The Rule of Law and judicial contempt for liberty in South Africa

Martin van Staden, Head of Legal Policy and -Research at the FMF and author of The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction
27 September 2019
17h45 – 18h15 Registration (Registration & snacks ’n wine)
18h15 – 20h00 (Presentation + Q&A)
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit South Africa 18th Floor, Pinnacle Building, Cnr Burg and Castle Road, Cape Town 8001 Tel 021 422 2838

The Rule of Law is a founding value of South Africa’s constitutional order. Yet, in case after case in our superior courts, this institutional protection for liberty is, at best, given lip-service and, at worst, ignored. The courts often receive uncritical praise in South Africa without the implications of and thought that went into their judgments receiving much attention.

What does the Constitution mean when it says South Africa is founded upon “the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law” in section 1(c)? What is the Rule of Law all about? How have the courts got it so wrong for so long?

Martin will attempt to answer these questions in the context of the courts’ -

  • destruction of property rights (in minerals, and, potentially in land);
  • penchant for giving officials dictatorial power over the affairs of ordinary South Africans; and
  • endorsement of racial discrimination.

This is the official Cape Town launch of Martin’s book The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction. Copies will be available at R150 each.


Entry free – Media welcome

Come and enjoy snacks and wine, challenging intellectual debate, and scintillating company!

(If you have already responded or cannot join us, no need to RSVP)


Martin van Staden
is the Head of Legal Policy and -Research at the Free Market Foundation. He obtained his LL.B. in 2016 and is presently pursuing an LL.M. at the University of Pretoria. His work has been featured on Al Jazeera, eNCA, CNBC Africa, kykNET, 702, Huffington Post, and the attorneys journal De Rebus, among others. Martin is a co-author of Fallism (2017), The Real Digital Divide (2017), and Igniting Liberty (2019). He recently wrote a book about the Rule of Law’s significance to the Constitution of South Africa, The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction (2019).



Media enquiries
For more information and to arrange for photographs and interviews, contact:
Jayne Boccaleone
082 904 3616   

Other enquiries
Joan Evans
011 884 0270

Keep Informed

If you would like to be alerted to our upcoming events, subscribe to our newsletter.

Help FMF promote the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom become an individual member / donor HERE ... become a corporate member / donor HERE