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Subnational Constitutional Governance

16–18 March 1999, St George’s Hotel, Rietvlei Dam, Pretoria

Some may ask why a conference on “subnational constitutional governance”, particularly in this countrysince the South African Constitution, 1996, makes it clear that there are three spheres of government (national, provincial and local) and not tiers or levels. In the South African context, therefore, “subnational” may well be seen as a misnomer if it signifies subordination of regional authorities to the central authority. If we interpret subnational governance in South Africa as a reference to authorities that are elements of a greater whole, rather than as less important or subordinate, the relevance of the experienceof the wide range of different systems represented at the conference becomes more apparent.

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Table of Contents


Welcoming Remarks

Dr Michael Lange, Resident Representative, Konrad Adenauer Foundation – Johannesburg, South Africa

Provinces, States, Länder and Cantons: Content and Variations Among Subnational Constitutions of the World

Professor Ronald Watts, Professor Emeritus of Political Studies; Fellow of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

The Relationship Between National and Subnational Constitutions

Professor Cheryl Saunders, Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne, Australia

Development of Concurrent Legislation – a New South African Perspective

Advocate Dirk Brand, Director: Legal Services, Western Cape Provincial Government, South Africa

Cooperative Government, Devolution of Powers and Subsidiarity: the South African Perspective

Professor Gretchen Carpenter, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of South Africa

The Other Sphere of Government: South African Provincial and Local Structures in Practice

Mr Mathews Phosa, Premier, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Relations Between Subnational and Local Governments, Structured by Subnational Constitutions

Professor Jörn Ipsen, Director: Institute for Local Government Law, University of Osnabrück, Germany

The New Judicial Federalism in the United States: Expansive State Constitutional Rights Decisions

Professor Robert Williams, Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, United States

Controlling Competency Conflicts: Subnational Constitutions, National Constitutions and the Allocation of Authority

Professor Alan Tarr, Director: Centre for State Constitutional Studies, Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, United States

Where There’s Political Will, There Might Be a Way: Subnational Constitutions and the Birth of Democracy in South Africa

Professor Ralph Lawrence, Professor of Government and Public Policy; Director: Centre for Government and Policy Studies, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Participants’ List

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