Investigating an alternative administrative-law system in South Africa

Maree, Petrus Jacobus Hermanus (2013-12)

Thesis (LLD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation considers the question whether there are viable alternatives to the conceptual framework within which the South African administrative-law system operates, given that the administration now functions under new constitutional demands and new approaches to administrative engagement. The intention is not to proffer concrete recommendations for such a system, but only to propose an approach by means of which questions concerning the legal regulation of the administration and administrative function may be addressed. The dissertation introduces the concept of the contextualised administrative-law system. This concept emphasises the legal relationship between the public administration and the judiciary, but is not limited to this relationship. The administrative-law system does not operate in a vacuum, though, and is informed by the conceptual framework within which the system operates. The system is also a function of its geo-political and socio-economic context. The historical development of the doctrine of separation of powers, as one aspect of the conceptual framework, is traced. Thereby the normative, dynamic and flexible nature of the doctrine is established. On this basis, the potential and value of a fourth branch, the administration, within the separation-of-powers doctrine is assessed. By implication, the administrative function would constitute a fourth, distinct function in addition to the legislative, executive and judicial functions. The concept of the administrative-law system is consequently applied to the South African context. Firstly, the development of the South African system is outlined and, secondly, the administrative-law relationship is analysed. This discussion establishes that the system is characterised by an embryonic administrative law, the equating of administrative law and judicial review, an emphasis on the rule-of-law or “red-light” approach to administrative regulation, a rhetoric of deference, and the supremacy of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Therefore, the system must be informed by the Constitution and, arguably, by Karl Klare’s project of transformative constitutionalism and Etienne Mureinik’s “culture of justification”. The content of the separation of powers is also investigated by means of an historical analysis of the considerations that rationalise the existence of an independent administrative jurisdiction in France. This entails an exposition of the Conseil d’État’s structure, organisation and dual function. Principles that describe the French system, other than the pure separation of powers, are discussed, namely, the duality of jurisdiction, the separation of administrative and judicial authorities, the separation of the administrative jurisdiction and active administration, the maxim “to judge the administration is still administering”, and the hybrid nature of administrative litigation. The legal regulation of public contracts can be regarded as a doctrinal perspective of the administrative-law system. The public contract is discussed as one form of administration, due to its conceptual ambiguity as a legal instrument on the boundary between public and private law and due to the administration’s increasing contractual activity. To an extent the contrat administratif of French law indicates that particular legal rules are an extension of the broader principles, considerations and institutional structures discussed in the preceding sections. This dissertation introduces an approach that emphasises the relationship between the administration and the judiciary as well as the conceptual framework within which the administrative-law system operates. Through the application of this approach to the South African context and to public contracting the key concepts and debates underlying an appropriate administrative-law system in South Africa are identified and investigated. This constitutes a platform for the development of a particular administrative-law system and an exposition of viable alternatives to the conceptual framework within which the system operates.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif ondersoek die vraag of daar lewensvatbare alternatiewe tot die konseptuele raamwerk van die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse administratiefreg-stelsel moontlik is. Dié vraag word gestel teen die agtergrond van die nuwe grondwetlike vereistes en benaderings waaraan administratiewe interaksie moet voldoen. Die bedoeling is nie om aanbevelings vir die bestaande stelsel te maak nie, maar eerder om ‘n benadering voor te stel waarin vrae oor die regulering van die administrasie en die administratiewe funksie geakkommodeer kan word. In die proses skep die proefskrif ‘n nuwe konsep: die administratiefreg-stelsel in konteks, wat die regsverhouding tussen die administrasie en die regbank beklemtoon, terwyl dit nie beperk is tot die verhouding nie. Uiteraard word die administratiefregstelsel beïnvloed deur die konseptuele raamwerk waarin dit funksioneer, terwyl dit verder ook ‘n funksie is van sy geopolitiese en sosio-ekonomiese konteks. Die historiese ontwikkeling van die skeiding van magte, een aspek van die konseptuele raamwerk, word bespreek en daardeur word die normatiewe, dinamiese en buigsame aard van die leerstuk bevestig. Hiermee word die potensiaal en waarde van ‘n vierde been, naamlik die administrasie, binne die skeiding-van-magte leerstuk oorweeg, met die implikasie dat die administratiewe funksie ‘n onafhanklike, vierde funksie vestig, benewens die wetgewende, uitvoerende en regsprekende funksies. Die konsep van die administratiefreg-stelsel word gevolglik toegepas op die Suid- Afrikaanse konteks. Eerstens word die ontwikkeling van die Suid-Afrikaanse stelsel uiteengesit en dan tweedens word die administratiefreg-verhouding ontleed. Hierdie bespreking bevestig dat die stelsel gekenmerk word deur ‘n onderontwikkelde administratiefreg, die gelykstelling van die administratiefreg en geregtelike hersiening, die beklemtoning van die regstaat en ‘n sogenaamde rooilig-benadering tot administratiewe regulasie, ‘n retoriek van geregtike agting, en die oppergesag van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika, 1996. Juis as gevolg hiervan moet die stelsel op die Grondwet gegrond word. Daar word ook geargumenteer dat Karl Klare se transformerende konstitusionalisme sowel as Etienne Mureinik se kultuur van regverdiging die stelsel vorm behoort te gee. Die skeiding van magte se inhoud word ook aan ‘n historiese ontleding van Franse reg onderwerp om sodoende die rasionaal agter die onafhanklike administratiewe jurisdiksie in Frankryk te verduidelik. Dit behels ‘n uiteensetting van die Conseil d’État se struktuur, interne organisering en tweeledige funksie. Die beginsels wat die Franse stelsel beskryf, bo-en-behalwe die suiwer skeiding van magte, word bespreek en dit is by name die dualiteit van jurisdiksie, die skeiding van administratiewe en regsprekende owerhede, die skeiding van die administratiewe jurisdiksie en aktiewe administrasie, die leuse wanneer die administrasie beoordeel word, word daar steeds administreer, en die gemengde aard van administratiewe regsgedinge. Die openbare kontrak word bespreek as ‘n instrument van administrasie gegewe die konseptuele dubbelsinnigheid van daardie regskonsep, wat op die grens tussen publiek- en privaatreg lê, en as gevolg van die administrasie se toenemende kontraktuele aktiwiteit. In ‘n mate dui die Franse contrat administratif daarop dat bepaalde regsreëls ‘n uitbreiding van die breër beginsels, oorwegings en institusionele strukture is, soos in die voorafgaande afdelings bespreek word. Dus stel hierdie proefskrif ‘n benadering voor wat die verhouding tussen die administrasie en die regbank, sowel as die konseptuele raamwerk waarbinne die administratiefreg-stelsel funksioneer, beklemtoon. Deur hierdie benadering toe te pas op die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, en op openbare kontraktering, word die konsepte en debatte geïdentifiseer en ondersoek wat ‘n gepaste administratiefreg-stelsel onderskryf. Dit vorm ‘n basis vir die ontwikkeling van ‘n bepaalde administratiefregstelsel en die uiteensetting van lewensvatbare alternatiewe tot die konseptuele raamwerk waarbinne die stelsel funksioneer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85591
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