Lawyers support code for judges

2012-02-06 17:40
Johannesburg - Judges should be made to disclose their financial and business interests, a group of lawyers said on Monday.

They had an obligation to be transparent, which would ensure their credibility and accountability, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) said in a statement.

It was responding to a government proposal that judges and their families disclose their interests outside the judiciary.

According to the government, the draft regulations, which were opposed by 200 judges, were aimed at preventing corruption.

"We continue to support the tabling of the code and the regulations as a positive means to enhance the credibility and affirm the legitimacy of the judiciary by ensuring its accountability to the public it serves," Nadel spokesperson Nokukhanya Jele said.

The association made submissions on the proposed Judicial Code of Conduct and the Regulations on Judges' Disclosure of Registerable Interests a year ago.

However, Jele said it was arguable that disclosure of the financial and business interests of judges' relatives was an infringement of their privacy.

"The obligation on the judge and his family to disclose is in the national democratic interest and should be supported."
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