South Africa’s Forward-Looking Constitutional Revolution and the Role of Courts in Achieving Substantive Constitutional Goals

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South Africa’s Constitution has been characterized as one of the most progressive and forward-looking in the world. Much has been written about how it was created and its substantive content. Much less attention has been given to how the South African Constitutional Court has actually interpreted and applied it from a methodological point of view. In particular, how that substantive content, and its historical background, becomes tangible law through judicial enforcement.

This Article explores how the South African Constitutional Court has taken into consideration the history of South Africa, its constitutional experience and the progressive substantive content of its constitutional text when engaging in adjudication. Also, it analyzes how this practice impacts the role of courts in similar constitutional systems where the constitutional text embodies social goals and is the direct result of important historical processes.

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Revista Jurídica de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico

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