“What’s past is prologue”: an historical overview of judicial review in South Africa – part 2
Author: D M Pretorius
Affiliations: BA LLB (Stell) BA (Hons) LLM PGCE (SA) PhD (Witwatersrand). Partner: Bowmans, Johannesburg.
Source: Fundamina, Volume 26 Issue 2, p. 424-519
This contribution explores the historical origins and development of judicial review in South Africa, as an indication of shifts in relations between – and of the relative legal and political powers of – the three branches of state. It also provides bibliographical details of sources chronicling these historical processes. The first part focused mainly on constitutional review, namely the power of the law courts to test the validity of statutes against constitutional criteria. This second part analyses the historical development of administrative law, especially the common-law evolution of judicial review of the decision-making processes of organs of state, and how that process unfolded reciprocally with political shifts in twentieth-century South Africa. There is also a synopsis of the introduction of administrative law as a discrete subject in South African law schools. Finally, this contribution briefly explores historical aspects of the role of interpretation of statutes in the context of administrative law, and briefly touches on special statutory review as distinct from common-law review.