Home Contact Us Maps Links The Constitution Marikana
| More
SAHRC meets with Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng to discuss mutual challenges
 
03 March 2013
 
Interesting Quotes:

“We will be failing the Constitution if the courts and in particular, Equality Courts, are functioning in a way that ordinary citizens have access to courts.” Chairperson Mushwana

“ We will explore the possibility of urging the Minister of Justice to amend legislation so that every judicial officer is recognised as a Equality Court Judge.” Chief Justice Mogoeng

“Failure on the part of communities to understand the functioning of courts is a failure on the part of the judiciary to communicate effectively with communities. “ Chief Justice Mogoeng


Commissioners (Chairperson Mushwana and Commissioner Malatji) met with the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the Constitutional Court on 27 February 2013. The aim of the meeting was to share information with the Chief Justice on the work of the Commission and explore areas of mutual interest. Commissioners and the Chief Justice were accompanied by their respective members of their Secretariats. In addition, the Chief Justice attended the meeting with other Constitutional court judges.

The meeting discussed three mains issues;
  • Information sharing on International and Regional work of the Commission
  • Challenges with Equality Courts
  • Training of officials on Equality matters; especially Court Clerks and Judges  

Chairperson Mushwana opened the meeting by firstly, acknowledging with appreciation, the time provided by the Chief Justice for the meeting. He reflected on the work of the Commission; in particular the important stakeholder engagements that inform its work as well its role as member of the International Community of National Human Rights Institutions. Chairperson Mushwana provided information on the role of the Commission in the Equality Review Committee.

Chairperson Mushwana and Dr Kgamadi Kometsi, provided brief reflections on the Commission’s Equality Report 2012, focusing on the findings of the Monitoring project on the Equality courts. They focused on research findings on court administration (lack of resources and office space and training of court officials) as well as types of cases dealt with by the Equality court.

In response, Chief Justice acknowledged some of the problems with functioning of Equality courts but reminded the meeting that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was responsible for Equality courts; from resources to training of court clerks.

Some of the key issues highlighted by Chief Justice included;
  • Concern on the institutional (particularly the administrative)  independence of courts: The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development continues to manage the administrative (and financial) functioning of courts
  • Accreditation process required for Judges and Magistrates for Equality Court matters
  • Access to justice – issues related to accessibility in terms of language, understanding of court processes, and use of courts such as Small Claims courts, Traditional courts and Community courts
  • A Court Administration Model will be presented to the President and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development this year. This model is line with what has been proposed in the National Development Plan 2030
  • Transformation in terms of race and gender is on track but more work is required in recruiting young professionals in the legal field. One of the proposals that can address the challenge for young legal professionals in obtaining legal practise is for institutions to provide legal training during the university vacation. Law students should be encouraged to work  at courts during their vacation and experience different work done in courts from interpretation to administration.
  • Traditional courts must be restructured to be Constitutionally compliant and well resources

Chairperson Mushwana and Commissioner Malatji raised critical points such as;
  • Importance of maintaining the independence of judiciary
  • Functioning of courts and documenting “best practise courts”
  • Advocacy work that is required so as to enable communities to understand court system
  • Training court officials so that they can provide adequate services to court users with disabilities

The Commission’s CEO, Kayum Ahmed, highlighted the limited financial resources that the Commission is faced with and the importance of exploring collaborative projects with stakeholders. In relation to training, he proposed that as the Commission deals with Complaints Handling, it would be important to build capacity of Provincial Managers and as part of training, retired Judges could form part of Trainers. He further highlighted and supported the important of Advocacy campaigns.

These proposals were welcomed by the Chief Justice. In his concluding remarks, the Chief Justice thanked the Commission for taking the initiative to coordinate the meeting. He welcomed the opportunity to share and exchange ideas with Commissioners and expressed his appreciation to the Commission for its work.

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



- See more at: http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/constitution/index.html#sthash.vQme5ODl.dpuf

The South African Constitution

The Commission is available on social media

SAHRC TWITTER.jpg One.jpg @SAHRCommission

Facebook-Icon.jpg SA Human Rights Commission

YOU1.png SAHRC 1


To lodge a human rights violation complaint, click here.

or Call 011 877 3600
e-mail: complaints@sahrc.org.za

Provincial contact details are available here

 



PAIA section 14 Manual.jpg


MEDIA STATEMENTS

SAHRC launches investigation into allegations of racism at University of the Free State
SAHRC finalizing report on complaints against King Goodwill Zwelithini
SAHRC response to ANC petition on racism
International Disability Day – SAHRC calls for employers to do more
SAHRC welcomes Supreme Court judgment on the delivery of textbooks in Limpopo


SAHRC NEWSLETTER

Pfanelo January Edition


Upcoming Events

  • 20 year Anniversary Celebration

 

Report any fraudulent and/or unethical behavior taking place in the Commission anonymously to the SAHRC Tip-offs Line.

FreeCall: 0800 222 365
Email: sahrc@tip-offs.com
FreeFax: 0800 00 77 88
FreePost: KZN 138, Umhlanga Rocks 4320
Website: www.tip-offs.com

Independently managed by the Office of the Public Service Commission.



 

SAHRC Programmes

Since its establishment, the SAHRC has dedicated itself to:
•  Raising awareness;
•  Monitoring and assessment;
•  Education and training
•  Addressing human rights violations

How can the SAHRC help?

The SAHRC promotes, protects and monitors human rights in South Africa. It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implemen-
tation of PAIA.

Calendar

08 March – International Women’s Day
21 March - Human Rights Day
27 April – Freedom day
1 May - Workers day
03 May – World Press Freedom Day

[See more]