n South African Law Journal - The evolution of the rule of law : notes
|Article Title||The evolution of the rule of law : notes|
|© Publisher:||Juta Law Publishing|
|Journal||South African Law Journal|
|Affiliations||1 University of Cape Town|
|Publication Date||Jan 2013|
|Pages||649 - 661|
The judgment of the Constitutional Court in Democratic Alliance v President of the Republic of South Africa & others 2013 (1) SA 248 (CC) might bear some political significance given the identity of the litigants. Yet the decision is of wider legal importance. For in deciding the case, the court sought to clarify and further develop a foundational constitutional principle whose scope of application extends far beyond the context of this particular dispute. The principle in question is the baseline or safety-net constitutional requirement of rationality, according to which every exercise of public power must be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose. It is now accepted that rationality is required by the principle of legality, which in turn is a doctrine derived from of the constitutional value of the rule of law (see Fedsure Life Assurance Ltd v Greater Johannesburg Transitional Metropolitan Council 1999 (1) SA 374 (CC) paras 56-8 and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of South Africa: In re Ex parte President of South Africa 2000 (2) SA 674 (CC) para 85).
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