Reconsidering the relationship between property and regulation: a systemic constitutional approach

van der Sijde, Elsabe (2015-12)

Thesis (LLD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT :This dissertation considers whether the approach to the regulation of property in the constitutional context is compatible with either one of the major theoretical approaches in private law, namely that ownership is fundamentally absolute or alternatively that regulatory limitations are inherent to ownership. It finds that the inherent/external debate is of limited value in South Africa’s constitutional context because there has been a shift toward a stronger emphasis on reconciling individual entitlements with other (constitutional) interests. In response to the inadequacy of the existing (private law) approaches, this dissertation proposes a systemic constitutional approach. In terms of this approach, property is regarded as part of an inherently regulated constitutional legal system. Disputes regarding the protection of entitlements must be addressed with reference to the objectives of the system as a whole and regulation is understood as a mechanism through which constitutional values are promoted. Thus, regulation of the use of property does not erode the institution of private property, because the system provides for constitutional or statutory control over the regulatory process. In this context there is an overlap between sections 25 and 33 of the Constitution, since the secondary regulatory function can be fulfilled by the principles of either constitutional property law or administrative law, when the use of property is regulated through administrative action. The complicating factor is that not all regulatory measures are also administrative actions. The use of property can also be regulated directly through common law or legislation, or through acts of the executive or judiciary. In terms of the systemic constitutional approach, direct application of section 25 should be reserved for cases of direct statutory or common law deprivation. Where more than one regulatory framework is potentially applicable, the subsidiarity principles should identify the appropriate framework, to avoid the creation of parallel systems of law. Ultimately, reconsideration of the relationship between property and regulation is part of an ongoing constitutional conversation which can only take place when we explicitly engage with questions regarding the role, function and status of property and regulation in the constitutional legal system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie proefskrif heroorweeg die benadering tot die regulering van eiendom in die grondwetlike konteks om te bepaal of dit strook met die teoretiese benadering in die privaatreg, naamlik dat eiendomsreg fundamenteel absoluut is, of alternatiewelik dat eiendomsreg inherent beperk is. Dit bevind dat die waarde van hierdie intern/ekstern-debat beperk is, aangesien daar in die grondwetlike konteks wegbeweeg word van oormatige klem op individuele regte na versoening tussen individuele regte en ander (grondwetlike) belange. Omdat beide benaderings tot regulasie in die privaatreg onvoldoende is, stel die proefskrif ‘n sistemiese grondwetlike benadering voor. In terme van hierdie benadering word eiendom beskou as deel van ‘n inherent-gereguleerde grondwetlike regsisteem. Geskille rondom die beskerming van individuele regte (in eiendom) moet besleg word met verwysing na die oogmerke van die sisteem as geheel en regulering word ingevolge hierdie benadering beskou as ‘n meganisme waardeur grondwetlike waardes bevorder word. Daarvolgens bedreig regulasie nie die instelling van privaat eiendom nie, aangesien die sisteem voorsiening maak vir grondwetlike of statutêre beheer oor die regulerings-proses. Vir doeleindes van hierdie proefskrif is daar in hierdie opsig ‘n mate van oorvleueling tussen artikels 25 en 33 van die Grondwet, omdat die sogenaamde sekondêre reguleringsfunksie moontlik deur die beginsels van óf grondwetlike sakereg óf administratiefreg vervul kan word. Problematies is die feit dat die oorvleueling net gedeeltelik is; nie alle regulerende maatreëls is ook administratiewe handelinge nie. Die gebruik van eiendom kan ook gereguleer word deur direkte toepassing van wetgewing of die gemenereg of deur handelinge van die uitvoerende of regsprekende gesag. In terme van die sistemiese grondwetlike benadering moet direkte toepassing van artikel 25 slegs geskied indien daar geen administratiewe handeling is nie. Die subsidiariteitsbeginsels moet die gepaste raamwerk identifiseer, om sodoende te voorkom dat daar paralelle regsisteme onder die Grondwet ontwikkel. Heroorweging van die verhouding tussen eiendom en regulasie vorm deel van ‘n voortdurende grondwetlike gesprek wat net kan plaasvind wanneer ons uitdruklik met vrae rondom die rol, funksie en status van eiendom en regulasie in die grondwetlike regstelsel omgaan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97827
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