Democracy and equity: The idea of the just state (Rechtsstaat) before and after 1994

  • D Strauss


The recent publication of a special number of the SAJP dedicated to a discussion of Samantha Vice’s thoughts on being a white South African prompted this reflection on justice, equity and the modern idea of the state – against the background of moral feelings of guilt and shame, cultural diversity and merging identities. Its aim is to provide a perspective on the unity of the public legal order of the state, the distinct meaning of citizenship and affirmative action in terms of the distinction between constitutive and regulative legal principles also helping white South Africans to understand how affirmative action relates to injustices of the past. The classical understanding of equity will play a key role in this discussion, aimed at showing how we can
avoid the apparent impasse of equality before the law and of “fair  discrimination.”

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0258-0136