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The Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property and its Influence on the Reform of Private Law and Landownership in South Africa and Germany Hanri Mostert

The Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property and its Influence on the Reform of Private Law and Landownership in South Africa and Germany By Hanri Mostert

The Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property and its Influence on the Reform of Private Law and Landownership in South Africa and Germany by Hanri Mostert


Remarkable similarities in the history, structure and interpretation of German and South African property law and constitutional law are indicated and a link between private law, constitutional law, land reform and legal comparison is established.

The Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property and its Influence on the Reform of Private Law and Landownership in South Africa and Germany Summary

The Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property and its Influence on the Reform of Private Law and Landownership in South Africa and Germany: A Comparative Analysis by Hanri Mostert

The degree to which the traditional concept of property can be adjusted in order to accommodate basic constitutional concepts such as freedom and social duty, is analysed by the author. The focus is placed on recent reforms in the land law of Germany and South Africa. Remarkable similarities in the history, structure and interpretation of German and South African property law and constitutional law are indicated and a link between private law, constitutional law, land reform and legal comparison is established. This is of particular significance for the implementation of the constitutional objectives of land reform by the South African judiciary and legislature. It furthermore provides an overview of the intricate system of constitutional property protection that has been developed in German law.

Table of Contents

One: Research Question, Terminology and Methodology.- 1: Introduction.- 1. An Introduction to the Basic Problems.- 2. Objectives of Research.- 2.1. Motivation.- 2.2. Legal Comparison.- 2.3. Delimitation.- 3. Practical Significance of Research.- 4. Inquiry Outline.- 2: Terminology.- 1. Possible Terminological Difficulties.- 2. Ownership and Property.- 2.1. Ideological Concept.- 2.2. Legal Concept.- 2.2.1. Private Law Terminology.- 2.2.2. Terminology of the Constitution.- 2.2.3. Terminology of Reform.- 2.2.4. Polarisation of the Private Law Property and Constitutional Property.- 3. Public Interest, Common Weal and Public Purposes.- 3.1. Public Interest and Common Weal in the Constitutional Context.- 3.2. Public Interest, Public Purposes and the Property Clauses.- 3.2.1. Public Interest, Public Purposes and Expropriation.- 3.2.2. Public Interest, Public Purposes and Land Reform.- 4. The Relationship between Property and Public Interest.- 3: Legal Comparison and the Course of Inquiry.- 1. Legal Comparison as Method of Analysis.- 2. Comparative Analysis as Constitutional Directive.- 3. Possibilities for Legal Comparison.- 4. Similarities in the German and South African Property Orders.- 4.1. Bases of the Legal Systems and their Material Law.- 4.2. Corresponding Legal Problems.- 4.3. Comparable Legal Methods.- 4.4. Constitutional Principles.- 5. Differences between the German and South African Systems of Property Law.- 5.1. Drafting Circumstances.- 5.2. Wording of South African and German Property Clauses.- 6. Course of Inquiry.- Two: Background to the Constitutional Protection of Property in Germany and South Africa.- 4: The Drafting Histories of the South African and German Constitutional Property Clauses.- 1. Relevance of an Historical Inquiry.- 2. Germany: Development of Property Protection Under a Constitution.- 2.1. Historical Background of article 14 GG.- 2.1.1. First Attempts at Constitutional Protection of Property.- 2.1.2. Property Protection in the Weimar Republic and Under National-Socialism.- 2.1.3. Circumstances Influencing the Drafting of article 14 GG.- 2.1.4. Constitutional Property Protection in a Reunified Germany.- 2.2. Relevance of article 14 GG for the German Property Order.- 3. South Africa: Negotiating a Constitutional Property Clause.- 3.1. Historical Background to the Property Clauses.- 3.1.1. The Inclusion of a Property Guarantee in the Constitution.- 3.1.2. Compromises Incorporated in Section 28 IC and Section 25 FC.- 3.1.3 Certification of Section 25 FC.- 3.2. Relevance of the Constitutional Property Clauses for the South African Property Order.- 4. Constitutionalism and Socio-economic Needs.- 5: Structure of the Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property in Germany and South Africa.