Out of the Frying Pan? South Africa's Constitutional Inadequacies

The South African Constitution of 1997 was developed in the aftermath of decades of oppression and gross violations of human rights norms. It was an instrument which was globally commended for its structural integrity and its ability to unite a deeply torn and damaged society. After 22 years, the previously oppressed community of South Africans have awoken from the enchantment of a dream built on with the words of their oppressors at the cost of their dignity and lives. As Rawls has described, there can only be harmony once the society has a unified conception of justice where the people are guided by similar values. And yet, there is no tribute paid to the values of black South Africans, nor has the constitution been able to satisfactorily compensate them for the sufferings which they have endured. This paper will assess the constitutional provisions which were meant to provide these reliefs and how (if at all), it was able to do so. And where it failed, why?

Brazil: constitutions in times of trouble

The 1988 Brazilian constitution was enacted in the aftermath of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil until 1985. For the first time in the Republican history of Brazil, the illiterate were allowed to vote for the Constitutional Assembly. The document drafted was an outcry against the years of dictatorship, promising both democracy and social inclusion. Indeed, for its strong commitment to social rights, the 1988 Constitution came to be known as the “Constituição Cidadã” (Constitution of Citizens). After 99 amendments, the Brazilian constitution has celebrated its 30 years facing its most severe crisis. Against an unpopular government, a formal presidential system behaved as parliamentarian one. The impeachment of Rousseff invoked controversy and many have qualified it as an informal vote of no confidence. and the imprisonment of Lula da Silva has eroded the confidence of a considerable part of the population in the institutions brought to life by the 1988 Constitution

Rationality ruptures in austerity Greece and the Role of the Constitutional Judge

According to mainstream conceptions of the European sovereign debt crisis, a series of corrective rationality measures capable of regularizing a crippled economy, suffice to get countries out of their financial impasse. Policies need to transcribe into legal terms an economic and political discourse that supposedly outlines an exit from the economic recession. This rational mechanism of transcription is not always linear. Focusing on the constitutional judge, we draw on the case of austerity to demonstrate that the rational, forecasting function of the mechanism of the transcription of the political discourse into legal terms is not always possible. Through his competence to interpret the Constitution, the judge can refute the rational mechanism of transcription prognosis. Is the Greek Constitution capable of implementing the different interpretations offered by the judge and did the judge manage to save the Greek constitution from challenges of the sovereign debt crisis?

Do Egyptian Judicial Practices Constitute the Major Force to Protect the Rule of Law

The 2014 Egyptian Constitution was drafted after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood as an amendment to the 2012 Constitution but did not meet the expectations of the public who revolted against two regimes in less than four years for its existence. The fundamental principles of the Constitution affirm the rule of law, constitutional democracy, protection of human rights, and distributions of power. However, there were many challenges regarding the implementation of several promising constitutional articles and the judiciary played a major role in processing this implementation. As such, the tangled relationship between constitutional principles and the rule of law influenced the legal development of a rights framework in Egypt tremendously and incited the emergence of a diversified body of jurisprudence in the interpretation and practice of constitutional rights. The question which requires attention is: what is the role of the judge in this implementation process?