In its presentation to Parliament’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee last week, the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) proposed two amendments to the Constitution relating to the appointment of judicial officers and the composition of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
The Foundation argued for the amendment of Section 174 of the Constitution to include a requirement that the JSC should “publish and regularly review the criteria used in the appointment of judicial officers”.
In November, the HSF released a report, ‘In the Interests of Justice: Reform of the Judicial Service Commission’, which details its proposals for change and provides in-depth analysis of how and why the JSC should be reformed.
Further, the HSF expressed concern at the threats associated with the growing political influence in appointing judicial officers. The HSF proposed further changes to Section 178 of the Constitution to ensure there was less political interference.
It wants less representation from the National Assembly, National Council of Provinces and Presidential nominees to the JSC. It also proposed a size reduction within the JSC for better management.
Ultimately, the Foundation appeals to the significance of promoting and protecting the independence and integrity of the judiciary.
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