- 1. External Aspects of the Constitutional Property Clauses.- 2. "Positive" and "Negative" Guarantees.- 2.1. The German Property Guarantee.- 2.2 The South African Property Guarantees.- 2.2.1. Section 28 IC.- 2.2.2. Section 25 FC.- 2.3. Legal-comparative Evaluation.- 3. Basic Structure of an Inquiry into the Constitutional Property Clause.- 3.1. Structure of Human Rights Litigation in General.- 3.2. Substantive Issues Relating to the Property Clause.- 3.2.1. Claims Arising from the Constitutional Property Clause.- The Claim to Have Property.- Eligibility to Hold Property.- Insulation of Private Property from State Interference.- Immunity against Uncompensated Expropriation.- 3.2.2. Stages of Inquiries Based on the Constitutional Property Clause.- Inquiries into the Constitutional Validity of an Interference with Property.- "Threshold Question".- Infringement Question.- Justifiability.- Inquiries Regarding the Payment of Compensation.- 3.2.3. Summary: Object of Protection and Nature of Limitation.- 3.3. The Structure of the Judicial System and its Relevance for a Constitutional Property Inquiry.- 3.3.1. The South African Judicial Hierarcy and the Property Clause.- 3.3.2. Shared Jurisdiction in Property Issues within the German Judicial Hierarchy.- 4. Structure and Interpretation.- 6: Basic Principles of a Constitutional Order and Interpretation of a Constitutional Property Clause.- 1. Relevance of Constitutional Values for the Property Order.- 2. The Unity of the Constitution.- 2.1. "Innere Einheit" of the German Constitution.- 2.2. "Conformity with the Constitution" in South Africa.- 3. Principles Inherent in a Constitutional Order.- 3.1. Constitutional State ("Rechtsstaat") and Rule of Law.- 3.1.1. The "Rechtsstaat" Concept in German law.- Elements Comprising the "Rechtsstaat" Concept.- "Rechtsstaat" and Property Under the German Basic Law.- 3.1.2. "Constitutional State" in South Africa.- Latent Support of a "Constitutional State" in the Constitution.- The "Constitutional State" Principle and Property in South Africa.- 3.2. "Sozialstaat" and Social Welfare State.- 3.2.1. The "Sozialstaatsprinzip" in Germany.- Elements of the "Sozialstaat".- "Sozialstaat" and Constitutional Protection of Property.- 3.2.2. The Social Welfare State Principle in South Africa?.- Constitutional Entrenchment of the Social Welfare State.- Social Welfare State and the Protection of Property Rights.- 4. Social Welfare State, Constitutional State and Property Guarantee.- 5. Individual Freedom, Social Justice and Proportionality.- Three: The Constitutional Inquiry into Property Protection and its Relevance for the Existing Property Order.- 7: The Relevance of the Concept of Property for Protection Under Constitutional and Private Law.- 1. The "Threshold Question".- 2. Ownership and Property in South Africa.- 2.1. Ownership and Property Under Private Law.- 2.1.1. General Structure of Ownership and Property Under Private Law.- 2.1.2. The Material Content of Ownership in Private Law.- The Scope of Ownership.- The Nature and Identity of Ownership.- Characteristics of Ownership.- Entitlements Pertaining to Ownership.- Problems Arising from Attempts to Define the Content of Ownership.- Ownership is more than a Sum of its Entitlements.- The Seminal Characteristic of Ownership.- The Absoluteness of Ownership.- 2.1.3. Limitations on the Content of Ownership.- 2.1.4. Import of Private Law for Property and Ownership in Constitutional Law.- 2.2. The Constitutional Concept of Property.- 2.2.1. Meaning of the Term "Rights in Property".- 2.2.2. Interests Included in the Protective Ambit of Section 25 FC.- Traditional "Private Law" Property Rights.- Other "Private Law" and Commercial Rights.- Benefits Granted by the State.- Incorporeal Participation Rights.- Rights Granted by the State and Based on Traditional Corporeal Property.- 2.2.3. The Nature of Property Under the Constitution.- 2.3. Evaluation.- 2.3.1. The "Social Importance" of Property for Purposes of Definition.- 2.3.2. Property and the Public Interest.- 3. "Eigentum" Under German Law.- 3.1. "Eigentum" in the German Civil Code.- 3.1.1. General Structure of Rights in rem Under the Civil Code.- 3.1.2. The Concept of "Eigentum" Under the Civil Code.- Object of Ownership and Entitlements of the Owner.- Limitations on the Right of Ownership.- 3.1.3. The Civil Code's Ownership Concept from the Perspective of the Basic Law.- 3.2. The Shift from a Private Law Based Concept of Property to a "Purely" Constitutional Meaning of Property.- 3.3. "Eigentum" in the German Basic Law.- 3.3.1. Property Interests Included in the Protective Ambit of Article 14 GG.- Expanded Category of Private-law Rights and Patrimonial Interests.- Incorporeal Assets.- Development of Rights with Regard to Land.