The Judicial Service Commission has issued an invitation for nominations to fill two vacancies for judges. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
The Judicial Service Commission has issued an invitation for nominations to fill two vacancies for judges. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Call for nominations for judges in Western Cape High Court

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Oct 22, 2020

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Cape Town – Even though the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) postponed their October sitting and will now only meet in April next year, they have issued an invitation for nominations to fill two vacancies for judges in the Western Cape High Court.

The two spots on the Bench are part of 28 vacancies in superior courts across the country, including one in the Constitutional Court and five in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

In a statement, commission secretary Sello Chiloane said: “Nominations must be addressed to and must reach the secretariat of the JSC by no later than Friday, November 27.”

The Western Cape division of the high court has 31 full-time judges and eight acting judges who were announced in March this year.

The October sitting was in itself a postponement of the April 2020 sitting and, according to attorney and co-ordinator of the Judges Matter campaign, Alison Tilley, “JSC interviews are held twice a year, in April and in October”.

Commenting on the impact the JSC’s second postponement of their sittings in a year has had on the dispensation of justice in the Western Cape, Tilley said: “The delay will definitely impact on access to justice. When judges are not appointed, the gaps have to be filled by their colleagues, and litigants have to wait longer for a hearing.

“The process can take several months. The position is advertised and then nominations received. Then the short-listing committee in the JSC compiles a short list,” said Tilley.

Currently the Western Cape division of the high court has 31 full-time judges and eight acting judges who were announced in March this year.

The vacancy on the Constitutional Court bench was occasioned by the discharge from active service of Judge Johan Froneman in May.

Speaking about the nomination process, Chiloane said: “Interviews with short-listed candidates will be conducted in public, so members of the public and the media will be entitled to be present. It is open to persons or bodies nominating candidates to motivate their nominations by referring the JSC to the candidate’s qualifications and general fitness for appointment.

“Nominations must be accompanied by the candidate’s written consent, detailed CV disclosing the candidate’s formal qualifications for appointment, the standard questionnaire completed and signed by the candidate, as well as copies of at least three written judgments by the candidate.”

Cape Argus

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