Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 17 items for

  • Author or Editor: Bertus de Villiers x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

The Constitution of South Africa contains the promise in Section 235 that any community that shares a common language and cultural heritage may be granted self-determination. The Constitution does not give any guidance about who the communities are that qualify for this self-determination. Terms such as minority, nationality and peoples have been notoriously difficult to define. The term ‘community’ has now been added to this list. In this article, consideration is given to international law and state constitutional law to ascertain how the term ‘community’ can be applied in South Africa; whether the term ‘culture’ should be used to expand or restrict the composition of the language community; and whether the community should be organised at a national level or whether local and regional communities could also qualify for a form of self-determination.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Decentralisation in its different forms is often associated with territorial governments, be it regional or local governments. There is a close correlation between decentralisation to territorial entities and the protection of minorities that live concentrated in those areas. This article challenges the presumption that decentralisation must by necessity require a territorial element. It is argued that if minorities establish corporate legal entities, various forms of decentralisation could be used to empower language, cultural and religious communities to look after their own affairs. Several case studies are referred to in order to illustrate how in practice non-territorial forms of self-government have been developed. Finally, recommendations are made for establishment of community government in different forms.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

The Aboriginal People of Australia are arguably the oldest uninterrupted community of indigenous peoples in the world, but they have not yet been heard in the corridors of power. Recently, a proposal arose from Aboriginal People to give them a ‘voice’ that would be elected to give advice to the federal government and promote their rights and interests. Several attempts have been made in the past to create an advisory body for Aboriginal People, but they have all failed. The question considered in this article is what lessons can be learnt from previous failed attempts, and what can be done to ensure the success of the proposed Voice.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Abstract

Self-determination for Aboriginal people in Australia has been a long sought after yet difficult objective to reach. The recently concluded Noongar Settlement in the state of Western Australia opens new opportunities and could potentially set a new benchmark for non-territorial autonomy and self-government for an Aboriginal community. The Noongar Settlement exceeds the more traditional settlements of a native title claim since it provides elaborate institutions for self-government albeit by way of private bodies corporate. The bodies corporate for the Noongar people would enable them to make and administer decisions; offer services; undertake management of public conservation areas; and advocate for the best interests of their community. This privatised form of self-government may not only provide new impetus to other land claim processes in Australia, it may also address the often-heard demands from Aboriginal people for a treaty to be entered into between themselves and the government of Australia.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Section 235 of the Constitution of South Africa contains a promise of potential self-determination of language and cultural communities. An essential question arising from this promise is how an individual’s freedom of association interacts with the ability of a community to determine its membership. This article reflects on this question with reference to standards developed in international law and practices in the constitutional law of selected case studies. Whereas international law sets a universal standard of free association, states have developed practices whereby the individual’s right to free association is recognised, but where there are also some measures allowed to ensure that an individual is indeed accepted by and part of the community. Any conflicts that arise are, generally speaking, subject to a form of judicial review.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Essays on Selected Case Studies about the Rights of Minorities
In this book, Bertus de Villiers offers unique insights into institutional design aimed at the protection of minority rights. He reflects on several case studies to highlight various aspects of the complexity of contemporary constitution drafting and how creative solutions have been found to secure the rights of minorities. The respective chapters drill down to a practical level to assist constitutional scholars, legal scientists, the judiciary and practitioners to better comprehend the dynamics of minority rights in the country under discussion; to be informed by the jurisprudence that have arisen; and to gain insights from the adjustments that had to be made to more effectively protect the rights of minorities.
In: Navigating the Unknown
In: Navigating the Unknown
In: Navigating the Unknown