- Public Law Rights and Benefits as "Property" in Terms of Article 14 GG.- 3.4. Evaluation: Property in the German Constitutional Order.- 3.4.1. Property and Development of the Social Order.- 3.4.2. Property and the Basic Constitutional Principles.- 3.4.3. Property as a Fundamental Right.- 3.4.4. Property as a "Purely Constitutional" Concept.- 4. The Continued Role of Private Law Ownership in the Constitutional Context?.- 8: Constitutional Limitations on Property Rights: Regulation, Expropriation and the Property Order.- 1. General Remarks.- 2. Limitation of Rights in General.- 2.1. Requirements for Limitation of Rights Under the Basic Law.- 2.1.1. Restriction Directly through Legislation.- 2.1.2. Restriction by Basic Rights Mutually.- 2.1.3. Internal Modifying Components.- 2.2. General Limitation of Rights in South Africa.- 2.2.1. The General Limitation Clause of the Final Constitution.- 2.2.2. Specific Limitations and Internal Modifying Components.- 2.2.3. Section 25 FC and the General Limitations-Clause, Specific Limitations and Internal Modifying Components.- Classification of the Provisions in Section 25 FC.- Interplay between Section 25 FC and Section 36 FC.- Evaluation.- 3. Limitation through "Vertical Application": Regulation and Expropriation of Property.- 3.1. Difference between Regulation of Property and Expropriation.- 3.2. The Justifiability of Limitations on Property Under German Law.- 3.2.1. By or Pursuant to a Law.- "Legalenteignung" and "Administrativenteignung".- Limitation and Exercise of the Legislature's Ability to Limit Property Rights.- 3.2.2. Specific Requirement for Regulation of Property: Proportionality.- Proportionality and the Property Clause.- Proportionality and Balancing of Interests Under the Property Clause.- Property, Legislative Structuring and Levels of Scrutiny.- 3.2.3. Specific Requirements for Expropriation of Property.- Provision for Compensation ("Junktimklausel").- Expropriation in the Public Interest.- Determination of Compensation.- Balancing of Interests and Market Value.- Consequences of Unconstitutional Legislation on Administrative Expropriation.- State's Discretion to Determine the Amount of Compensation.- 3.2.4. Institution of Property Retained (Essential Content).- 3.3. The German Judiciary's Methods of Establishing Type of Infringement.- 3.4. Justifiability of Limitations on Property Rights Under South African Law.- 3.4.1. Law of General Application (Not Permitting Arbitrary Deprivation).- Meaning of "in Accordance with Law" / "in Terms of Law".- Meaning of "Arbitrary Limitation".- Lack of Criteria Governing the Exercise of the Deprivation.- Rational Connection between Interference and Purpose.- Procedural Safeguards.- Conceptual Continuity of Deprivation and Expropriation?.- 3.4.2. Additional Requirements for Expropriation.- Public Purpose / Public Interest.- Public Interest and Racial Discrimination Under Apartheid.- Different Applications of the Terms Public Purposes and Public Interest.- The Inadequacy of Existing Judicial Precedent for Constitutional Interpretation.- The Land Claims Court's Definition of "Public Interest".- Compensation.- Compensation Agreed upon by the Affected Parties or Determined by Court.- Taking into Account of All Relevant Circumstances.- Expropriation without Compensation?.- Additional Requirements from Judicial Precedent?.- Appropriation by the Expropriator.- Permanent Nature of Expropriation.- 3.4.3. Proportionality in Terms of the General Limitations Clause.- Proportionality and the Limitation Clause.- Proportionality and the Balancing of Interests.- Application of the Proportionality Test in the South African Context.- 3.4.4. Maintenance of Essential Content Required?.- The Essential Content Provision of the Interim Constitution.- Consequence of Excluding the Essential Content Requirement from the Final Constitution.- Implicit Adherence to the Essential Content Requirement?.- 3.5. The South African Judiciary's Attempts to Distinguish between Deprivation and Expropriation.- 3.5.1. Harksen v Lane NO.- 3.5.2. Conjunctive Reading, Interest-balancing and Proportionality.- 3.5.3. Constructive Expropriation.- 4. Limitation through "Horizontal" Application: the Conflicting Rights of Private Persons.- 4.1 German "Drittwirkung" and the Property Clause.- 4.2. Horizontality and the Property Clause in the South African Context.- 5. Effect of Constitutional Limitations on the Existing Property Order.- 5.1. Limitations, Private Autonomy and Public Interest.- 5.2. Limitations and Horizontal Operation of the Bill of Rights.- 5.3 Land Reform and Restitution as Limitation in the Public Interest.- Four: The Influence of Social Reform on Land Law in Germany and South Africa.- 9: Meaning of the Constitutional Objective of Land Reform for the South African Property Law.