What is so great about the South African Constitution?

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What's so great about the South African Constitution?
source: ... "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012," Ginsburg said in an interview on Al Hayat television last Wednesday. "I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, have an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/06/ginsburg-to-egyptians-wouldnt-use-us-constitution-as-model/#ixzz1leNdPdzA
...
As I read it, the South African Constitution impresses me with a rather less than precise definition of things. Maybe it leaves more room for judicial interpretation which is what Ginsburg may like.

Tags

  1. constitution
  2. south african

Comments


Mark de LA says
NYT: US Constitution 'Loses Appeal With People Around the World'...

Doesn't 'protect entitlement to food, education and health care'...
....
Apparently lefties don't like the Constution all that much.


Mark de LA says
@Seth, for someone with a new respect for specificity (NOT) 14275 & is always looking for a "better truth" considering the failure of language 14258 as your strawman to prop up judges who make law up on the fly seeming to be your forte - you missed the point again.
  • This item is not about partisanship nor sides - your bug-a-boo!
  • Words have meaning.
  • Laws have consequence even though you might hate or love some of them.
  • There seems to be a coordinated attack on the constitution from some quarters.
  • One might do a better job of making laws.  Perhaps some cause & effect graphing to accompany the laws.  Unfortunately, Congress seems to like to write less & less specific details & leave them up to bureaucrats & administrative regulators to make up the rules & fill in the blanks.  In this latter case you get petty tyrants who exist to please the ruling class be they dictators or presidents.

A good exercise is take a set of principles & get more & more specific to make use cases until you get down to the detail behavior required of the final product be it software, law or party platforms.


Seth says
MR 2012-02-06 18:18:36 15799
seth 2012-02-06 16:43:36 15799
All words written must be interpreted by humans !  Times change and so do what the words stand for.   I don't understand your ...
"As I read it, the South African Constitution impresses me with a rather less than precise definition of things. Maybe it leaves more room for judicial interpretation which is what Ginsburg may like."
... in the light of that.  Any attempt at writing legislation that does not need interpenetration as times and situations change is, imho, fundamentally flawed.
Did you bother to check out the SA constitution?  I think the US Constitution is a masterpiece that has lasted a very long time.  It's wording is very clear.  OTOH, various courts, presidents & congresses have exploited whatever wiggle room exists to make-up new law.  The US constitution has alteration built into it. The Supreme Court does interpret it. OTOH, we don't want something so general that the Supreme Court makes new law on their own like they did with Roe V Wade. Law that is wishy-washy isn't law at all & tends, like wishy-washy agreements amongst each other, toward chaos & every group to itself.


Well the supreme court will always be criticized by the side which is ruled against ... with Roe V. Wade appareltly it was you side ... with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission apparently it was my side.  Neither side has any knowledge into what the constitution means .... just because it means exactly what the Supreme Court says it means.  I do believe that is in fact the consequence of what the United States Constitution says.  Based upon that it doesn't actually matter how specific the wording is ... but the more specific, the harder it is to interpret it according the situations of the current day.  

Imagine that you are a programmer and are tasked with writing a program that will be applied 400 years in the future.  The more specific you write the code, the more brital and the less it will be an accurate guide. 

No i didn't read the SA constitution constitution ... perhaps you can bring into the dialoge specifically what you object to there.

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-02-06 16:43:36 15799
All words written must be interpreted by humans !  Times change and so do what the words stand for.   I don't understand your ...
"As I read it, the South African Constitution impresses me with a rather less than precise definition of things. Maybe it leaves more room for judicial interpretation which is what Ginsburg may like."
... in the light of that.  Any attempt at writing legislation that does not need interpenetration as times and situations change is, imho, fundamentally flawed.
Did you bother to check out the SA constitution?  I think the US Constitution is a masterpiece that has lasted a very long time.  It's wording is very clear.  OTOH, various courts, presidents & congresses have exploited whatever wiggle room exists to make-up new law.  The US constitution has alteration built into it. The Supreme Court does interpret it. OTOH, we don't want something so general that the Supreme Court makes new law on their own like they did with Roe V Wade. Law that is wishy-washy isn't law at all & tends, like wishy-washy agreements amongst eachother, toward chaos & every group to itself.


Mark de LA says
seth 2012-02-07 10:20:24 15799
Rather than lobbing generalities back and forth it might be more interesting to delve into an actual decision ... take this one, for example .... it just happened ... Prop. 8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules ... and read the actual ruling here

The question you need to answer is what kind of language could (should) have been written into the US constitution 3 centuries ago that could (would) have had any pertinence to that ruling?
Rather than argue any of that stuff, which has nothing to do with my topic (what's good or better about the South African Constitution that RBG found as a better model for Egypt) argue the one I started out with. 
The simple fact is that gay-marriage is a political thing in violation of millenia of tradition & law. It is being force-fitted into a place that it does not belong by the liberal establishment. It is not a constitutional question, yet! I would like to see what happens if it were brought up as a constitutional amendment. For that matter bring back polygamy & polyandry. Keep it to the human species, though.

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-02-07 09:14:39 15799
source: Mark above
  • Words have meaning.

Nope ... not taken alone they do not!

Without the other two elements, there is no meaning ... no meaning whatsoever.



OBVIOUSLY YOURS DO NOT!

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-02-07 09:54:43 15799
MR 2012-02-07 09:27:04 15799
Where in nature do you find isolated words?  Even the words: FUCK YOU have each other to play with. The dictionary is a walled garden of words & associated meaning. Only liars & lawyers prefer to think that they can redifine meaning at their own pleasure & for their own purposes. If I were to say to you the phrase "EAT SHIT" would you really be confused about the meaning of it?

... nope, because "EAT SHIT" already has been used a lot and i have heard some of that usage and know what kind of circumstances people say it to me.   Sans that process, the string "EAT SHIT" would have no more meaning than the string "BQD PKE".
So are most of the rest of the words in the U.S. Constitution - particularly in the context of government, legal tradition, common law & the like.
Q.E.D

Mark de LA says
If you think about it, you really don't want a single judge or 9 old people writing the laws that apply to you out of thin air or their own prejudices & popular opinion at the time.  That is why the US Constitution provided representative law making in the legislative branch instead.

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