South African Bill of Rights

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Property. No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.

Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application —for a public purpose or in the public interest, and subject to compensation the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.

bulletThe amount of the compensation and the time and manner of payment must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected, having regard to all relevant circumstances, including the currant use of the property; the history of the acquisition and use of the property, the market value Of the property; the extent of direct state investment and subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the property; and the purpose of the expropriation.
bulletFor the purposes of this section the public interest includes the nation’s commitment to land reform, and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources; and property is not limited to land.
bulletThe state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
bulletA person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress.
bulletA person or community dispossessed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress.
bulletNo provision of this section may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to redress the results of past racial discrimination, provided that any departure from the provisions of this section is in accordance with the provisions of section 36)1)
bulletParliament must enact the legislation referred to in subsection (6).

Housing.

bulletEveryone has the right to have access to adequate housing.
bulletThe state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.
bulletNo one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.

Health care, food, water and social security.

bulletEveryone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care; sufficient food and water; and social security, including, it they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.
bulletThe state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of each of these rights.
bulletNo one may be refused emergency medical treatment.

Children:

bulletEvery child has the right to a name and a nationality from birth; to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment; to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services; to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation; to be protected from exploitative labor practices; not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that are inappropriate for a person of that child’s age; or place at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development; not to be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case, in addition to the rights a child enjoys under sections 12 and 35, the child may be detained only for the shortest appropriate period of time, and has the right to be- kept separately from detained persons over the age of 18  years; and treated in a manner, and kept in conditions that take account of the child’s age; to have a legal practitioner assigned to the child by the state, and at state expense, in civil proceedings affecting the child, if substantial injustice would otherwise result; and not to be used directly in armed conflict, and to be protected in times of armed conflict.
bulletA child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.
bulletIn this section “child” means a person under the age of 18 years.

Education.

bulletEveryone has the right - to a basic education, including adult basic education; and to further education which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible. Everyone has the right to receive education in the official language or languages ot their choice in public educational institutions when that education is reasonably practicable. In order to ensure the effective access to, and implementation of, this right, the state must consider all reasonable educational alternatives, including single medium institutions, taking into account - equity, practicability; and the need to redress the results of past racially discriminatory laws and practices.
bulletEveryone has the right to establish and maintain at their own expense, independent educational institutions that - do not discriminate on the basis of race; are registered with the state; and maintain standards that are not inferior to standards at comparable public educational institutions.
bulletSubsection (3) does not preclude state subsidies for independent educational institutions.

Language and culture.

bulletEveryone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice, but no one exercising these rights may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.

Cultural, religious and linguistic communities.

bulletPersons belonging to a cultural religious or linguistic community may  not be denied the right, with other members of that communityto enjoy their culture, practice their religion and use their language; and
bulletThe rights in subsection  (1) may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.

Access to information.

bulletEveryone has the right of access to any information held by the state; and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.
bulletNational legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right, and may provide for reasonable measures to alleviate the administrative and financial burden on the state.

Just administrative action.

bulletEveryone has the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.
bulletEveryone whose rights have been adversely affected by administrative action has the right to be given written reasons.
bulletNational legislation must be enacted to give effect to these rights, and must, provide for the review of administrative action by a court or, where appropriate, an independent and impartial tribunal. impose a duty on the state to give affect to the rights in subsections (1) and (2) promote an efficient administration.

Access to courts.

bulletEveryone has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum.

Arrested, detained and accused persons.

bulletEveryone who is arrested for allegedly committing an offence has the right- to remain silent; to be informed promptly of the right to remain silent, and of the consequences of not remaining silent; not to be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against that person; to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than 48 hours after the arrest, or the end of the first court day after the expiry of the 48 hours, if the 48 hours expire outside ordinary court hours or on a day which is not an ordinary court day; at the first court appearance after being arrested, to be charged or to be informed of the reason for the detention to continue, or to be released; and to be released from detention if the interests of justice permit, subject to reasonable conditions.
bulletEveryone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right- to be informed promptly of the reason for being detained; to choose, and to consult with, a legal practitioner, and to be informed of this right promptly; to have a legal practitioner assigned to the detained person by the state and at state expense, if substantial injustice would otherwise result, and to be informed of this right promptly; to challenge the lawfulness of the detention in person before a court and, if the detention is unlawful, to be released. to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including at least exercise and the provision, at state expense, of adequate accommodation, nutrition, reading material and medical treatment; and to communicate with, and be visited by, that person’s — spouse or partner; next of kin chosen religious counselor; and chosen medical practitioner.
bulletEvery accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right to be informed of the charge with sufficient detail to answer if; to have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense; to a public trial before an ordinary court; to have their trial begin and conclude without unreasonable delay; to be present when being tried; to choose, and be represented by, a legal practitioner, and to be informed of this right promptly; to have a legal practitioner assigned to the accused person by the state and at state expense, it substantial injustice would otherwise result, and to be informed of this right promptly; to be presumed innocent, to remain silent, and not to testify during the proceedings; to adduce and challenge evidence; not to be compelled to give self-incriminating evidence; to be tried in a language that the accused person understands or, if that is not practicable, to have the proceedings interpreted in that language; not to be convicted for an act or omission that was not an offence under either national or international law at the time it was committed or omitted; not to be tried for an offence in respect of an act or omission for which that person has previously been either acquitted or convicted; to the benefit of the least severe of the prescribed punishments if the prescribed punishment for the offence has been changed between the time that the offence was committed and the time of sentencing; and of appeal to, or review by, a higher court.
bulletWhenever this section requires information to be given to a person, that information must be given in a language that the person understands.
bulletEvidence obtained in a manner that violates any right in the Bill of Rights must be excluded if the admission of that evidence would render the trial unfair or otherwise be detrimental to the administration of justice.

Limitation of rights.

bulletThe rights in the Bill of Rights may be limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including the nature of the right; the importance of the purpose of the limitation; he nature and extent of the the relation between the limitation and its purpose; and less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.
bulletExcept as provided in subsection (1) or in any other provision of the Constitution, no law may limit any right entrenched in the Bill of Rights.
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