STATUTES ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WHICH HAVE BEEN ENACTED SINCE 27 APRIL 1994
Since 27 April 1994, the Department of Justice has promoted 65 Bills, which have been enacted by Parliament, more than any other State Department. In 1994 it promoted five Bills, in 1995 twelve Bills were passed, sixteen were passed in 1996 and in 1997 sixteen Bills were approved. During 1998 sixteen Bills have been enacted. This is an average of about 13 Bills per year. The following are the statutes that have been placed on the Statute Book since 1994 and which have a bearing on the line functions of the Department:
1. JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION ACT, 1994 (ACT 9 OF 1994)
The Act emanates from section 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993 (Act 200 of 1993)("the previous Constitution"), which provides for the establishment of a Judicial Service Commission. The Act provides for matters incidental to the establishment of the Commission in order to create a framework within which the Commission may perform its functions.
2. JUDGES’ REMUNERATION AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT ACT, 1994 (ACT 10 OF 1994)
The Act emanates from Chapter 7 of the previous Constitution, which provides for the establishment of a Constitutional Court and the appointment of judges of that Court. The Act complements the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 1989 (Act 88 of 1989), by providing, firstly, for the remuneration and conditions of employment of
judges of the Constitutional Court and, secondly, by amending the provisions which regulate the conditions of employment of judges of the High Court who are appointed as constitutional judges.
3. PUBLIC PROTECTOR ACT, 1994 (ACT 23 OF 1994)
The Act arises from the provisions of Chapter 8 of the previous Constitution, in terms of which the office of Public Protector is established. The previous Constitution envisaged an Act of Parliament which prescribes the remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment of the Public Protector, determines the immunities, privileges, powers and functions of the Public Protector and his of her staff and regulates the appointment of such staff and incidental matters.
4. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ACT, 1994 (ACT 54 OF 1994)
The Act emanates from sections 115 to 118 of the previous Constitution and amongst others, provides for the establishment, appointment of members, powers, functions, staff and reports of the Human Rights Commission. The objects of the Commission can be summarised as the protection and promotion of fundamental rights.
5. ADMISSION OF ADVOCATES AMENDMENT ACT, 1994 (ACT 55 OF 1994)
The object of this Amendment Act was to abolish the statutory requirement in section 3 of the Act relating to Latin.
6. RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS AND PRACTICE AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 10 OF 1995)
The principal Act provides that, in certain circumstances, exiles returning from abroad with foreign legal qualifications can be exempted from certain requirements in terms of the Admission of Advocates Act, 1964, and the Attorneys Act, 1979 (Act 53 of 1979). The Amendment Act extends the Principal Act to include, for example, spouses and children of these exiles.
7. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT COMPLEMENTARY ACT, 1995 (ACT 13 OF 1995)
The Constitutional Court Complementary Act, 1995, contains various administrative provisions relating to the functioning of the Constitutional Court.
8. INSOLVENCY AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 32 OF 1995)
The Insolvency Amendment Act, 1995, emanates from a report of the South African Law Commission and is aimed at protecting the financial markets in the event of the insolvency of participants in the market.
9. ADMISSION OF LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 33 OF 1995)
The Admission of Legal Practitioners Amendment Act, 1995, abolished the statutory requirements in respect of English and Afrikaans.
10. PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION ACT, 1995 (ACT 34 OF 1995)
The Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995, arises from the postamble of the previous Constitution and provides among others for the establishment and appointment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
11. INVESTIGATION OF SERIOUS ECONOMIC OFFENCES AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 46 OF 1995)
The Act 1995 amended section 6 of the Principal Act to bring its investigation, search and seizure provisions in line with the previous Constitution.
12. RIGHT OF APPEARANCE IN THE COURTS ACT, 1995 (ACT 62 OF 1995)
The Act provides by way of legislation for the appearance of legal practitioners in the courts and allows attorneys in certain circumstances to appear in the High Court.
13. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE SECOND AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 75 OF 1995)
The Amendment Act emanates from a report of the South African Law Commission following an in-depth investigation by it on the law of bail in South Africa. The provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977), relating to bail were amended, among others, to bring them in line with Chapter 3 of the previous Constitution and to make improvements on existing provisions in this regard.
