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The significance of the approaches to constitutional interpretation in S. V. Mhlungu 1995(7) BCLR 793(CC)

By Richard Neville Crause Boardman


The dissertation consists of an analysis of the Constitutional Court decision S v Mhlungu 1995(7) BCLR 793 CC. The analysis focuses on the significance of the different interpretative approaches adopted by the members of the Court in analysing section 241(8) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Act 200 of 1993. The theoretical approaches to constitutional interpretation are first briefly discussed. This is followed by a description of the four respective judgments in the decision. The case is then analysed in respect of section 3 5, Chapter 3 and the Constitution itself in order to determine the significance. The jurisprudence of the Court (developed in its first eight decisions) is evaluated to assess the approach of the Constitutional Court to Chapter 3 and the remainder of the Constitution respectively. The conclusion is reached that the Court has endorsed a generous/purposive approach to constitutional interpretation and that this extends to the entire text of the Constitution.LawLL.M

Topics: Constitutional interpretation, Constitutional Court, Interim Constitution, Interpretative approaches, S v Mhlungu 1995(7) BCLR 793, Chapter three, Interpretation clause, Constitutional Jurisprudence, Transitional Provisions, 342.6068, Constitutional law -- South Africa -- Interpretation and construction
Year: 1996
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