Book Review: Fundamental Rights in South Africa by F. Venter

Fundamental rights lie at the heart of the South African legal order.  Their wide scope and central place in the supreme Constitution to which all law and legally relevant conduct are subject render knowledge and understanding of the Bill of Rights crucial to the mastery of literally every discipline of law….”

The author of this gem of a work, Professor Francois Venter of the Faculty of Law, North-West University, has an assured and sound grasp of his subject.His years of experience are revealed in the deft and lucid manner in which he deconstructs the complexities of the Bill of Rights.  He correctly points out:  “Fundamental rights is not a simple theme, nor is it easy to master.”

No legal practitioner can avoid the all-embracing reach of the Bill of Rights.  This concise, carefully-crafted and well-organised introduction is the ideal entrance to the centrality of fundamental rights in our Constitution.  Chapters deal succinctly with the interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the various categories of rights.  These include socio-econcomic rights such as housing, health care, water and social security, and the recognition of pluralism in our diverse society, for example language and cultural rights.

Conventional human rights are covered, such as freedom of expression and religion, and more modern social and political rights encompass privacy, freedom of trade, occupation and profession, environmental rights, access to information and just administrative action.

This compact textbook, with its pertinent references to relevant case law and statutes, as well as a useful guide to further reading, is a refreshing and accessible aid to understanding and getting to grips with the very core of our legal system.  The author and publishers Juta are to be commended for a production of a handbook that will be welcomed by scholars, students, practitioners and researchers alike.

Review by Louis Rood BA LLB (UCT) of Fairbridges Wertheim Becker.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

By Francois Venter

(91 pages)

Juta & Co (Pty) Ltd

www.jutalaw.co.za

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