The Constitution and international law
 

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 provides for international law in Chapter 14, ss 231 – 233.

231 International agreements

  1. The negotiating and signing of all international agreements is the responsibility of the national executive.

  2. An international agreement binds the Republic only after it has been approved by resolution in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, unless it is an agreement referred to in subsection (3).

  3. An international agreement of a technical, administrative or executive nature, or an agreement which does not require either ratification or accession, entered into by the national executive, binds the Republic without approval by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, but must be tabled in the Assembly and the Council within a reasonable time.

  4. Any international agreement becomes law in the Republic when it is enacted into law by national legislation; but a self-executing provision of an agreement that has been approved by parliament is law in the Republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.

  5. The republic is bound by international agreements which were binding on the Republic when this Constitution took effect.

 232 Customary international law

Customary international law is law in the republic unless it is inconsistent with the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.

233 Application of international law


When interpreting any legislation, every court must prefer any reasonable interpretation of the legislation that is consistent with international law over any alternative interpretation that is inconsistent with international law.

More Information
General Information
   
Terminology
   
Binding of agreements
   
Depositing and Registration
   
Tabling of agreements
   
Ratification/Accession procedure
 
© Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (IL)| Disclaimer