PANEL DISCUSSION: Lockdown regulations declared invalid

The high court in Pretoria has declared the Covid-19 lockdown alert levels 3 and 4 invalid and unconstitutional. In its judgment yesterday the court suspended the declaration of invalidity for a period of 14 days. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The government is likely to appeal the High Court's declaration of lockdown regulations as invalid and unconstitutional, this is according to Lawson Naidoo, from the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.

WATCH: Law expert weighs in on lockdown judgment

Legal opinions differed from experts on the merits of the High Court's decision with some experts responding positively to the judgment and others drew attention to possible weaknesses in the case.

Nthabiseng Dubazana from Dubazana Attorneys applauded the decision of the court to hold the government accountable for safeguarding people's human rights.

She said there were no consequences for authorities set out in the regulations in the event that they failed to comply with the regulations. 

Justin Ramages from TGR Attorneys said some provisions that have been declared unconstitutional “could be constitutional and the state could appeal it on that basis.”

Constitutional law expert Michael Osborne said the affidavit placed before the court was hastily assembled.

Osborne said multiple lawsuits may be inspired by the success of this one but civil suits would be difficult to as in ordinary courts the government is immune prosecution there.

"I'm doubtful that anyone will see a penny of civil reparations even assuming that all these regulations are out of order," he said.

Dan Moyane speaks to Nthabiseng Dubazana from Dubazana Attorneys, Dr Justin Ramages from TGR attorneys, and constitutional law expert Michael Osborne from UCT on the high court's judgment on level 4 and 3 regulations. Courtesy #DStv403

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said the judgment made some good points about the way the regulations were framed.

He said the declaration that almost all the regulations were invalid was a broad and sweeping judgment that is "not really justified" by the law.

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