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

Chapter 8 : Courts and Administration of Justice

167. Constitutional Court


(1) The Constitutional Court consists of Chief Justice of South Africa, the Deputy Chief Justice and nine other judges.


(2) A matter before the Constitutional Court must be heard by at least eight judges.


(3) The Constitutional Court—
(a) is the highest court of the Republic; and
(b) may decide—
(i) constitutional matters; and
(ii) any other matter, if the Constitutional Court grants leave to appeal on the grounds that the matter raises an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by that Court; and
(c) makes the final decision whether a matter is within its jurisdiction.

[Section 167(3) substituted by section 3(a) of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, 2012 (Act No. 72 of 2013)]


(4) Only the Constitutional Court may—
(a) decide disputes between organs of state in the national or provincial sphere concerning the constitutional status, powers or functions of any of those organs of state;
(b) decide on the constitutionality of any parliamentary or provincial Bill, but may do so only in the circumstances anticipated in section 79 or 121;
(c) decide applications envisaged in section 80 or 122;
(d) decide on the constitutionality of any amendment to the Constitution;
(e) decide that Parliament or the President has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation; or
(f) certify a provincial constitution in terms of section 144.


(5) The Constitutional Court makes the final decision whether an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or conduct of the President is constitutional, and must confirm any order of invalidity made by the Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court of South Africa, or a court of similar status, before that order has any force.

[Section 167(5) substituted by section 3(b) of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, 2012 (Act No. 72 of 2013)]


(6) National legislation or the rules of the Constitutional Court must allow a person, when it is in the interests of justice and with leave of the Constitutional Court—
(a) to bring a matter directly to the Constitutional Court; or
(b) to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court from any other court.


(7) A constitutional matter includes any issue involving the interpretation, protection or enforcement of the Constitution.