Albie Sachs and the politics of interpretation

Botha, Henk (2010-01)

CITATION: Botha, H. 2010. Albie Sachs and the politics of interpretation. Southern African Public Law 25(1):39-58.

The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/sapr

Article

The politics of interpretation continues to haunt judges and legal theorists. Ever since the legal realists launched their attack on the formalist belief that general legal rules can generate determinate answers to concrete legal questions, constitutional thought has been obsessed with the spectre of unelected judges thwarting the will of legislative majorities in the name of their own, subjective interpretations of constitutional provisions. For generations of constitutional scholars, attempting to show how judges can avoid substituting their own views on policy issues for those of legislatures, and/or how constitutional adjudication can be placed on a more secure footing has been a consuming passion.

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