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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Die uitlegsverbreding van die gemeenregtelike vereistes vir in publiekregtelike en eiebelang grondwetlike aksies : 'n noodwendige ontwikkeling deur die Suid-Afrikaanse howe : regte

 

Abstract

Die instelling van 'n grondwetlike staatsbestel in Suid-Afrika het verreikende gevolge gehad - onder meer vir die siviele prosesreg - veral met artikel 38 van die Grondwet wat 'n gelyste klas persone en "'n vereniging wat in die belang van sy lede optree" in staat stel "om 'n bevoegde hof te nader en aan te voer dat daar op 'n reg in die handves van regte inbreuk gemaak is of dat so 'n inbreukmaking dreig" ten einde só gepaste regshulp te bekom. Tog word weinig aandag daaraan geskenk of gewone Suid-Afrikaanse burgers altyd oor die middele beskik om hul regte ingevolge artikel 38 af te dwing, en - selfs al slaag hul aksies, veral teen 'n staatsliggaam - of die vereiste regsverligting ooit sal realiseer.


Section 38 of the Constitution, particularly read and applied in conjunction with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000, has revived the public action in South African law. Section 38 went further and determines that a litigant in his/her own interest also has standing to claim relief where a constitutional right is violated. This violation can often have a public interest dimension. This has led to a radical departure from common law requirements for standing. The departure has assumed an extension rather than an amendment of common law rules: the common law requirement of a direct and substantial interest in a case and the relief claimed was retained, but was simultaneously extended to give effect to the Constitution. Parliament's failure to implement the recommendations of the South African Law Commission in regard to class and public actions has left it to our courts to incrementally develop and apply the constitutional requirements for standing. This note uses recent case law to examine these requirements for the own-interest class of litigant. The conclusion is that in the cases of 1996 1 BCLR 1 (CC), 2012-11-29 case no CCT 25/12 (CC) and 2013 2 SACR 443 (CC) the courts have laid down valuable guidelines that dictate the requirements for standing in relation to the own-interest litigant. These guidelines include the fact that the violation of the interest need not have been completed but merely contemplated; that "something more" is required of the own-interest litigant than mere own interest; and has further laid down the two-pronged approach to test for required standing: first the establishment of the existence of a protectable self-interest and then, whether or not the protectable interest exists, the possible effect of the alleged violation on the public at large. If the effect of the alleged violation has a wide public impact, this could conceivably meet the requirement for standing even in the absence of the establishment of the own interest. It appears clearly that in their interpretation the courts have moved to a much broader application that relies not only on legislative intention but also on the realisation of constitutional values and rights.

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/content/litnet/12/1/EJC172660
2015-04-01
2016-12-09
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