The third question concerns the issue whether this Court is the only court that may consider the questions raised in this case.
These issues arise out of a constitutional complaint brought directly to this Court by Doctors for Life International, the applicant.
The jurisdiction of this Court to consider such disputes is conferred by section 167(4)(e) of the Constitution. (a) Does this Court have exclusive jurisdiction over the present dispute under section 167(4)(e) of the Constitution?
That section provides that “[o]nly the Constitutional Court may . (b) Is it competent under our constitutional order for declaratory relief to be granted by a court in respect of the proceedings of Parliament?
What compounds the difficulty is that in a constitutional state like ours, where the Constitution is supreme, the Constitution imposes certain obligations on the exercise of legislative authority.
Consider, for example, section 7(2) of the Constitution, which provides that “[t]he state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.” This provision no doubt imposes an obligation on the state to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA Case CCT 12/05 DOCTORS FOR LIFE INTERNATIONAL Applicant versus THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY First Respondent THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES Second Respondent THE MINISTER OF HEALTH Third Respondent THE SPEAKER OF EASTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Fourth Respondent THE SPEAKER OF FREE STATE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Fifth Respondent THE SPEAKER OF GAUTENG PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Sixth Respondent THE SPEAKER OF KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Seventh Respondent THE SPEAKER OF LIMPOPO PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Eighth Respondent THE SPEAKER OF MPUMALANGA PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Ninth Respondent THE SPEAKER OF NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Tenth Respondent THE SPEAKER OF NORTH WEST PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Eleventh Respondent THE SPEAKER OF WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE Twelfth Respondent Heard on : 23 August 2005 and 21 February 2006 Decided on : 17 August 2006 JUDGMENT NGCOBO J: This case concerns an important question relating to the role of the public in the law-making process.
This issue lies at the heart of our constitutional democracy.
The Court is required to answer three related questions.
The first question concerns the nature and the scope of the constitutional obligation of a legislative organ of the state to facilitate public involvement in its legislative processes and those of its committees and the consequences of the failure to comply with that obligation.