Covid-19 and the role of the judiciary: Contradictions and confusion
DATE: 15 July 2020
AUTHOR: Daily Maverick
A recent series of judgments by courts on the Covid-19 disaster regulations have reached seemingly contradictory conclusions – the pending appeals will hopefully give welcome legal clarity.
A recent series of judgments by courts reaching seemingly contradictory conclusions has had a threefold impact. First, some court decisions are perceived as not adequately respecting the separation of powers doctrine between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Second (and concomitantly), the courts are not always seen to be independent, seemingly favouring those who attack government policy or legislation. And third, this perception undermines the authority of the judiciary and therefore the rule of law – the basis upon which the ultimate authority of the Constitution rests.
Advocate Gary Pienaar is senior research manager with the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) research division at the Human Sciences Research Council. Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller is divisional executive of DCES and Dr Michael Cosser is chief research specialist with DCES.
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