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1 Law Democracy & Dev. iii (1997)

handle is hein.journals/laacydev1 and id is 1 raw text is: Editorial
The first issue of Law, Development & Democracy (LDD) is devoted to a
subject that has been extensively debated over the last two years - the
Labour Relations Act of 1995 (LRA). Is there anything to add to what has
already been said?
As this is our first issue, a word or two about the contribution we hope
to make and the approach we intend to follow - both in relation to this
Act, and in future issues - might be in order.
LDD is a legal journal, but not in the black-letter tradition. It sees law as
a social process, Specifically, it sets out to examine the way in which law
regulates, promotes or impedes the building of democracy and socio-
economic reconstruction in South Africa. And it seeks to do so critically -
that is, in a spirit of testing existing knowledge, seeking to stimulate new
insights and providing a forum for debate.
It follows that LDD is neither a general law journal nor specialised in any
single branch of the law. It will have recourse to other disciplines which
help to explain the operation of the law in a developmental context. It is,
in short, issue-driven rather than discipline-bound - bringing together
findings of research and experience from different disciplines, which may
be relevant to them all.
This broad-based approach is not intended merely to break new theo-
retical ground. Our focus will be very much on practical legal problems
thrown up in the process of reconstruction and development amidst
present-day South African and global realities. Studying them in a multi-
facetted way makes for a more thorough understanding.
As such, we hope it will be challenging and useful to all lawyers - prac-
titioners and academics alike - as well as non-lawyers involved in socio-
economic research or policy-making, whether in preparing an argument
or writing a thesis.
From this standpoint, the new LRA is an appropriate and timely subject.
It is a major piece of socio-economic engineering, closely tied to the
assumptions and objectives which inform the new South Africa. Its wide-
ranging provisions engage with different branches of the law - for exam-
ple, constitutional law and company law - as well as other disciplines -
for example, sociology and economics. Inevitably, it has given rise to
much debate. It is not proposed to revisit these debates or seek to analyse
the Act as a whole, Rather, this issue of LDD highlights a number of ques-
tions that have received less public attention thus far, but nonetheless go
to the heart of the new labour dispensation.

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