14. INTERCEPTION AND MONITORING PROHIBITION AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 77 OF 1995)
The Principal Act provides that only judges discharged from active service could be designated to authorise the interception of articles and to monitor conversations in terms of the principal Act. Because of problems in practice, namely that it was not always possible to find "retired" judges to carry out this function, the definition of "judge" was extended to include judges still in active service.
15. JUDICIAL MATTERS AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 85 OF 1995)
The Amendment Act provides for the inclusion of all magistrates, including magistrates in the former territories, under the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act 90 of 1993).
16. STATE OF EMERGENCY ACT, 1995 (ACT 86 OF 1995)
The State of Emergency Act, 1995, emanates from Chapter 3 of the previous Constitution and provides for the procedures to be followed regarding the declaration of a state of emergency.
17. PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION AMENDMENT ACT, 1995 (ACT 87 OF 1995)
This Amendment Act makes provision for certain technical amendments and improvements to the English and Afrikaans texts of the principal Act.
18. JUSTICE LAWS RATIONALISATION ACT, 1996 (ACT 18 OF 1996)
The Justice Laws Rationalisation Act, 1996, provides for uniform laws regarding judicial matters throughout the Republic of South Africa (by making the laws regarding judicial matters which were in force in the area of the former Republic of South Africa, applicable throughout the national territory, and by repeating laws regarding judicial matters which were in force in the former TBVC states and self-governing territories.)
19. NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION ACT, 1996 (ACT 19 OF 1996)
The National Youth Commission Act, 1996, makes provision for a framework within which a National Youth Commission can function. The principal objects of the National Youth Commission are to generate a national plan that utilises available resources and expertise for the development of the youth and to assist in the creation and implementation of a national youth policy.
20. LEGAL AID AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 20 OF 1996)
The powers and objects of the Legal Aid Board were extended in the Amendment Act as contemplated in section 25 of the previous Constitution, to enable the Board to provide legal representation at State expense for accused persons in deserving cases. Provision was also made for the restructuring of the Legal Aid Board. Since the Legal Aid Act, 1969 (Act 22 of 1969), is applicable only in the territory of the former RSA, the Act also extended the application to the former TBVC states and self-governing territories.
21. MAGISTRATES AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 35 OF 1996)
In the Amendment Act provision was, among others, made for the recomposition of the Magistrates Commission to enable the Minister to make it more representative of the composition of the South African population.
22. COMMISSION ON GENDER EQUALITY ACT, 1996 (ACT 39 OF 1996)
Section 119 of the previous Constitution provided for the establishment of a Commission on Gender Equality. In terms of section 120 of the Constitution, an Act of Parliament shall provide for the composition, powers, functions and functioning of the Commission as Gender Equality.
23. GENERAL LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 49 OF 1996)
As a result of Namibia's independence and the change of name, it was necessary to substitute or delete all references to "South West Africa" in South African legislation. The General Law Amendment Act gave effect hereto.
24. HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE CIVIL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION ACT, 1996 (ACT 72 OF 1996)
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("the Convention") was concluded on 25 October 1980. The objects of the Convention, as set out in Article 1 thereof, are-
"(a) to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State; and
(b) to ensure that rights of custody and access under the law of one Contracting State are respected in the other Contracting States".
The Act provides that the Convention will apply in South Africa as part of its domestic law. It also designates the Chief Family Advocate as South Africa's Central Authority for the purposes of the Convention and empowers the Chief Family Advocate to delegate or assign certain powers and duties to any Family Advocate. It empowers the Minister of Justice to make regulations to give effect to the Convention, including the power to prescribe penalties for the contravention of any regulation.
25. SPECIAL INVESTIGATING UNITS AND SPECIAL TRIBUNALS ACT, 1996 (ACT 74 OF 1996)
The principal object of this Act is to provide a mechanism through which allegations of serious corruption, maladministration or misappropriation of state funds and assets can be comprehensively and swiftly investigated, and at the same time, through which remedial steps, which would ordinarily have to be pursued through the courts of law, can be taken expeditiously and cost-effectively.
26. INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS ACT, 1996 (ACT 75 OF 1996)
27. PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT, 1996 (ACT 76 OF 1996)
28. EXTRADITION AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 77 OF 1996)
The South African Law Commission, in its report "International Co-operation in Criminal Prosecutions", undertook a comprehensive study regarding the issue of international co-operation in criminal prosecutions. The report is divided into five topics namely-
(i) obtaining evidence from foreign states;
(ii) supplying evidence to foreign states;
(iii) transferring the proceeds of crime;
(iv) the execution of foreign penal orders and sentences; and
The above-mentioned three Acts gave effect to the Law Commission's recommendations regarding the above-mentioned topics.
29. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE SECOND AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 85 OF 1996)
The Act emanates from the South African Law Commission's report on the Application of the Trapping System. The report deals with the application of the trapping system in South Africa, that is whether there is justification and a need for the use of such a system as a method of investigation, whether there is sufficient control over its use and how it fits in with a human rights dispensation.
30. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 86 OF 1996)
This Act emanates from an investigation by the South African Law Commission into the simplification of the South African criminal procedure. In its investigation, which was primarily aimed at the elimination of delays in the finalisation of criminal trials, the Commission focussed mainly on the reasons for such delays, abuses of the criminal process, specific provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, which cause delays, cumbrous procedures which cause delays and problems surrounding the administration of the process. The Act envisages addressing these and other problem areas which were identified by the Commission.
31. ABOLITION OF THE RESTRICTION ON THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS ACT, 1996 (ACT 88 OF 1996)
Section 22 of the previous Constitution provided that every person shall have the right to have justiciable disputes settled by a court of law or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial forum. It is therefore not admissible under a human rights dispensation for the Legislature to restrict the accessibility to the courts by individuals or to place restrictions on the courts in the settling of disputes. The Act, which amends numerous diverse Acts of Parliament, envisages removing those provisions which limit the jurisdiction of our courts in any way.
32. DIVORCE AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 95 OF 1996)
This Act emanates from the South African Law Commission's report on Jewish Divorces and addresses problems which were identified by the South African Law Commission in this regard, namely a spouse’s unreasonable refusal to grant a religious divorce after a civil divorce has been granted when it is in that spouse’s power to do so.
33. JUDICIAL MATTERS AMENDMENT ACT, 1996 (ACT 104 OF 1996)
The amendments are mainly aimed at the deletion or rectification of certain obsolete provisions. The Act, however, also contains certain provisions which are of a more substantial nature, for example, provision is made for-
* the abolition of the Regional Magistrates' Appointments Advisory Board which has become redundant since the establishment of the Magistrates Commission in terms of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act 90 of 1993);
* the service of maintenance orders by sheriffs or by registered mail;
* the acceptance of a duplicate original will by the Master of the High Court;
* the payment of an allowance to attorneys who are appointed as acting judges;
* the empowerment of the Director of the Office for Serious Economic Offences to hold a preparatory examination in order to enable him or her to determine if there are reasonable grounds to conduct an investigation in terms of section 5(1)(a) of the Investigation of Serious Economic Offences Act, 1991 (Act 117 of 1991);
* the empowerment of Attorneys-General to delegate certain of their powers to the Director of the Office for Serious Economic Offences;
* the empowerment of Attorneys-General to delegate attorneys with the authority to conduct, on behalf of the State, any prosecution in criminal proceedings in any court or to prosecute in any court on behalf of the State any appeal arising from criminal proceedings.
34. PRESCRIBED RATE OF INTEREST AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 7 OF 1997)
The Act makes provision for the payment of interest on unliquidated debts.
35. PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 18 OF 1997)
The Act provides for an increase in the number of members of the Committee on Amnesty.
36. ABOLITION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 33 OF 1997)
This Act gives effect to the Constitutional Court’s judgement that corporal punishment as a sentence option is in conflict with the Constitution, by repealing or amending all statutory provisions in terms of which corporal punishment could be imposed by the courts.
