Deciding matters of general public importance: An analysis of the value-laden approach

Author: Paul Nkoane

ISSN: 1996-2193
Affiliations: BComm LLB LLM Lecturer, University of South Africa
Source: Stellenbosch Law Review, Volume 33 Issue 2, 2022, p. 25 – 45


There is no doubt that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 is supreme. Thus, all laws and conduct should conform to it. However, the Constitution is constructed in such a manner that can lead to the questioning of its scope and therefore the extent of its supremacy. The provisions of the Constitution are crafted to focus on specific issues. This has led some to question its reach in matters that do not raise clear constitutional questions. This article is intended to provide a historical overview of the foundation of the Constitution and concomitantly to untangle its reach and scope. The analysis reveals that the scope of the Constitution extends far beyond the frontier of its provisions in the Bill of Rights. This then entails that matters of general public importance that do not raise clear constitutional questions could be decided through the application of constitutional standards.