“But, as we shall demonstrate, this approach to interpreting legislation, and to the invocation of s 39(2), is not consonant with the approach of the Constitutional Court and this court, and the disregard of the words used by the legislature on the basis of a general ‘fairness’ principle leads not only to uncertainty but also to a failure to observe the doctrine of separation of powers”.

This is an extract from para [19] of SAA v Aviation Union of South Africa (AUSA) 123/10 [2011] ZASCA 1, the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court of Appeal yesterday in which the appeal was upheld and the  order of the Labour Appeal Court overturned.

An analysis of this important judgment will follow shortly.

Note: See now Constitutional Court judgment dated 24 November 2011.