37. STATE OR EMERGENCY ACT, 1997, (ACT 64 OF 1997)
This Act gives effect to section 37(1) of the new Constitution and provides for the declaration of state of emergency as contemplated by the Constitution.
38. DIVORCE COURTS AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 65 OF 1997)
This Act provides for the de-racialisation of the Black Divorce Courts.
39. CONTINGENCY FEES ACT, 1997 (ACT 66 OF 1997)
This Act emanates from the report of the South African Law Commission on Speculative and Contingency Fees. The main object of the Act is to provide for the removal of the common law prohibition on contingency fee agreements and it allows the payment of contingency fees in respect of proceedings in courts of law, in tribunals that have similar
powers to courts of law and in arbitration proceedings. The payment of contingency fees is not allowed in criminal or family law proceedings.
40. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 76 OF 1997)
This Act gives effect to the Constitutional Court’s decision in the case of S v Ntuli in respect of criminal appeals from the lower courts. All appeals from the lower courts are now the subject of leave to appeal to the trial court, failing which a petition can be addressed to the appeal court, that is the High Court having jurisdiction. (There are no more "Judges Certificates" issued by judges in chambers in respect of appeals from lower courts by appellants who are in prison).
41. JUDGES’ REMUNERATION AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 77 OF 1997)
The Act provides for the payment of a non-taxable allowance to constitutional judges, for the allowance payable to a "High Court" constitutional judge to form part of his or her salary, for increased benefits for a judge discharged from active service who has performed 20 years’ active service, for a judge aged 75 years or older to voluntarily perform further service if so requested, and for the gratuity payable to the surviving spouse of a constitutional judge to be paid to his or her estate if he or she is not survived by such a spouse.
42. QUALIFICATION OF LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AMENDMENT ACT, 1997, (ACT 78 OF 1997)
This Act provides for the establishment of a uniform 4 year LLB degree.
43. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT COMPLEMENTARY ACT AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 79 OF 1997)
This Amendment Act provides for the referral of an order of constitutional invalidity in respect of legislation to the Constitutional Court and empowers the President of the Constitutional Court, in consultation with the Chief Justice, to make rules prescribing the
manner in which the Constitutional Court may be engaged regarding all matters in respect of which the Court has jurisdiction.
44. MAGISTRATES’ COURTS SECOND AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 80 OF 1997)
This Act amended section 110 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944, so as to bring it in line with section 170 of the Constitution.
45. MAGISTRATES’ COURTS AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 81 OF 1997)
This Act originally emanates from the South African Law Commission’s report on the Simplification of the Debt-Recovery Procedure. In its original form, the major part of the Act consisted of comprehensive new debt-recovery provisions. During the parliamentary process it was suggested that a substantial part of the legislation be referred back to the Law Commission for further consideration. The most important feature of the legislation is the introduction of new provisions which are aimed at ensuring that a debtor is compelled to attend court proceedings. Its also gives effect to the Constitutional Court’s judgment that imprisonment in respect of debt is unconstitutional.
46. PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION SECOND AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 84 OF 1997)
This Act further regulates the composition of the Committee on Amnesty and extends the period within which the Commission must complete its work.
47. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE SECOND AMENDMENT ACT, 1997 (ACT 85 OF 1997)
This Act further regulates the provisions in the Criminal procedure Act, 1977, relating to bail, for instance, that bail applications may only be heard during court hours since bail applications outside court hours often give rise to numerous problems, that bail applications in respect of serious offences may only be heard in the Regional Court, unless such a Court is not available, that bail can be refused if this will be in the interests of justice, where there is a likelihood that the release of the accused person will disturb the
public order or undermine public peace or security, that a court can detain an accused person charged with certain serious offences unless the accused person satisfies the court that exceptional circumstances exist which justify his or her release.
48. NATURAL FATHERS OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK ACT, 1997 (ACT 86 OF 1997)
This Act gives the father of a child born out of wedlock the express and unambiguous right to approach a court for relief in regard to access to and to custody and guardianship of his child. The court will only grant such relief if it is in the best interests of the child to do so. The Act also requires the father of a child born out of wedlock to be informed of any impending adoption proceedings of his child.
