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[L]aws created to protect workers often hurt them. … More flexible labor regulations boost job creation.
World Bank (2007, 19)
The effects of labour law may be more indeterminate than previously thought. … … [T]here is evidence to suggest that the economic effects of labour laws are not just highly varied and complex … but also that they may be efficiency- enhancing in certain contexts …
Deakin and Sarkar (2008, 481)
The laws that regulate the labor market – that intangible domain where transactions for labor take place – have not escaped the gaze of indicators. Since the turn of the century a multitude of labor market indicators have been produced within a strained ecology of international organizations concerned with the performance of labor markets. In some cases these organizations are concerned only with one dimension (the “efficiency”) of labor market regulation, notwithstanding the complex multidimensional character of labor law, its origins in social policy, its indeterminate economic effect (Deakin and Sarkar 2008), and indeed notwithstanding its original purpose of injecting equity into an otherwise unequal relationship.
Plotted on a continuum, the international organizations involved in the transnational shaping of the legal norms and institutions that regulate the labor market are poles apart in their mandates and worldviews. These organizations range from a powerful private international organization, funded almost entirely by private enterprise, with an agenda that pushes for labor markets governed primarily by private ordering and market principles to a public international law organization that promotes a coordinated regulatory framework enabling equitable participation in the labor market. This divergence of views among international organizations undermines the development and coherence of legal norms and standards for worker security and creates a fractious transnational legal order that has implications for the domestic debate on labor market regulation.
Jan Glazewski, Professor in the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town,
Debbie Collier, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town
13.01There are four main climate-determining factors in South Africa: the northward moving cold Benguela current along its western coast which originates in Antarctic waters; the southern flowing warm Agulhas current on the eastern seaboard originating in the tropics; the high central plateau known as the Highveld; and the resultant varying atmospheric conditions during winter and summer. The authorities predict that ‘by mid-century the South African coast will warm by around 1–2ºC, and the interior by around 2–3ºC. After 2050, warming is projected to reach around 3–4ºC along the coast, and 6–7 ºC in the interior’. These types of temperature changes will place a massive strain on an already water-stressed nation currently dealing with problems of poverty and unemployment, poor service delivery and low levels of education. These problems notwithstanding, the South African legal system itself appears well oriented to address the legal issues that are likely to arise with the onslaught of climate change.
13.02In April 1994 South Africa removed over 300 years of racially based government authority by adopting a democratic constitution. In doing so it transformed from a system of parliamentary sovereignty to a constitutional democracy underpinned by a progressive Bill of Rights contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution which is now the supreme law. The Bill of Rights contains, amongst other things, an environmental right. Notwithstanding these developments, the historic Roman-Dutch legal system, a mixed legal system reflecting aspects of both the European civil law and the English common law traditions, was retained. This system, supplemented by a growing body of statute law, is to a large extent still intact today, provided that where there is conflict with the Constitution, the offending law must give way.
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