Most African constitutions of the past 30 years, led by an independent Namibia in 1990 and strongly endorsed by South Africa in 1994, have authorised the apex court to determine the limits of “government under law”. This is naturally consistent with both the rule of law and the separation of powers doctrine.
However, the inevitable tensions created with the legislature and executive have to be wisely navigated. And outbursts of politicians’ polemics, mostly unjustified, have been common.
This raises the question: is this push back beginning to have an effect?
The extent of the fightback by the executive is most commonly seen in attempts to influence judicial appointments. And there is none more so than appointments to the office of Chief Justice. This is where there is appropriately some measure of discretion given to the head of state.
Professor Hugh Corder | The Conversation | 19 October 2021