From 1990 to 1994, the Community Law Centre (now: Dullah Omar Institute) focused its work on shaping a democratic South Africa. Under the leadership of Adv Dullah Omar, the Centre directly influenced the constitutional negotiations with academic research.

The Centre produced many papers, drafted by some of the African National Congress' key negotiators, on topics related to the quest for a constitutional democracy. Some of the papers can be downloaded below.

A Guide to Pre-Trial Consultation in Rape Cases
Samantha Waterhouse, Helene Combrinck and Kathleen Dey
01 Mar, 2002

This Guide is aimed at providing rape survivors with a better understanding of how the criminal justice trial works and what they can expect when giving evidence. This book, a produce of a collaboration between the Community Law Centre and Rape Crisis, sets out Rape Crisis' pre-trial consultation model and contains notes to enable rape counsellors to understand the emotional demands that a trial places on survivors.

The Right of Access to Adequate Housing in Terms of Section 184(3) of the Constitution.
Karrisha Pillay
10 Jun, 1999

The Report analyses the nature of the right of access to adequate housing and the obligations that it imposes on the State. It then makes a summary of and proceeds to analyse information submitted to the SA Human Rights Commission by provinces and local governments on measures taken to realize the right of access to adequate housing. The Report then makes recommendations as to how the annual reports submitted to the Commission as well as the realization of the right of access to adequate housing can be improved upon and strengthened.

Towards Making The Right of Access to Health Care Services a Reality.
Community Law Centre
14 Apr, 1998

Although the inclusion of economic and social rights in the South African Constitution is much welcomed, the practical realization of this category of human rights is proving to be a tremendous challenge. This article examines the right of access to health care services and provides some insight into the meaning of the right and the nature of the obligations that it imposes on the state. In doing so, some reference is made to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. While the Covenant was ratified by the South African government, the general comments by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides some useful guidance into certain aspects of health rights.

Gender Policy Considerations.
Community Law Centre
05 Apr, 1998

This submission will focus on certain broad concerns as regards the Gender Policy as well as certain specific issues that are contained within the document. However, it must be noted at the outset that this submission does, by no means provide a comprehensive critique of the Gender Policy Document. Instead, it focuses of certain broad issues that are applicable to the entire policy and are considered to be highly problematic and certain specific issues that are within the expertise of the writer.

Defining Relevant Organs of State In Section 184 (3) of the Constitution.
Karrish Pillay
12 Dec, 1997

Section 184(3) of the Constitution provides as follows: "Each year, the Human Rights Commission must require relevant organs of state to provide the Commission with information on the measures that they have taken towards the realization of the rights in the Bill of Rights concerning housing, health care, food, water, social security, education and the environment. " This paper unpacks the various approaches used to define "relevant organs of state' and after which postulates its own preferred meaning of the phrase.

Gender Equality in the Enjoyment of Socio-Economic Rights: A Case Study of the South African Constitution.
Sandra Liebenberg
01 Dec, 1997

The founding values of the Constitution include human dignity, the achievement of equality, the advancement of human rights and freedoms, non-racialism and non-sexism.3 These values are given concrete expression by the entrenchment of a Bill of Rights in the Constitution containing a comprehensive set of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The inclusion of justiciable socio-economic rights in the Bill of Rights represents a commitment to ensuring that all in South Africa enjoy a standard of living consonant with human dignity. This paper examines how the South African Constitution intends to promote and enforce gender equality in the enjoyment of socio-economic rights.

Joint Submission On the Housing Bill by Housing Rights and Gender Working Group.
Housing Rights and Gender Working Group
17 Sep, 1997

The Housing Bill was intended to give content to the constitutional right of access to adequate housing. The Working Group’s submission addressed the fact that the Bill’s provisions appeared to be gender-neutral in a society were discrimination against women was ingrained. It proposed gender equality to be included in the Bill as an integral principle. The Working Group undertakes a short gender analysis of the housing allocation process and illustrate with the use of various case studies how unequal gender relations undermine women’s ability to access housing equally. The Working Group then proceeds to make recommendations for the attainment of the constitutional guarantees of both substantive gender equality and adequate housing to be included in the provisions of the Housing Bill.

Do Children Need Lawyers in the Children's Court?
Noel Zaal
01 Mar, 1996

A study by Prof Noel Zaal on how to achieve effective representation for children in civil proceedings which arise in terms of the (now repealed) Child Care Act 74 of 1983. It dealt with the question as to when children should be entitled to a representative/child advocate in court.

Western Constitutionalism and African Political Culture
Albie Sachs
07 Feb, 1996

This essay celebrates the life and impact of Dr Jack Simons, who taught African Law and Administration at the University of Cape Town from 1937 to 1964. Albie Sachs discusses Dr Simons’ influential work on the relationship between the governors and the governed in colonial Africa, the suppression of African law and Dr Simon’s role in setting up the ANC's Constitutional Committee to conceptualise the constitutional foundations for a democratic South Africa. Albie Sachs worked at the Community Law Centre from 1990 until 1994 when President Nelson Mandela appointed him to South Africa’s Constitutional Court.

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