South African Constitution

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History, Role of the Constitutional Court and Rights Protected
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South African Constitution
1 HISTORY
1.1 Adopted 8th May, 1996 - Was a turning point in the country's struggle for democracy
1.2 Drafted by an all inclusive constitutive assembly, which had representatives from all the major political parties and liberation organisations.
1.3 The constitutional assembly sat between May 1994 and October 1996 drafting and completing the new constitution.
1.4 The new Constitution was the embodiment of the vision of generations of anti-apartheid freedom fighters and democrats who had fought for the principle that South African belonged to all, for non racialism and for human rights.
2 ROLE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
2.1 The South African Constitutional Court was an entirely new court intended to serve as a complete break from the previous judicial system which, under apartheid, had been required to administer oppressive laws. The creation of a new court was therefore necessary to ensure public confidence in the Court for its role was to be pivotal in ensuring that government acts according to law.
2.2 The Constitutional Court only makes decisions about issues that have to do with the Constitution. It is also the highest court in the land since its decisions cannot be changed by any other court.
2.3 When you are not satisfied with what the High Court has decided you can go to the Constitutional Court only if it has to do with constitutional issues
2.4 The Constitutional Court can declare legislation invalid it infringes on the rights listed in the Bill of Rights, and this decision cannot be overridden by parliament
3 EXAMPLES OF RIGHTS PROTECTED
3.1 Privacy
3.1.1 Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have - (a) their person or home searched; (b) their property searched; (c) their possessions seized; or (d) the privacy of their communications infringed.
3.2 Housing
3.2.1 (1) Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing. (2) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right. (3) No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.
3.3 Freedom of Expression
3.3.1 (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes - (a) freedom of the press and other media; (b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; (c) freedom of artistic creativity; and (d) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. (2) The right in subsection (1) does not extend to - (a) propaganda for war; (b) incitement of imminent violence; or (c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
3.4 Freedom and Security of the Person
3.4.1 (1) Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right - (a) not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause; (b) not to be detained without trial; (c) to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; (d) not to be tortured in any way; and (e) not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way. (2) Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right - (a) to make decisions concerning reproduction; (b) to security in and control over their body; and (c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.
3.5 Equality
3.5.1 (1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. (2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken. (3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
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