Editorial: Artifacts of judging: Justice Johan Froneman





Early in the Constitutional era, in Qozeleni v Minister of Law and Order 1994 3 SA 625 (E) Justice Johan Froneman called for the "rubicon … to be crossed out not only intellectually, but also emotionally before the interpretation and application of the … Constitution is fully to come into its own right". He further argued for the Constitution "to become … a living document".

In his many judgements in a judicial career spanning 25 years, Justice Froneman suggested some of what such a crossing of the Rubicon could entail. He also gave meaning to the idea of the Constitution as a living document. The contributions in this special edition unpack, reflect on, evaluate and further the work of and themes tackled by Justice Froneman.

Justice Johan Froneman retired from the Constitutional Court in 2020. He was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2009 after serving as Judge of the Eastern Cape High Court, Grahamstown (1994-2009); Deputy Judge President of the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court (1996-1999) and two terms in 2002 acting on the Supreme Court of Appeal.

In 1999 he was a visitor at Harvard University by invitation of Professor Frank Michelman. He was also Extraordinary Professor in Public Law at Stellenbosch University (2003-2008) and a Visitor at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, in 2008. He is currently an extraordinary professor in the Department of Public Law, University of the Free State. He has delivered judgements in a wide range of cases. Of particular interest is his careful deliberation on issues pertaining to transformation, legal interpretation, property and language. Justice Froneman in his many carefully argued judgements displayed not only the intellectual rigour that he was calling for, but also the emotional and very much personal crossing that he referred to in 1994.


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Author Biographies

Karin Van Marle, University of the Western Cape

Research Chair in Gender Transformation and World-making, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Elmien du Plessis, North-West University

Professor, Faculty of Law, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa



Berkowitz R and Storey I (eds) Artifacts of Thinking. (2017 New York Fordham University Press)

Qozeleni v Minister of Law and Order 1994 3 SA 625 (E)



How to Cite

Van Marle, K., & Du Plessis, E. (2024). Editorial: Artifacts of judging: Justice Johan Froneman . Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 27, (Published on 11 June 2024) pp 1–4. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2024/v27i0a17876



Special Edition: A Tribute to Justice Froneman