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Incorporating International Human Rights Law in National Constitutions: the South African Experience

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assess the challenge of incorporating and applying international law within national legal frameworks, and more specifically international human rights law, by examining one case study, namely, South Africa. It also assesses the human rights project in South Africa by examining first, how international law has been incorporated in South Africa's Bill of Rights. Second, this explores the interpretation of these rights by the South African Constitutional Court, and more specifically, how the Court has embraced international human rights principles in its jurisprudence. The South African Constitution reflects not only the influence of the global human rights struggle, but is in many ways a by-product of that struggle. The Constitution embraces international law in several ways. South Africa is party to several international human rights instruments that range from the elimination of racial discrimination, slavery and genocide, the suppression of human trafficking, the rights of women, children and refugees.

Keywords: international human rights law; jurisprudence; racial discrimination



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