8 Potchefstroom Elec. L.J. 1 (2005)

handle is hein.journals/per2005 and id is 1 raw text is: L DU PLESSIS

Observations on the Significance of South African-German Interaction in
Constitutional Scholarship*
L du Plessis**
During (especially the latter half of) the previous century it was impressed on
several generations of law students (mainly but not exclusively) at Afrikaans
speaking law faculties in South Africa, to pride themselves on their principled
legal education.1 Akin to (and indeed associated with) the paranormal knack of
thinking/reasoning like a jurist, principled legal thinking was not really taught
(or learnt), but sustained (like injuries) as a result of exposure to principled law
teachers, enhanced by the ambiance of a principle-prone law faculty. In the
impressionable, young minds thus shaped Begriffsjurisprudenz was principled
legal thinking incarnate, and Germany the Valhalla2 for those forever true to it.
Background paper presented at a conference Public Law Themes in South Africa and
Germany organised by South African scholars in Public Law under the auspices of the
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's regional Humboldt-Kolleg programme and held at
the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, Stellenbosch from 8-10 September 2005.
** Professor of Public Law. University of Stellenbosch.
1   Especially in (substantive) criminal law and the various disciplines of (substantive) private
2   Lindemans 2002 htt  W.wpantheon oqg/h           htmI 21 Nov:
Valhalla, Hall of the Slain, in Norse mythology is the hall presided over by Odin.
This vast hall has five hundred and forty doors. The rafters are spears, the hall is
roofed with shields and breast-plates litter the benches. A wolf guards the western
door and an eagle hovers over it. It is here that the Valkyries, Odin's messengers
and spirits of war, bring half of the heroes that died on the battle fields (the rest go
to Freya's hall Folkvang). These heroes, the Einherjar, are prepared in Valhalla for
the oncoming battle of Ragnarok. When the battle commences, eight hundred
warriors will march shoulder to shoulder out of each door.

PER 2005(l)

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