n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Human Rights under the Malawian Constitution, Danwood M. Chirwa : boekbespreking

Volume 2012, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



Malawi adopted a constitution containing a bill of rights for the first time on 18 May 1994, thereby marking the end of the dictatorship of Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The publication of the first edition of by Chirwa explores the development of constitutional law and human rights jurisprudence of the past eighteen years in order "to deepen our understanding of the meaning, significance and implications of the bill of rights and the jurisprudence it has generated" (2). The time period that has passed between the adoption of the Malawian constitution and the publication of this book means that there is a great body of work available to Chirwa to explain the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights as well as constitutional principles. It is important to note that before 1994 fundamental rights were practically non-existent in Malawi; therefore the entrenchment of human rights in the constitution is all the more momentous. The adoption of the constitution meant that Malawi moved from a system of parliamentary sovereignty to constitutional supremacy. The new constitutional order in this state is based on principles such as "the rule of law, legality, openness, transparency, accountable government, and democracy" as well as "just administrative action" (458).

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