Human dignity : lodestar for equality in South Africa
CITATION: Botha, H. 2014. Human dignity : lodestar for equality in South Africa. Journal of South African Law / Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg 2014(4):914-917.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/jlc_tsar
Laurie Ackermann was one of the first constitutional lawyers to develop a distinct substantive understanding of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This vision, already evident from some of the constitutional court's early judgments, is marked by a strong libertarian bent and a Kantian interpretation of the values of human dignity, equality and freedom. Closely allied to his normative position on these issues are other aspects of his judicial philosophy, such as his belief in and commitment to the development of a rigorous judicial methodology and his conviction that a sustained engagement with comparative law is essential for developing an adequate understanding of South Africa's constitution. Not surprisingly, these themes and predilections are at the heart of this book, in which the author defends and works out the implications of the constitutional court's choice for a dignity-based interpretation of the right to equality.