Judicial Collegiality and Tolerance of Difference: Insights from Justice Johan Froneman's Dissents





Froneman J, judges, dissent, collegiality, Constitutional Court, South Africa


The retirement of Justice Johan Froneman from the Constitutional Court of South Africa provides an ideal opportunity to reflect on his approach to collegiality and tolerance of difference. Like his predecessors, Justice Froneman navigated a delicate balance between collegiality and dissent. While the diverse backgrounds and experiences of his judicial colleagues enriched the Court's deliberations, Justice Froneman's dissents demonstrated the need for the Court to function as a cohesive unit to resolve judicial differences. His insistence on understanding the proper context of issues, taking account of relevant facts and synthesising opposite viewpoints was particularly pronounced in cases involving potentially divisive moral and ideological questions. Cases that touched on South Africa's contested political history and the proper role of the Court in a constitutional democracy further provided him with the platform to strike a balance between collegiality and dissent, thereby showing that tensions between unity and diversity among judges can be resolved amicably and that doing so would positively contribute to the development of the Court's jurisprudence on tolerance


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Author Biography

Felix Dube, University of Venda

Postdoctoral fellow: Department of Mercantile and Private Law, School of Law, Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law, University of Venda, South Africa.




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How to Cite

Dube, F. (2024). Judicial Collegiality and Tolerance of Difference: Insights from Justice Johan Froneman’s Dissents . Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 27, (Published on 11 June 2024) pp 1–28. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2024/v27i0a16795



Special Edition: A Tribute to Justice Froneman

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