Herbert L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture in Comparative Law


Constitutionalism, Rights, and International Law: The Glenister Decision


Edwin Cameron


South African Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron speaks on Constitutionalism, Rights, and International Law: The Glenister Decision. (Annual Bernstein Lecture 2011)

Since it was handed down on 17 March 2011, the judgment of South Africa's Constitutional Court in Glenister v President of the Republic of South Africa has received both acclaim and criticism from legal scholars, political analysts and civic-minded South Africans. A narrow majority of the Court upheld a challenge to the constitutional validity of legislation that disbanded the country's elite corruption-fighting unit. The majority's pivotal finding was that the obligation to create an independent corruption-fighting unit, a requirement of international law, also had direct domestic constitutional effect. By cutting through the theoretical divide regarding the relationship between international and national law and placing clear reliance on the South African Constitution's own invocation of international law, the majority judgment demands that there be consonance, not dissonance, between what the government says and does internationally and what it says and does domestically.

Streaming Media


Edwin Cameron, Constitutionalism, Rights, and International Law: The Glenister Decision, 23 Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 389-409 (2013)

Available at http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/djcil/vol23/iss2/5

Lecture Date

September 8, 2011