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Minority rights and majority politics : a critical appraisal

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dc.contributor.advisor Kroeze, Irma Johanna Dent, Kate Jean 2016-08-22T09:37:20Z 2016-08-22T09:37:20Z 2015-12 2016-08-22
dc.identifier.citation Dent, Kate Jean (2015) Minority rights and majority politics : a critical appraisal, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract In the interplay between protection of rights and majoritarianism, the court is the arena. This research focuses on the conflicting role of the court within a constitutional democracy and a contestation of the counter-majoritarian dilemma that emerges from such a role. The counter-majoritarian dilemma centres on the idea that judges overturning decisions of the legislature through judicial review undermines democracy by thwarting the will of the majority through a subjective reading of abstract constitutional principles. As a point of departure, the counter-majoritarian dilemma is contested by revealing that the court can be seen as a democratically consistent institution if democracy can be reconceptualised. The examination of the South African jurisprudential climate and the adjudicative guidelines followed by the court suggests a rejection of such anti-democratic contention. The court upholds the commitments consented to at the time of the Constitution’s adoption and adjudication is reflective of the values undertaken by the country in reaction to its past. Within these values, minority rights can find a lifeline. Thus minority rights can exist through the implications of majoritarian consent. This research further identifies, in response to the counter-majoritarian dilemma, a constraining self-consciousness on the part of the court and an acute awareness of the court’s precarious role within a democratic infancy. The core of the counter-majoritarian dilemma is the view that interpretative indeterminacy of the Constitution means that the will of the people could be substituted for judicial preference. Through the examination of the court’s interpretative strategies and judicial subjectivity, this research suggests that within judicial subjectivity, adjudication continues to be reflective of the will of the people. Far from a constraining and mechanistic interpretation to avoid judicial subjectivity, the research reveals that open and non-formalist interpretative strategies are necessary to effectuate democratic conciliation within the judicial mandate. The results of this research suggest that, far from being a democratically deviant institution, the court in the current South African jurisprudential context, is the most suited to uphold the concept of democracy. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (vi, 97 leaves) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Consent en
dc.subject Constitutionalism en
dc.subject Constitutional Court en
dc.subject Counter-majoritarian dilemma en
dc.subject Deconstructionists en
dc.subject Democracy en
dc.subject Interpretation en
dc.subject Judicial review en
dc.subject Judicial subjectivity en
dc.subject Judicial legitimacy en
dc.subject Legitimacy en
dc.subject Majority rule en
dc.subject Minority rights en
dc.subject Moral nihilism en
dc.subject Value-judgment en
dc.subject.ddc 342.87068
dc.subject.lcsh Minorities -- Legal status, laws, etc. --South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Minorities -- Civil rights -- South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Majorities en
dc.subject.lcsh Constitutional courts -- South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Judicial review -- South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Democracy -- South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Constitutional law -- South Africa en
dc.title Minority rights and majority politics : a critical appraisal en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Jurisprudence en LL. M.

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