ANALYSIS | Constitutional Court inefficiency affects access to justice

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The Constitutional Court. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks
The Constitutional Court. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

Heavier caseloads, delayed judgments and budget cuts at the Constitutional Court impact the meting out of justice, writes Lawson Naidoo and Dan Mafora

When it was first established, the Constitutional Court was intended to be a specialist court, like many of its global counterparts. It was to deal only with constitutional matters, with the Supreme Court of Appeal being the apex court for non-constitutional matters. As a result, the court only heard and decided a handful of cases each year.

Judges took that time to engage extensively on the constitutional issues before them, writing lengthy judgments to explain the decisions they took. In its first case, State v Makwanyane, in 1995, each judge penned a separate concurring judgment.

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