n South African Journal on Human Rights - The Swaziland Constitution of 2005 : can absolutism be reconciled with modern constitutionalism?




In February 2006 the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland came into effect. The new Constitution contains many progressive ideas but it also retains many of the features that have drawn international attention to the excesses of the absolute and authoritarian powers of the Swazi King. Despite its veneer of constitutionalism and constitutional legitimacy, the new Constitution does little to protect the Swazis against the excesses of the authoritarian tendencies and practices of their King and his officials. The Constitution fails to reconcile the monarchy with modern constitutionalism because it neither provides the barest minimum conditions for a functioning constitutional monarchy nor for a democratic order.


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