purposive interpretation purposive interpretation is interpretation that best

Purposive interpretation purposive interpretation is

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purposive interpretation – purposive interpretation is interpretation that best supports and protects fundamental values generous interpretation – generous interpretation is interpretation in favour of rights and against their restriction interpretation clause – the interpretation clause is the constitutional provision that provides guidelines on the interpretation process OVERVIEW The previous study unit dealt with jurisdiction and procedures in Bill of Rights litigation. In this study unit, which is based on chapter 6 in The Bill of Rights Handbook , we discuss the interpretation of the Bill of Rights. As a result of political compromises, many constitutional provisions were left deliberately vague or open-ended. Other provisions, particularly those in the Bill of Rights, are formulated in general and abstract terms. Their application to particular situations and particular circumstances is generally a matter for argument and controversy. This is particularly the case with provisions concerning the rights to equality, life and human dignity. The interpretation of the Bill of Rights is governed by section 39 of the Con- stitution. The interpretation clause provides guidelines on interpretation, but, unfortunately, these guidelines are themselves suf fi ciently abstract to require a great deal of interpretation. Because interpretation is not regulated completely by the text of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has laid down guidelines on how the Constitution in general, and the Bill of Rights in particular, should be interpreted. The aim of this study unit is to introduce students to the interpretation of the Bill of Rights, especially to the stages of interpretation, the methods of interpretation and the interpretation clause. OUTCOMES Once you have worked through this study unit, you should be able to
64 explain and discuss the two stages of interpretation of the Bill of Rights as followed by the Constitutional Court assess the importance of constitutional interpretation in the application of the Bill of Rights distinguish between the different approaches to the interpretation of the Bill of Rights, and discuss these approaches explain the meaning of section 39 of the Constitution (the interpretation clause) discuss brie fl y and clearly the approach(es) of the Constitutional Court to the interpretation of the Bill of Rights PRESCRIBED MATERIAL This study unit deals with CHAPTER 6 of the Bill of Rights Handbook. You must be able to discuss the following cases to the extent that they are dis- cussed in the textbook and study guide. The Bill of Rights Handbook , chapter 6, pp 145–162 S v Makwanyane 1995 (3) SA 391 (CC), paras 9, 10, 17–18, 88 S v Zuma 1995 (2) SA 642 (CC), para 14 City of Johannesburg and Others v Mazibuko and Others (489/08) (2009) ZA SCA 20 (25 March 2009), para 16 S v Mhlungu 1995 (3) SA 391 (CC), para 8 Brink v Kitshoff NO 1996 (4) SA 197 (CC), para 40 Ferreira v Levin NO 1996 SA 984 (CC), paras 170–174 Ex parte Gauteng Provincial Legislature: in re Dispute Concerning the

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