- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA - June 2018
South Africa has undergone a lot of changes this year, including the resignation of our former president and appointment of our new president, to name just the start of all the modifications our country is currently going through. As for the communities and citizens, as well as world bystanders no doubt, a lot of support as well as concern have been expressed throughout the process of change so far. We can but wonder if these changes, which affect all of South Africa’s people, will yield better results than some of our former leaders have managed.
Among the ongoing changes is the newly implemented Renaissance Project. This project aims to bring laws in-line with the constitution. In doing so the Justice and Correctional Services department is leading a project which will help the government bring laws to align with prescripts of the constitution.
It is a fact to ponder about since the country’s laws should probably already have been in-line with the constitution and assumed to have functioned in accordance with laws and constitution.
However, the Renaissance Project aims to develop a new body of law so as to bring our legal system, which is based on Roman Dutch and English law, to fully align with the values and spirit of our own constitution, as read on News 24.
This almost sounds like the Renaissance Project aims to change the constitution rather than bring laws in-line with it.
A proud example of this is the successful introduction of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech, last month. While not something anyone in their right mind wants to encourage, we can safely say our country has faced some conflict in this area.
The implementation of this law aims to define and criminalize any conduct amounting to hate crimes and hate speech. However, as wonderful is this ambition is, the new bill protects 17 characteristics, while previously the constitution protected only four specified characteristics, and our country folk are concerned that simple jokes could lead to serious legal troubles.
There’s never been a more relevant time than now to think before you speak.
For more information, please consult an attorney from our Lawyers Online.