Answer to Question #201409 in Law for Shan

Question #201409

. Discuss the implications of sections 30 and 31 of the Constitution for the recognition of customary law (5 marks)

Expert's answer

Sections 30 and 31 of the Bill of Rights pertain to rights concerning culture. While section 30 grants the right to language and culture, section 31 serves to reaffirm the supremacy of the Bill of Rights in terms of the legislation as a whole. Section 31 ensures that a person has the right to belong to, and participate in, cultural, religious or linguistic communities. However, it also states that those rights are conditional. This section establishes that the exercising of these rights cannot be in any way inconsistent with any other provision articulated in the Bill of Rights (Constitution, 1996).

Therefore, the practice of culture cannot undermine any of the basic human rights as detailed in this Bill. Culture must be practiced in a manner that remains in accordance with the sections concerning rights to equality and dignity. When the right to culture, as it relates to the mentioned principles of customary law, is subjected to the Bill of Rights, it seems that the cultural practice of customary law ought to be reevaluated.

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