JSC to answer for alleged unconstitutional practices

South Africa
Lawyers groups are threatening to take the Judicial Services Commission to task on how it appoints judges. eNCA

Cape Town - The body tasked with appointing South Africa’s judges is divided on how to make the judiciary representative of South African society.

Last week, Judicial Services Commissioner Izak Smuts appointed to represent advocates, resigned. He had written a report giving his views on the issue of transformation.

Smuts says it is clear that concerns over whether the JSC is overlooking white male applicants for positions are being ignored.

Legal advocacy group Freedom Under Law says it’s now considering challenging the way judges are appointed. One of their directors Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett is one of the candidates who has been turned down for a judicial position.

The group alleges that the JSC is too easy on some applicants during interviews, while being unfairly harsh to others.

Legal analysts say it is clear the judiciary is split over the issue of transformation and that a programme is needed to clearly outline the criteria for appointing judges to the judiciary.

 

COLUMN: Journalist Dianne Hawker asks whether the transformation debate should involve us, the public. 

-eNCA

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