n Acta Juridica - 'End of History' jurisprudence : Dworkin in South Africa

Volume 2004, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



I never met the late Etienne Mureinik, though I have heard South Africans refer to him as the country's most brilliant public lawyer. What I have read of his - a critique of Ronald Dworkin's - was both fascinating and devastating. Fascinating because he paid Dworkin the great compliment of subjecting his work to a critique that sees it in its best light. Devastating because he levels it a blow from which it cannot recover, , I should stress here, Mureinik's own best efforts. It is captured in this thought: that according to the logic of law's 'integrity', an iniquity, once it has made a substantial enough incursion into a legal system, continues to proliferate under its own momentum. Let us call this the 'iniquity thesis'. It took hold in South Africa under apartheid. And it is, I will argue, what Dworkin's theory of integrity as prescription for legal practice can present no credible defence to.

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