n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Judicial deference and rights

Volume 2006, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



The demand that judges show appropriate deference to the judgments of the elected branches and administrative agencies - a requirement that has received considerable attention recently - is both understandable and justified. Although the idea of deference has been given "a thoroughly bad press" by the capitulation during apartheid of the judiciary to a legislature and an executive determined to abuse power in the service of racial discrimination, many think that in post-apartheid South Africa the elected branches should be the primary agents of transformation. People expect judges to provide meaningful and effective protection of rights; nevertheless, judges are often, with justification, regarded as "part of democracy's supporting cast, not its star performers".

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