Judges should serve for life: Yacoob

By Drum Digital
07 March 2013

Former Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob believes Constitutional Court judges should serve for life, or until they are about 75-years-old, it was reported on Thursday.

He told the University of the Witwatersrand Law School on Wednesday that limiting their terms was a decision which had been made by the government, The Times reported.

"It was deliberate. If we shuffle the pack enough, the court gets weaker and the executive gets stronger," he said.

Yacoob, who retired at the end of January after serving the maximum 15-year term on the court, also reportedly said the process by which judicial appointments were made was flawed, and too subjective.

"The JSC can't be dependent on their feelings at that moment, or what they had for breakfast [when they choose]," he said.

He believed the commission required specific guidelines to make the process more objective, the newspaper reported.

Asked why advocate Jeremy Gauntlett had been twice passed over for a place on the Constitutional Court, Yacoob said he could not say why Gauntlett had not been chosen.

"It is a comparison question, a comparison of candidates.... I don't know what happens in the JSC process."

-by Sapa

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