Judicial review to include appeal court

2012-03-27 12:31

Johannesburg - A government review of the judiciary has been broadened to include the Supreme Court of Appeal, the ministry of justice and constitutional development has said.

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe released a discussion document on judicial transformation, and the appropriate role of the judiciary last month.

At the time, he said the department would commission an assessment of the decisions of the Constitutional Court, their impact on social transformation and the reconstruction of South African law.

Radebe's ministry says the probe will also include the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Terms of reference

The Constitutional Court is the highest court on all constitutional matters. The Supreme Court of Appeal is the highest court of appeal in all matters other than constitutional ones.

"It is appropriate that any assessment of the impact of such jurisprudence must be in respect of both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal," the ministry said.

According to the terms of reference of the review, released on Monday, it would analyse the decisions of both courts in order to establish the extent to which their decisions had contributed to the reform of South African jurisprudence and law.

It would analyse jurisprudence and socio-economic rights, particularly the eradication of inequality and poverty, and the enhancement of human dignity. It would also examine the state's capacity to realise the outcome of such court decisions.

The assessment should consider the costs of litigation at both of these courts, and how this impacts on access to justice.

Delays in finalising court cases must also be looked at.

"We trust that the assessment will stimulate debates and constructive views on constitutional rights that advance our democracy," the ministry said.

  • Ryan - 2012-03-27 12:34

    Wow how far will they go to be able to cover up their corruption. I think we are in for a very very rough ride lets hope that the judiciary still remains independant.

      Francois - 2012-03-27 16:28

      If it comes to access to justice, the solution should be easy. If someone needs to file a law suit or defend himself and that someone is from a certain political party, even though he may be representing the state, and the case is lost, then that party pays for the legal costs. This will hopefully discourage the ANC to use the courts to fight their battles as well especially those arising from misconduct and then the courts will have more time and the ANC will as well and then it can help its really poor members by assisting in the legal costs. I just wonder what is going to happen if this review turns out to the match the lights the fire to change the constitution and then the constitutional court find the proposal unconsitutional? If old Jeffy going to fire the judges or shoot them?

  • Shirley - 2012-03-27 12:50

    I think the word "investigation" is not the correct one. More of a fishing expedition to see what,where and how they can coverup,alter and/or manipulate for their benifit! The tentecales are extending from media silencing to the law. Zim started this way........:(

      Hettie - 2012-03-27 13:16

      Yes quite right as i see it they are going for total control and power. What a shame I so hoped for total democracy in S.A.

      Shirley - 2012-03-27 13:33

      Hettie: As did we all! Boy oh boy we sure were bamboozeld!

  • Mynews - 2012-03-27 13:03


  • Bibi - 2012-03-27 13:08

    Anything to do with the recent Zoomer ruling?

      Nosiphom - 2012-03-27 13:47

      Yes, these courts are out of order. We thought this matter was dead and buried and the SCA suddenly brings it back to life - we will show it its corner, watch this space soon all Court decisions will have to be agreed upon by us the ANC NEC just in case they may embarrass the ANC or Government!

      Andres - 2012-03-27 14:06

      @Nosiphom: Look up "constitutional democracy" definition and retype/rethink.

      Nosiphom - 2012-03-27 16:34

      Love the reaction, you are so predictable, Failed to see the sarcasm!

  • Rob - 2012-03-27 13:16

    Dominos getting lined up for the next wave of corruption

      Shirley - 2012-03-27 13:34

      With emphasis on the DOM

  • Mzwandile - 2012-03-27 13:34

    I am worried about all of you. You must be suffering from an anti government disease and you are trying to find fault on everything the government is doing, and at times you don't even see what can be helpful to you and your children.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-27 13:56

      How? How is it going to be helpful...??

      Andres - 2012-03-27 13:59

      HAHA! Anti-government disease is a pathogen spread by corruption, wasteful spending, constitution-bashing and poor service-delivery. Yup, you're right, we have the disease, the government was excellent at spreading the pathogen.

