Grounds for review of administrative action : the interaction between the constitution, the act and the common law

Hopkins, Elana (2000-12)

Thesis (LLM)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South African administrative law has undergone drastic changes since the inception of the interim Constitution, which elevated 'administrative justice' to a constitutionally entrenched fundamental right in section 24. Although the successor of this section, the 'must administrative action' clause in section 33 FC, did not enter into force on 5 February 1996 with the rest of the Constitution, it required more changes to administrative law in the form of legislation, when read together with item 23 Schedule 6 FC. The two most significant factors that brought about change were the passage of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 in terms of section 33 FC read with item 23 Schedule 6, and the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers case. This study shows that in order to give effect to the requirements of the Constitution, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act and the ruling of the Constitutional Court, administrative law must be reorganised. When this happens, section 33 FC, which gives force to the common law that informs administrative law, becomes the starting point in administrative law matters. Although the Act exists under the Constitution and parallel to the common law, Parliament foresees that the Act and the common law will in time become one system of law. It further provides for the direct application of the Constitution by those who cannot find a remedy in the Act. The study further shows that, as not all the common law constitutional principles that previously provided the common law grounds for review of administrative action have been taken up by the Constitution, the possibility exists that some of the common law grounds do not continue to be relevant to the review of administrative action. The Act, which articulates the right to 'just administrative action' as viewed by government, contains most of the common law grounds for review. It is therefore argued that, after the Act has entered into force, the continued relevance of those that have been omitted from the Act, needs to be determined before they can be used through the direct application of section 33 FC. To test for relevance, the requirements in section 33(1) Fe, 'lawfulness', reasonableness' and 'procedural fairness', are therefore interpreted in the study in order to determine which statutory grounds relate to each and which common law grounds have been omitted from the Act. The conclusion reached is that grounds available for the review of administrative action consist of the statutory grounds for review together with the omitted common law grounds that continue to be relevant to the judicial review of administrative action.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert die inwerkingtreding van die interim Grondwet, wat 'administratiewe gerigtigheid' tot 'n grondwetlike reg verhef het in artikel 24, het die Suid-Afrikaanse administratiefreg drastiese veranderinge ondergaan. Al het die reg op 'n 'regverdige administratiewe optrede' in artikel33 FG nie op 5 Februarie 1996 in werking getree saam met die res van die Grondwet nie, het die klousule nog veranderinge, in die vorm van wetgewing, vereis. Die twee belangrikste faktore wat veranderinge to gevolg gehad het, was die aanneming van die Wet op die Bevordering van Administratiewe Geregtigheid, Wet 3 van 2000, en die beslissing van die Konstitusionele Hof in die Pharmaceutical Manufacturers-saak. Hierdie studie bevind dat die administratiefreg heringedeel sal moet word om effek te gee aan die vereistes van die Grondwet, die Wet op die Bevordering van Administratiewe Geregtigheid en die beslissing van die Konstitutionele Hof. As dit plaasvind, word artikel 33 FG, wat aan die gemenereg krag verleën, die beginpunt in administratiefregtelike aangeleenthede. Al bestaan die Wet onder die Grondwet en parallel tot die gemenereg, voorsien die regering dat die Wet en die gemenereg in die toekoms een stelsel word. Daar word verder voorsiening gemaak vir die direkte toegpassing van artikel33 deur persone wat nie 'n remedie in die Wet kan vind nie. Die studie bevind verder dat, omdat al die gemeenregtelike konstitusionele beginsels wat voorheen die gronde van hersiening verskaf het nie in die Grondwet opgeneem is nie, die moontlikheid bestaan dat sekere van die gemeenregtelike gronde nie relevant bly vir die hersiening van administratiewe handelinge nie. Die Wet, wat die reg op 'n '[r]egverdige administratiewe optrede' verwoord soos dit gesien word deur die regering, bevat meeste van die gemeenregtelike gronde van hersiening. Daarom word daar geargumenteer dat die voortgesette relevantheid van die gemeenregtelike gronde van hersiening wat uitgelaat is uit die Wet eers bepaal moet word voordat hulle gebruik kan word deur die direkte toepassing van artikel 33 nadat die Wet in werking getree het. Om te toets vir relevantheid, moet die vereistes in artikel 33 FG, 'regmatigheid', 'redelikheid' en 'prosedurele billikheid' geïnterpreteer word om te bepaal watter statutêre gronde onder elk klassifiseer en watter gemmenregtelike gronde uitgelaat is uit die Wet. Die gevolgtrekking is dat die gronde van hersiening beskikbaar vir die hersiening van administratiewe handelinge bestaan uit statutêre gronde van hersiening sowel as die weggelate gemeenregtelike gronde van hersiening wat relevant bly vir die judisiële hersiening van administratiewe handelinge.

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