Western Cape High Court raises the bar when it comes to delivering reserved judgments
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Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court, often accused of tardiness in delivering reserved judgments, has performed the best of all the high courts in improving its turnaround times.
Figures released in the reserved judgment report for the Chief Justice showed that the Western Cape High Court has performed excellently under the leadership of Judge President John Hlophe.
According to the reserved judgment report ending September 30 this year, the Western Cape High Court came up tops, with no reserved judgments outstanding for more than six months and delivered two during term four.
Last year, nearly 31% of reserved judgments in the Western Cape were overdue. A total of 13 judgments were more than six months overdue, four of which were more than a year late.
In February this year, only 27
judgments were more than three months late.
In the Cape Town Labour Court, only two reserved judgments took longer than six months.
Judge President Hlophe didn’t want to comment on the achievement and referred all enquiries to Nathi Mncube, spokesperson at the Office of the Chief Justice. Western Cape judges, pleased with the report, yesterday said the turnaround could be attributed to Judge President Hlophe’s better leadership and better co-operation with presiding judges.
“The Judge President has to make sure that high court’s judges are delivering their reserved judgments on time. Hlophe is exactly doing that and we hope that the Western Cape High Court judges keep the pedal on the accelerator,” the judges said.
The reserved judgment report showed that at the beginning of term four, there were 120 judgments across the country reserved for longer than six months out of a total of 700 outstanding reserved judgments, which represented 18% of total cases.
The Limpopo Local Division,
Thohoyandou, had the worst percentage for reserved judgments. A total of 80% have been outstanding for more than six months. The Gauteng Division, Pretoria, had 44 reserved judgments for longer than six months.
At a meeting on September 28, the heads of courts resolved that the reserved judgments outstanding for six months or longer would be published on the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) website.
The report will be released by the OCJ on Friday.