Anderson Lecture by Edwin Cameron: "Appellate Power and Constitutional Transformation"

Monday, October 20, 2014
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Room 127
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Marianne Dietz
2-1651

Anderson Lecture by Edwin Cameron, Justice of the South African Constitutional Court.

The South African Constitution is the centrepiece attainment of the negotiations that brought formal apartheid to an end 20 years ago. It emerged from a long struggle for justice and dignity within the legal system that persisted even in the darkest hours of racial oppression, and committed South Africans to a process of profound legal transformation. The most radical innovation of the new era was constitutional supremacy. At the end of two decades, the Constitutional Court has established its authority as the key institution in securing the legitimacy of the Constitution and the continuing power of its values. The Court has used its appellate power over a wide field to secure practical impact for constitutional values. Three intense instances illustrate this with particular vividness - social and economic rights; sexual orientation and gender identity; and access to anti-retroviral treatment. These instances show how the Constitution seeks to confer moral citizenship, a person’s sense that he or she is a fully entitled member of society. Much of the Court’s achievement since 1994 has consisted in the process of asserting the moral citizenship of our country’s people. This has been especially significant in a society that, under apartheid, was defined by exclusion, division, subordination, condemnation and stigma.

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