n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - (In)tolerance of diversity : a discussion on an issue never decided : regspraak

Volume 2003, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



Since the promulgation of both the interim and final constitutions there have been a number of cases dealing specifically with the application and effect of both religiously and culturally based legal systems. One of the most important cases in the new constitutional dispensation dealing with the role of the judiciary in the application, development and interpretation of these systems is (1997 2 SA 690 (C)). The court, Farlam J, stressed that there is a duty placed on the judiciary to apply the principles underlying these systems, while giving effect to the "values of equality and tolerance of diversity" which "radiate ... the concepts of public policy and " (709 B-C). In this decision the court took into account the plural nature of society when it interpreted the constitution as mandated (s 39 and 211 of the constitution).

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