- 1. Background: Incentives for and Institutions of Reform.- 1.1. Problems Posed by the Existing Scheme of Landownership Law.- 1.2. The First Attempts at Reform.- 1.2.1. Reform between 1991 and 1993.- 1.2.2. Evaluation.- The Continued Existence of Subordinate (Discriminating) Legislation.- Social Restructuring.- 1.3. Constitutional Prerogative for the Overall Land Reform Programme.- 1.3.1. Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights.- Functions and Activities.- Interaction with the Land Claims Court.- Influence on the Rights of Landowners.- 1.3.2. Creation and Functions of the Land Claims Court.- Jurisdiction of the Court.- Relevance of the Land Claims Court for Property Reform in South Africa.- 2. Legislation Shaping the Policy of Land Reform.- 2.1. Land Restitution (Restitution of Land Rights Act).- 2.1.1. Operation of the Restitution of Land Rights Act.- Administrative Proceedings.- Judicial Proceedings.- 2.1.2. Evaluation.- The Extent to which Existing Rights have to Accommodate New Policies.- Objectives and Character of Restitution Process.- 2.2. Land Redistribution.- 2.2.1. The Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act: an Example.- Labour Tenancy Under Apartheid.- Objectives and Operation of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act.- Qualifying Criteria for Labour Tenant Protection.- Access to Land.- Protection of Labour Tenants and Rights of Landowners.- 2.2.2. Evaluation.- The Effects of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act in Particular.- Redistribution in General.- 2.3. Land Tenure Reform.- 2.3.1. Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act.- 2.3.2. Communal Properties Associations Act.- 2.3.3. Extension of Security of Tenure Act.- Objectives and Application.- Definition of "Occupier".- Long-term Security of Tenure.- Protection against Eviction.- Protection, Rights and Duties of Occupiers and Owners.- 2.3.4. Evaluation.- 2.4. Developments Pertaining to Land Administration and Regulation.- 2.4.1. Land Tax.- 2.4.2. Reconstruction and Development: Development Facilitation Act.- 2.4.3. Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act.- 3. Evaluation.- 3.1. Land Reform and the Paradigm Shift Induced by the New Constitutional Order.- 3.2. Land Reform, Public Purposes and the Concept of Property.- 3.2.1. Public Purposes.- 3.2.2. Ownership and Other ("Lesser") Property Rights.- 3.3. Land Law Reform and the Constitution in Comparison.- 10: German Reunification and the Property Order.- 1. Background to the Property Questions Raised by Reunification.- 1.1. Property Order in the German Democratic Republic Before Reunification.- 1.2. Problems Posed for the Property Order due to Reunification.- 1.2.1. The "Bodenreform" and its Implications.- 1.2.2. "Wiedergutmachung" in the Federal Republic and its Implications.- 1.2.3. Expropriation Policy in German Democratic Republic.- 1.2.4. Administration of Emigrants' and Refugees' Property and its Implications.- 1.2.5. Business Property.- 2. Legislative Arrangements.- 2.1. Giving Legislative Effect to the Revision of the Property Order.- 2.1.1. Restitution Before Compensation.- Restitution of Land.- Restitution of Business Property.- Procedure for Claiming Restitution.- 2.1.2. Exclusion of Restitution.- "Bodenreform" Property.- Bona Fide Transactions.- Restitution Impossible.- 2.1.3. Special Arrangement for "Wall Property".- 2.1.4. Investment Before Restitution.- 2.1.5. Compensation as Alternative to Restitution.- 2.2. Restitution and the Basic Law.- 3. The Treatment of the Restitution / Compensation Questions by the Courts.- 3.1. Federal Administrative Court.- 3.2. Federal Constitutional Court.- 4. Influence on the Reunification Property Issues on the Property Order in Germany.- 5. The Significance of the German Experience with Land Reform for South Africa.- Five: Conclusion.- 11: Property in Private Law and its Constitutional Protection and Regulation: Some Considerations.- 1. General Remarks.- 2. The Distinction between Property in Private and Constitutional Law.- 2.1. Property and Ownership.- 2.2. Function of Constitutional Law and Private Law with regard to Property.- 3. Property, Economic Growth and Empowerment.- 3.1. A Framework for Legal Reform: Liberalism and Social Democracy.- 3.2. Property, Individuals and the General Public.- 4. Property, Interference, Proportionality and Balancing of Interests.- 5. Land Law Reform and the Balancing of Interests as Example.- 6. The Way Forward?.- Summary.- Afrikaanse Opsomming.

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The Constitutional Protection and Regulation of Property and its Influence on the Reform of Private Law and Landownership in South Africa and Germany: A Comparative Analysis by Hanri Mostert
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