The fate of Heath's special investigation unit : an evaluation in terms of the separation of powers doctrine

Shackleford, Caroline Sara (2002-03)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

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Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is a response to the judgment of the Constitutional Court in South African Personal Injury Lawyers v Heath, in which certain provisions of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act were subjected to constitutional review. The outcome of the case was the striking down of certain provisions of the Act as unconstitutional, and the removal of Judge Willem Heath from his position as head of the Unit. The provisions were said to infringe upon the principle of separation of powers, an implicit term of the Constitution of South Africa. This principle affects the extent of the judicial power because of its influence on determining the acceptability of extra-judicial functions. The doctrine of separation of powers is therefore considered in its historical and theoretical context, with particular reference to the way in which it tends to limit or define the role of judges. Following this analysis, the status of institutions supporting constitutional democracy is examined, and the legislation governing Special Investigating Units is compared with that which regulates the office of the Public Protector. As a result, some alternative legislative means of achieving the ends of the Units, namely the combating of state corruption and maladministration, are suggested.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis volg op die uitspraak van die Grondwetlike Hof in South African Personal Injury Lawyers v Heath, waarin sekere bepalings van die Wet op Spesiale Ondersoekeenhede en Spesiale Tribunale aan grondwetlike hersiening onderwerp is. Die uitkoms van die saak was dat sekere ongrondwetlike bepalings van die Wet ongeldig verklaar is, en dat Regter Willem Heath van sy posisie as hoof van die Eenheid onthef is. Dit is bevind dat die bepalings die beginsel van skeiding van magte, 'n implisiete term van die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet, geskend het. As gevolg van sy invloed op die bepaling van aanvaarbaarheid van buite-juridiese funksies, beïnvloed dié beginsel die omvang van die juridiese mag. Die skeiding van magte leerstuk word dus in sy historiese en teoretiese konteks oorweeg, met spesifieke verwysing na die manier waarop dit neig om die rol van regters te beperk of te omskryf. Na hierdie analise word die status ondersoek van instellings wat grondwetlike demokrasie ondersteun, en die wetgewing wat die Spesiale Ondersoekeenhede beheer, vergelyk met dié wat die Openbare Beskermer reguleer. Op grond hiervan word sekere alternatiewe wetgewende metodes voorgestelom die doeleindes van die Eenhede, naamlik die bekamping van staatskorrupsie en wanadministrasie, te bereik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53119
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