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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Crowbars and cobwebs: executive autocracy and the law in South Africa
Author:Corder, HughISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:executive power
audit offices
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.1989.11827757
Abstract:Aim of this article, which is the text of the inaugural lecture given by the author, Professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town, on 5 October 1988, is to examine legal controls over executive action in South Africa. It first describes the growth of the bureaucratic-administrative State in South Africa and considers five areas of State power which are currently characterized by an almost complete absence of legal control through the courts. Then it reviews judicial reaction to the growth of executive power in order to gauge whether the judiciary has regarded it as necessary to use the law to control this power. In the light of the rapidly growing and substantially uncontrolled sphere of executive autocracy in South Africa and the apparent inability of the judiciary to come to terms with this changed environment, evidence suggests that there has been a large-scale loss of legitimacy in the legal system as a whole among those South Africans not classified 'white'. Some tentative suggestions as to how the legal process needs urgently to change if the goal of limited executive government is to be achieved are offered in conclusion. Notes, ref.