Based on the growing international and academic interest on victim reparations as a mechanism of transitional justice, and the abundant literature that has emerged in the past few years, this article takes a step back to ask what is actually at stake with victim reparations and why. Through a discussion of the core issues and choices present in developing victim reparations initiatives, the elements of an analytical framework for the study of specific reparation programs emerge. The framework highlights the social and contested character of reparation programs, arguing that such programs be seen in relationship to the political projects they support.
Keywords: Victim reparations, transitional justice, victims’ rights, reparation programs, victimhood.
This paper discusses the extent to which the South African courts have given effect to the socio-economic rights in the Constitution. While the courts have surmounted traditional prejudices against these rights the reasonableness review approach adopted to enforce the rights is lacking in some respects. Two such shortcoming are the failure of the court to give content to the rights and to interrogate the effectiveness of the means adopted for their realisation. These shortcomings can be overcome were the courts to carry out an inquiry similar to that set out in the section 36 limitations analysis. The state would be required to demonstrate a rational connection between the means chosen to realise the rights and the rights themselves.
Keywords: Judicial enforcement, socio-economic rights, reasonableness approach
The ANC has pledged to recognise Islamic marriages in South Africa. The South African Law Commission issued a proposal for a law on Islamic marriages in 2003. The proposal stands in a contested relationship with the guarantees for gender equality under the Constitution of 1996, and CEDAW 1981. In exploring the proposed recognition of Islamic marriages from the point of view of a few underprivileged Muslim women and their experience of the institution of polygyny, the articles argues that the proposed law is based on the construction of an idealised legal subject adhering to Muslim middle-class normativities.
Keywords: Muslims in South Africa, islamic marriages, Muslim Personal Law, the South African Constitution, CEDAW.