Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

South African Constitutional Court Building

I spent the last few weeks giving lectures at several South African law faculties on socio-economic rights issues, and on my book “Constitutional Rights in Two Worlds: South Africa and the United States.” I will write several posts about what I learned from my South African colleagues. One of the most interesting things I did during this trip was visit the beautiful Constitutional Court building, which is relatively new. Built at the location of a former prison, the architecture is designed to remember the past and push forward to what is hopefully a promising future. Parts of the building even include leftover parts of the prison. The design emphasizes the use of large amounts of glass to symbolize transparency, beautiful art work with themes related to justice and oppression, and the rejection of an image of the law as distant and awe inspiring. It is quite a contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court building, as others have noted.


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