S Constitution guarantees many freedoms and civil liberties for American citizens. These civil liberties determine what a person is free to do and what the government is prohibited from doing. Constitutional rights basically are rights that protect people from unfair and unconstitutional treatment by the state or federal government. Constitutional law covers a broad area of cases, which can be very complex.
Amicus Curiae Heard on: Introduction The applicant applies for confirmation of declarations of statutory invalidity made by the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. The impugned sections make minimum sentences applicable to offenders aged 16 and 17 at the time they committed the offence.
The High Court found these sections inconsistent with provisions of the Bill of Rights pertaining to children. Its main objective is to establish and promote child law and to uphold the rights of children in South Africa.
Invoking the standing provisions of the Bill of Rights, 4 the Centre asserts that it brings the application in its own interest, on behalf of all 16 and 17 year old children at risk of being sentenced under the new provisions, and in the public interest.
The respondents are the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development the Minister Constitutional rights business law, the Minister for Correctional Services, and the Legal Aid Board, an autonomous statutory body 5 providing legal services to indigent persons.
The second and third respondents did not oppose the application and filed notices to abide by the outcome. The CLAA created a distinctive regime for this group, 10 and exempted those under 16 altogether. On 31 Decemberthe Amendment Act came into force.
Section 51 6 now makes incontestably clear that only Constitutional rights business law under the age of 16 at the time of the offence are excluded. Section 53A, a transitional provision, applies the new provisions to trials of 16 and 17 year olds that are already under way at the time of its coming into force.
The High Court found that while the Centre did not allege that the rights of any specific child were threatened, the rights of all 16 and 17 year old children are threatened, as the Amendment Act subjects them to the minimum sentencing regime.
The child will be 16 or 17 years old, has committed a serious offence of either rape, robbery or murder, and the Presiding Officer will have to start the sentencing process with the minimum sentence prescribed by the Legislature.
The High Court did not deal with these prayers, but postponed them indefinitely sine die. The High Court reserved costs and referred the declarations to this Court for confirmation in terms of section 2 a of the Constitution.
Intervention of amicus curiae The National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Re-integration of Offenders NICROa non-profit organisation working towards crime reduction and for community rehabilitation of offenders, applied for and was granted admission as amicus curiae.
In its written submissions, NICRO supported the confirmation of invalidity, but focused its argument on the unconstitutionality of section 51 6 which exempts only those under 16 from minimum sentences.
Although the Centre did not act on behalf of or join any particular child sentenced under the statute as amended, its provisions are clearly intended to have immediate effect on its promulgation.
So the prospect of children being sentenced under the challenged provisions was immediate, and the issue anything but abstract or academic. It was thus entitled to take up the cudgels.
To have required the Centre to augment its standing by waiting for a child to be sentenced under the new provisions would, in my view, have been an exercise in needless formalism.
This Court has in any event previously indicated that it may be incumbent on it to deal with the substance of a dispute about the constitutionality of legislation a High Court has declared unconstitutional, even in the absence of a party with proper standing.
That is the case here. The Centre in addition pressed for the structural relief regarding already-sentenced youths that the High Court postponed.
These, in turn, raise difficult issues of constitutional power and interpretation. For clarity it may therefore be convenient to set out first the premises that underlie the judgment of the High Court.
These may be compacted in a series of short propositions: The intention and effect of the minimum sentencing regime is to require courts to impose harsher sentences — that is, to send more offenders in the scheduled categories to jail, for longer periods.
Under the minimum sentencing regime, in default of a finding that substantial and compelling circumstances exist, a sentencing court is obliged to impose the minimum sentence.
The starting point, and default position, is therefore the minimum sentence. By contrast, before the Amendment Act, under S v B, the starting point in sentencing 16 and 17 year old offenders in the scheduled categories was without predisposing constraints regarding the appropriate sentence, which would depend on individualised factors relating to the crime and the offender, while taking into account the interests of society, including the fact that the legislature had ordinarily ordained the prescribed sentences.
It draws a distinction between adults and children below the age of 18 and requires that those under 18 be treated differently from adults when authority is exercised over them.
It operates as a substantive constraint on the exercise of certain types of authority and imposes a legislative restraint on Parliament.Constitutional law attorneys help their clients by defending the U.S Constitution and the rights and freedoms that U.S citizens are guaranteed.
Constitutional law attorneys play a meaningful role in protecting the freedoms within a country and the rights and freedoms that are promised through the constitution.
Chapter Constitutional Law In chapter 5 at we learned that the US Constitution is a source of law because: (1) it is “the supreme Law of the Land”; (2) it creates and allocates power between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government; and (3) it allocates power between the federal government and the.
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Fourteenth Amendment - Rights Guaranteed Privileges and Immunities of Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection Amendment Text | Annotations Section. 1. All. Constitutional Law. The attorneys at Kassouni Law believe that Constitutional rights and personal freedom are intertwined; it is our mission to rigorously defend your Constitutional rights against government and private abuse.
Pricey, but if you have any interest in constitutional law, it might be worth a full purchase. The book is organized well and covers most areas of constitutional law, especially concerning the amendments.