FMF book launch invitation: Simple steps toward a free society: Reason and constraint over discretion and arbitrariness – 27 March 2019 @ 18h15


20 MARCH 2019



Simple steps toward a free society: Reason and constraint over discretion and arbitrariness

Speaker: Martin van Staden, FMF legal researcher and author of The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction

Every politician and their dog claims to believe in ‘the Rule of Law’. These lauding statements of support rarely seem to lead to any kind of substantive change in South Africa’s corruption-laden political landscape.

What, then, is going on? What do people mean when they talk about the Rule of Law? What does the Constitution mean when it says South Africa is founded upon “the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law” in section 1(c)? Is the Rule of Law an abstract jurisprudential concept of interest to academics, or does it have practical significance to ordinary South Africans?

Martin will also discuss some of the topics and themes in his book, including:

  • How Parliament enables corruption in practically everything it does.
  • How the courts have unwittingly (?) endorsed dictatorship.
  • How affirmative action might be constitutionally sound, but not on racial grounds.
  • Why South Africans should pay more attention to institutions, rather than personalities.

This is the official launch of Martin’s book The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction. Copies will be available at R150 each.


Wednesday, 27 March 2019

17h45 – 18h15 Registration (Registration & cheese ‘n wine)
18h15 – 20h00 (Presentation + Q&A)


Free Market Foundation, Block 5 Bryanston Gate, 170 Curzon Road, Bryanston
(opposite Sandton Medi-Clinic)

For more information and to RSVP for each person attending by clicking on

Entry fee R50 per person CASH ONLY at door – for cheese, wine, challenging intellectual debate and scintillating company! Media free

(If you have already responded or cannot join us, no need to RSVP)

You will be able to watch this event LIVE via the FMF’s Facebook page by clicking this link:
Once on the FMF Facebook page, please scroll down until you find the presentation live streaming. Please note: the video remains available on Facebook after the event (though you will need to scroll down further to find it). OR you can watch it on our YouTube channel – usually uploaded within a day or two:


Martin van Staden has been a legal researcher at the Free Market Foundation since January 2017. He obtained his LL.B. in 2016 and is presently pursuing an LL.M. at the University of Pretoria. His work has been featured on Al Jazeera, eNCA, CNBC Africa, kykNET, 702, Huffington Post, and the attorneys journal De Rebus, among others. Martin is a co-author of Fallism (2017), The Real Digital Divide (2017), and Igniting Liberty (2019). He recently wrote a book about the Rule of Law’s significance to the Constitution of South Africa, The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction (2019).



Media enquiries
For more information and to arrange for photographs and interviews, contact:
Jayne Boccaleone
082 904 3616   

Other enquiries
Joan Evans
011 884 0270


The FMF is an independent, non-profit, public benefit organisation, created in 1975 by pro-free market business and civil society national bodies to work for a non-racial, free and prosperous South Africa. As a policy organisation it promotes sound economic policies and the principles of good law. As a think tank it seeks and puts forward solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems: unemployment, poverty, growth, education, health care, electricity supply, and more. The FMF was instrumental in the post-apartheid negotiations and directly influenced the Constitutional Commission to include the property rights clause: a critical cornerstone of economic freedom.

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