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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)


Regulations relating to Children's Courts and International Child Abduction, 2010

Chapter III : Children's Courts

Part 2 : Investigations, Conferences and Forums

12. Pre-hearing conferences


(1) If a court has ordered that a pre-hearing conference as provided for in section 69 of the Act must be held, the court—
(a) must direct who must attend the pre-hearing conference;
(b) must direct who will chair the pre-hearing conference; and
(c) may, if necessary, direct that a court interpreter must attend the pre-hearing conference.


(2) The clerk must, within three days after an order referred to in subregulation (1) is made—
(a) assign a date for the pre-hearing conference, which must be within 10 days after the order  was made; and
(b) notify the parties involved on a form which corresponds substantially with Form 3 of the Annexure,  of  the  date,  place and  time of  the pre-hearing conference, and keep record of how the parties were notified.


(3) At a pre-hearing conference the chairperson of the pre-hearing conference must—
(a) give directions in respect of the conduct of the proceedings as he or she deems fit; and
(b) if a party is unrepresented, inform him or her of his or her right to be represented at his or her own expense by a legal representative of his or her own choice and if he or she cannot afford legal representation, that he or she may apply for  legal aid, and of the institutions which he or she may approach for legal assistance.


(4) The chairperson of a pre-hearing conference must, within five days after the conclusion of the pre-hearing conference, submit to the court a full written report of the pre-hearing conference, containing—
(a) any agreement reached between the parties;
(b) any settlement reached between the parties;
(c) any matters to be dealt with by the court; and
(d) any other matter the chairperson deems necessary.


(5) If a party fails to attend a pre-hearing conference without any good cause, after having been notified thereof as provided for in subregulation (2)(b), the chairperson of the pre-hearing conference may—
(a) proceed with the pre-hearing conference in the absence of that party;
(b) postpone the pre-hearing conference if that party is likely to make a valuable contribution regarding the best interests of the child in question; or
(c) refer the matter back to the court for a hearing.