49. CRIMINAL LAW AMENDMENT BILL, 1997 (ACT 105 OF 1997)
This Act gives effect to the decision of the Constitutional Court in respect of the death penalty and provides for the imposition of minimum sentences in respect of certain serious offences.
50. NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY ACT, 1998 (ACT 32 OF 1998)
The Act makes provision for the establishing of a National Prosecuting Authority in accordance with the provisions of section 179 of the Constitution. Provision is made, among others, for the appointment of a National Director of Public Prosecutions and Directors of Public Prosecutions, and for their conditions of employment and those of public prosecutors.
51. PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 33 OF 1998)
This Act amends the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995, so as to further regulate the constitution of the Committee on Amnesty, to provide for the suspension of the activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission pending the completion of its work by the Committee on Amnesty and to further regulate the consequences of the dissolution of the Commission.
52. JUDICIAL MATTERS AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 34 OF 1998)
This Act, inter alia, amends the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, so as to provide that an accused may in certain circumstances be sentenced by a judge other than the judge who convicted him or her; the Criminal Law Second Amendment Act, 1992, in order to prohibit certain military acts and paramilitary or similar operations; the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act, 1992, to make provision in connection with the issue and execution of directions; the Recognition of Foreign Legal Qualifications and Practice Act, 1993, to make provision in connection with the duration of the Act. This Act also effected textual improvements to the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, the Justice Laws Rationalisation Act,1996, the Proceeds of Crime Act, 1996, the Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act, 1997, and to amend the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997, so as to further regulate the setting aside of sentences of death.
53. MAGISTRATES AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 66 of 1998)
The object of this Act is to make provision for the implementation of the cluster system of court management, to regulate the administrative powers of magistrates and to make provision for penalties in respect of regulations pertaining to the attendance of disciplinary hearings of magistrates.
54. MAGISTRATES’ COURTS AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 67 of 1998)
This Act regulates the appointment of lay assessors in criminal trials in the magistrates’ courts, so as to increase community involvement in the administration of justice. The Act also addresses some practical problems regarding the involvement of assessors, such as the recusal or non-availability of assessors before a matter is finalised.
55. CRIMINAL MATTERS AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 68 of 1998)
This Act deals with the declaration and detention of persons as State patients in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, and the release of such persons in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973, including the onus of proof regarding the mental condition of an accused or convicted person.
56. SHERIFFS AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 74 of 1998)
This Act provides for the rationalisation of the legislation which regulates the sheriff’s profession. It also repealed the legislation of the former TBVC states as far as these functionaries are concerned.
57. MAINTENANCE ACT, 1998 (ACT 99 of 1998)
This Act, which repeals the Maintenance Act, 1963, heralds the start of a reform process as far as maintenance is concerned. It is seen as an interim measure, pending the implementation of the South African Law Commission’s recommendations once the Commission has finalised its comprehensive investigation into the review of the maintenance system. The Act is intended to bring about a number of improvements to the maintenance system, eg by the appointment of maintenance investigators to assist maintenance officers, by the setting out of core statutory guidelines relating to the duty of support of parents in respect of their children, by enabling maintenance courts to make maintenance orders in the absence of the respondent in appropriate cases and by extending the circumstances in which a maintenance court can order the payment of maintenance to be made on behalf of respondents.
58. WITNESS PROTECTION AND SERVICES ACT, 1998 (ACT 112 of 1998)
The object of this Act is to provide for the protection of witnesses through the institution of witness protection programmes which will be administered by a central Office for Witness Protection.
59. PUBLIC PROTECTOR AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 113 of 1998)
The aim of this Act is to bring the Public Protector Act, 1994, into line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and to make provision for the appointment of a deputy Public Protector.
60. DEBT COLLECTORS ACT, 1998 (ACT 114 of 1998)
The object of this Act is to make provision for the establishment of a Council for Debt Collectors to exercise control over the occupation of debt collector. Debt collectors will have to register at the Council before they are allowed to engage in the occupation of debt collecting and will be subject to a strict disciplinary and ethical code.
