Importance Of Human Rights

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Pages: 6

The new democratic era in South Africa saw the development of a constitutional supremacy based on human rights and dignity. In the preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, human dignity and equality are recognized as the founding values of democracy. Ubuntu further reinforces these values because it includes these constitutional imperatives of human dignity and equality within its definition.

The Bill of Rights contains all the rights of all South Africans and affirms the above-mentioned democratic rights of human dignity and equality. Section 1 of the Constitution states that the Republic of South Africa is founded on the values of human dignity and equality but the question arises of how are these values protected.
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In this regard, the court has highlighted the link between equality and human dignity. If one has to look at the case of ‘National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice’ then it can be understood that dignity has to be understood in the light of equality. The focus of substantive equality in this case is shown in the fact that injury to the dignity of people belonging to a certain group was taken into account as a determining factor. The focus of the right to dignity in this case went hand in hand with the affected right to equality. Another case to look at is ‘Government of the Republic of South Africa v Grootboom’ where the court stated that all the rights in the Bill of Rights are inter-related and support each other so therefore the right to dignity and the right to equality can be linked to each …show more content…
The Constitution also aims to protect the right of equality by introducing tests for differentiation and unfair discrimination as well as the limitation clause in section 36. The concept of ‘Ubuntu’ also plays a very important role because it is the basis that supports the vales found in the Bill of Rights and in turn informs the interpretation of such