Move to speed up justice

2012-08-21 00:00

JUDICIAL leaders in South Africa, led by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, have taken a firm stand against the “years of underperformance of the courts”.

The main targets were judges and magistrates who delay unduly before delivering judgment, and judges and magistrates who fail to play an active part in managing court rolls, especially ones involving the unnecessary postponement of cases.

The top leadership of the judiciary — from the higher courts to regional and magistrate’s courts — held a bosberaad during which issues in the judicial system were discussed, solutions accepted and decisions taken that will keep all judges and magistrates on their toes in future.

“We want to make a decisive break with the underperformance of the courts in the past few years,” Mogoeng said via his media relations director, Lulama Luti.

He said that during the bosberaad, they conducted an “open, frank and brutal self-examination” in examining the challenges facing the judiciary.

He said they met “as the leadership of the courts” and drew up comprehensive plans for coping with the challenges of ensuring the efficiency of South African courts and the speedy delivery of justice for all people.

One of the matters topping the list is the immediate introduction of judicial forums countrywide that will monitor the flow of cases in the courts in order to fight “postponements and backlogs”.

This will be done by having every magistrate and judge henceforth intervening in a practical way in every case before him, so that the judiciary (rather than prosecutors, advocates and lawyers) will dictate the speed of the flow of cases, in order to ensure that cases are speedily finalised.

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