whole as a - indeed, as - constitutional value, individual freedom remains tied to its specific manifestations and is given a restrictive interpretation.

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