Top jurists are set to be interviewed this week for the vacant positions at various superior courts across the country. They’ll appear before the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Last year, the JSC came under scrutiny for how it handled its interview process and now, it appears, they’ll be setting that right.
The Judicial System is an integral part of the country’s democracy and appointing suitable judges to all courts is a mammoth task.
The Judicial Services Commission is set to hold interviews this week for vacancies at, among others, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, and various High courts.
However, the way the commission does its work has been in the spotlight as Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution explains.
“Last year April’s JSC interviews were taken to court over the manner it was done. It ended up being redone due to this.”
Another lobby group, Judges Matter, has also been keeping a close watch on the JSC.
Spokesperson for the group, Mbekezeli Benjamin, points out some criticism levelled at the commission.
“There were some concerns in the manner in which interviewees were asked questions, also no consistency in amount of time.”
In February this year, during the interviews held to appoint the new Chief Justice of the country, there were calls for some commissioners to recuse themselves.
Judge Johann Kriegler speaks for the group, Freedom Under Law, “Commissioners [Julius] Malema and [Adv Dali] Mpofu should have recused themselves as they are facing their own disciplinary hearings over their conduct.”
In response to the growing criticism, there’ll be some changes to this round of JSC interviews.
In addition to new faces as commissioners, a special session on guidelines will be held prior to the interviews.
JSC to interview candidates for vacant ConCourt seats – Adv Alan Dodson: