Legal Action

Please see below a list of legal actions past and present, in which Doctors For Life was involved in, in one way or another.

For additional information about our Legal department, see here

Same Sex Marriage

Minister of Home Affairs and Another v Fourie and Another, with Doctors For Life International and Others as amici curiae CCT 60/04 (2005)

In this case it was contended that the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 was unconstitutional in excluding same sex couples from getting married. DFL and its legal representative Mr John Smyth QC, were admitted as amici curiae, and made written and oral submissions to the Court. In DFL’s presented socio-psychological evidence to prove that traditional marriage have sufficient advantages over homosexual unions to warrant special protection by the law and deserves privileged status in society.

Child Pornography

De Reuck v Director of Public Prosecutions and Others (2002/2003)

DFL testified for the State on the effects of pornography on the brains, minds and memory of those looking at it.

This decision was confirmed by the Constitutional Court. Deputy Chief Justice Langa (now Chief Justice) held that “Child pornography is universally condemned for good reason, it strikes at the dignity of children, it is harmful to children who are used in its production, and it is potentially harmful because of the attitude to child sex that it fosters and the use to which it can be put in grooming children to engage in sexual conduct”.

 

Adult Prostitution

Jordan & Others v The State CCT 31/01 (2002)

The constitutionality of sections of the Sexual Offences Act which criminalise the act of the prostitute for prostitution, but not the client and keeping or managing a brothel, was challenged. DFL assisted the Attorney General of Gauteng (now the Director of Public Prosecutions of Gauteng) with research on the health issues surrounding adult prostitution. This included  the role of prostitution in the spread of STD’s and AIDS, as well as the dire psychological effects suffered by the prostitute, his/her family, the client, his/her family and society as a whole.

The Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the brothel provisions, but split 6-5 with respect to the criminalising of the sex worker for prostitution with the majority finding the provisions constitutional. Ngcobo J writing for the majority found that the challenged provisions were not unconstitutional.

Marijuana (Cannibis)

Prince v The President of the Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope CCT 36/00 (2000)

The appellant was a practicing Rastafari who allegedly used marijuana for religious reasons. His initial challenge was directed at the Law Society’s finding that he was not a fit and proper person to be admitted as an attorney because he had previous convictions for possessing marijuana and said he would continue using it. The possession and use of cannabis is prohibited by the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines and Related Substance Control Act. His appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal challenged criminalising dagga but shifted to a plea for a religious exemption for adult Rastafari. The Supreme Court of Appeal found against the appellant, who then appealed to the Constitutional Court.

DFL assisted the State with medical evidence proving the harmfulness of marijuana. In a 5-4 judgment the Constitutional Court subsequently decided against the appellant.

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