Kings, constitution and SAM legislation

I haven’t posted in ages – plenty happening on the work front, which is mostly good news. I also don’t really have time to comment properly on this article but Wits academic, Robert Vivian, but it’s interesting reading all the same.

Read Vivian’s letter first and then come back to my comments.

I can’t help but feel Vivian doesn’t actually understand the rationale for the proposed system and therefore gets a little frothy at the mouth about how awful it is. That’s not to say his criticisms shouldn’t be taken seriously – there are flaws in the proposed approach but it’s not clear to me that these are worse than a system that moves at the pace of continental drift because of exceptionally slow Parliamentary processes.

This maybe reflects a imperfectly functioning legislative process, which is a separate issue to discuss entirely.

It also reflects the reality that very few in Parliament (our country and most others I would imagine) have the time or technical knowledge to influence many of these laws anyway. Requiring a parliamentary process may not actually change the law-making function.

The final point here is that there is precedent here from a European perspective, so we’re not totally out on a limb in South Africa.

Maybe Vivian could rather suggest some tweaks that put his mind at ease about sentencing individuals to death by law without returning us to a stagnating world of too-slow legislative changes?