Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996)

Chapter 8 - Courts and Administration of Justice

178. Judicial Service Commission

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1)There is a Judicial Service Commission consisting of :

a)the Chief Justice, who presides at meetings of the Commission;

b)the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal;

c)one Judge President designated by the Judges President;

d)the Cabinet member responsible for the administration of justice, or an alternate designated by that Cabinet member;

e)two practicing advocates nominated from within the advocates' profession to represent the profession as a whole, and appointed by the President;

f)two practicing attorneys nominated from within the attorneys' profession to represent the profession as a whole, and appointed by the President;

g)one teacher of law designated by teachers of law at South African universities;

h)six persons designated by the National Assembly from among its members, at least three of whom must be members of opposition parties represented in the Assembly;

i)four permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces designated together by the Council with a supporting vote of at least six provinces;

j)four persons designated by the President as head of the national executive, after consulting the leaders of all the parties in the National Assembly; and

k)when considering matters relating to a specific Division of the High Court of South Africa, the Judge President of that Division and the Premier of the province concerned, or an alternate designated by each of them.

[Paragraph (k) amended by section 10 of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, 2012 (Act No. 72 of 2013)]

 

2)If the number of persons nominated from within the advocates' or attorneys' profession in terms of subsection (1)(e) or (f) equals the number of vacancies to be filled, the President must appoint them. If the number of persons nominated exceeds the number of vacancies to be filled, the President, after consulting the relevant profession, must appoint sufficient of the nominees to fill the vacancies, taking into account the need to ensure that those appointed represent the profession as a whole.

 

3)Members of the Commission designated by the National Council of Provinces serve until they are replaced together, or until any vacancy occurs in their number. Other members who were designated or nominated to the Commission serve until they are replaced by those who designated or nominated them.

 

4)The Judicial Service Commission has the powers and functions assigned to it in the Constitution and national legislation.

 

5)The Judicial Service Commission may advise the national government on any matter relating to the judiciary or the administration of justice, but when it considers any matter except the appointment of a judge, it must sit without the members designated in terms of subsection (1) (h) and (i).

 

6)The Judicial Service Commission may determine its own procedure, but decisions of the Commission must be supported by a majority of its members.

 

7)If the Chief Justice or the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to serve on the Commission, the Deputy Chief Justice or the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, as the case may be, acts as his or her alternate on the Commission.