      Shirley - 2012-03-27 14:10

      Problem is the disease isnt spreading fast enough!

      betsy.compaan - 2012-03-27 15:17

      @Jymiro, Are you part of Government? If not do you actually believe that the ANC is honest and that no corruption is taking place. Do you actually believe that they are doing this to protect you? What info could be so damaging that they feel you shouldn't know about it? Just remember that if we are right and this "governing" backfires you will have no one to blame except the ANC. It scares us that you actually think they care more about you than their own bank accounts.

  • Andres - 2012-03-27 13:34

    ANC = Predictable. Supreme Court rules NPA's decision to drop Zuma charges must be made public. A week later, the Supreme Court is due for "review" along with the ConCourt. Proof the ANC is not benignly looking at the courts, its out to get the courts. If some people/politicians are above the law, we're all in trouble, regardless of political affiliation, race or background.

  • Scouter - 2012-03-27 13:35

    I am afraid that meddling with the Judiciary and the Constitution are the precursors to totalitarian rule. Brace yourself SA and learn from Zimbabwe, whilst there is still time - but that time is fast running out.

      Andres - 2012-03-27 13:50

      Any party with absolute power is dangerous, however benign they may seem in the beginning. Elections in 2014 are our last hope. Democracy needs balance to survive; whether you like COPE, DA, UDM, ACDP or not, these are the keys to restoring balance. Just as SAA, ESKOM and TELKOM abuse their respective monopolies, so does the ruling party. You see how monopolies drive up costs of business, so political monopolies drive up the cost of surviving in a nation. Be warned: better be a clever voter in 2014, with eyes cast on the future, not a reactive voter casting your vote based on the past.

      Scouter - 2012-03-27 14:01

      Exactly, @annman - problem is that people either don't recognise the lessons of history or just choose to ignore them.

  • Mark - 2012-03-27 13:40

    I think, dear minister, that your democracy is pretty well taken care of, also your salary, perks, freebies, pension fund and family. Now what about our democracy, rights, law & order and freedom? When you want to control everything but actually control nothing, you should realise that it's not the system that's wrong but you. No need to fix that which is not broken but if you're attempting to "fix" that which is allowing us to see what you do then your days are numbered.

  • Dave - 2012-03-27 13:44

    I cannot believe the arogance of this. Nevermind that it is transparently about the legislature trying ot interfere with and control the judiciary but for the legislature to believe that they have the knowledge to review technical issues decided on by the best legal minds in the country is astounding. THe ironly is that the ANC has appointed a large portion of the current judges in the SCA and EVERY SINGLE ONE of the judges in the constitutional court. This move bodes badly for every community in this country on so many level.s

      Shirley - 2012-03-27 13:59

      Dave: just a pity the masses are too blind to comprehend this!

      Malusi - 2012-03-27 18:00

      Being best mind in law, that doesn't take away the element of being bias.

  • Scouter - 2012-03-27 14:38

    A few indicators that marked the beginning of the end for Zimbabwe; * callous & often ruthless silencing of all political opposition * revisitng the constitution and the judiciary * redistribution of commercially productive agricultural land * nationalisation of mines and minerals * an obsession with blue light entourages and cavalcades * mindless affirmative action * annoying the West with ill-chosen alliances * placing the ruling party and the politburo in particular, above the law * and so much more .......... Trust this sounds alarmingly familiar - be warned SA, the clock is rapidly ticking away toward the hour of no return.

      Scouter - 2012-03-27 15:59

      I forgot to mention; * obsession with secrecy * suppression of the press The latter is almost as dangerous as meddling with the Judiciary & the Constitution - but then they go together hand in hand, anyway.

      Malusi - 2012-03-27 17:45

      But Sir is good for u, because your options are open, u can simply book a flight to the country of your choise in europe

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