Evaluating remedial empowerment as a missing link in administrative justice

Authors: Ernst Heydenrych and Geo Quinot

ISSN: 1996-2193
Affiliations: LLB (cum laude) LLM (cum laude) LLD (Stell), Junior Lecturer, Department of Mercantile Law, University of Stellenbosch; BA (Law) LLB (Stell) LLM (Virginia) MA (UFS) MPA (Birmingham) LLD (Stell), Professor, Department of Public Law, University of Stellenbosch
Source: Stellenbosch Law Review, Volume 34 Issue 2, 2023, p. 285 – 309


The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 frames the project of addressing South Africa’s past and current challenges as one of justice, in what has generally become known as transformative constitutionalism. However, South Africa’s justice system (the formal judicial mechanisms to extract justice) remains largely inaccessible to the poor due to its high costs, prolonged time-periods, and technical nature. Furthermore, South Africa does not currently have a uniform system of administrative, internal controls, and it also does not currently recognise an enforceable duty against the state to implement such a system.
Within this context, the central argument of this contribution is that South Africa should, alongside section 7(2) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000, recognise a duty to create internal remedies and establish a comprehensive system of administrative, internal remedies that would allow the public administration to correct or review its own decisions. The development of such a system would enable the public administration to deal with its decisions and actions on a first-hand basis and, in principle, broaden access to administrative justice for the poor and marginalised. It will also keep the promise of constitutional transformation as a matter of justice alive. We aim to set out the rationale for the creation and implementation of a uniform system of internal controls in this contribution.