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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Passports and the right to travel: the South African perspective
Author:Carpenter, G.ISNI
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:After a short history of the purposes of passports, as found in English common and constitutional law, and the position of passports in the law of some Commonwealth countries (Nigeria, Australia, Kenya, Canada and India) and of the United States, the paper addresses the matter of the freedom to travel abroad, which has been recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and by the EEC. Then it turns to South Africa, where passports are one of the very few matters which are governed entirely by common law. In this country it is accepted without question that the granting or refusal of a passport is an act of the prerogative which is entirely within the discretion of the executive. The paper analyses some cases involving the granting or withdrawal of a passport. The conclusion is that the idea that a passport is a privilege which can be granted and withdrawn at the whim of the government is archaic. What South Africa needs, in the sphere of passport law, is legislation. In the meantime, there should be no reason why the heritage of both English and Roman-Dutch law should not be put to good use in this country. Notes, ref.