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International Law and Domestic Legal SystemsIncorporation, Transformation, and Persuasion$
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Dinah Shelton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694907

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694907.001.0001

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South Africa

South Africa

(p.567) 24 South Africa
International Law and Domestic Legal Systems

Erika de Wet

Oxford University Press

South Africa's track-record of receiving international law into the domestic legal order since the introduction of the new constitutional order in 1994 is mixed. On one hand, the Constitution of 1996 is very receptive to international law, notably as a guideline for interpretation. Courts are also keen to use international human rights instruments as a guideline for interpreting the Constitution, even though their methodology in this regard is open to criticism. On the other hand, the courts are much more reluctant to resort to international law as an instrument of interpretation in areas outside human rights law. Parliament's track-record in implementing non-self-executing and non-technical treaties is inconsistent.

Keywords:   South African law, customary international law, domestic legal order, constitutional law, Constitution of 1996, human rights, treaties

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