61. ATTORNEYS AND MATTERS RELATING TO RULES OF COURT AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 115 of 1998)
This Act extends the application of the Attorney’s Fidelity Fund to the areas of the former Republics of Bophuthatswana and Venda, and provides for the extension of the Rules of the former Supreme Court of South Africa to the former TBVC states.
62. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 1998 (ACT 116 of 1998)
The above-mentioned Act will, upon commencement, replace the Prevention of Family Violence Act, 1993. The Act comprises a substantial broadening of the limited scope of the 1993 - Act, and recognises that domestic violence is a serious social evil and an obstacle to achieving gender equality. The Act offers protection to any victim of domestic violence who is in a domestic relationship with an abuser. A broad definition has been given to "domestic violence", so as to include any form of abuse and not only physical abuse. The Act places a duty on a member of the Police Service to inform a victim of his or her rights at the scene of the incident of domestic violence. Provision is also made for the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service to issue national guidelines which must be observed when dealing with domestic violence, and failure to comply with these guidelines will result in disciplinary proceedings against the member concerned.
63. RECOGNITION OF CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES ACT, 1998 (ACT 120 of 1998)
The main object of this Bill is to extend full legal recognition to marriages entered into in accordance with customary law or traditional rites. The Bill also improves the position of women and children within these marriages by introducing measures which bring customary law in line with the Constitution and South Africa’s international obligations. The Bill lays the foundation for a uniform code of marriage law that will be applicable to all South Africans. The principles laid down in the Bill, eg consent and minimum ages for spouses, community of profit property and judicial regulation of divorce in a system of family courts are intended to provide a uniform national framework receptive to all marriages. The Bill removes elements of discrimination against the customary legal tradition and thereby gives expression to 2 constitutional principles, namely the right to systems of family law based on any tradition or religion and the right to cultural pluralism. In the final instance the Bill strives to reconcile the preservation of culture and traditions with the competing claims posed by the constitutional requirement to establish norms of equal treatment and non-discrimination.
64. PREVENTION OF ORGANISED CRIME ACT, 1998 (ACT 121 of 1998)
This Bill is aimed at giving the police and prosecutors new powers to help them deal effectively with organised crime. The Bill, amongst others, creates a new offence of participating in the affairs of any criminal organisation. It also allows the State to seize assets used to commit crimes or which are the proceeds of crime through a civil action and it criminalises certain activities of street gangs, such as the recruitment of members.
65. JUDICIAL MATTERS SECOND AMENDMENT ACT, 1998 (ACT 122 of 1998)
This Bill amends various laws to, inter alia—
* further regulate the jurisdiction of the High Courts in respect of persons and matters;
* provide for the centralisation of trials in respect of certain offences;
* further regulate the vacation of office by a magistrate; and
* to bring the provisions regarding the use of force in effecting an arrest into line with the Constitution.
SYNOPSIS OF DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME SINCE 1994
The Department’s Legislative Programme since 1994 has been dominated by three main themes, namely legislation to give effect to the spirit of the new constitutional dispensation in someway or another (transformation) (41 Bills out of 65: 63% of the legislation passed in the last 5 years), legislation to address the crime problem prevailing in the country (16 Bills out of 65: 24% of the legislation passed in the last 5 years) and legal reform (8 Bills out of 65: 12% of the legislation passed in the last 5 years). An attempt is made hereunder to categorise the above legislation into these 3 themes. Some of the legislation deals with transformation as well as with crime, but for purposes hereof each statute is only mentioned once.
1. Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 (Act 9 of 1994)
2. Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, 1994 (Act 10 of 1994)
3. Public Protector Act, 1994 (Act 23 of 1994)
4. Human Rights Commission Act, 1994 (Act 54 of 1994)
5. Admission of Advocates Amendment Act, 1994 (Act 55 of 1994)
6. Recognition of Foreign Legal Qualifications and Practice Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 10 of 1995)
7. Constitutional Court Complementary Act, 1995 (Act 13 of 1995)
8. Admission of Legal Practitioners Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 33 of 1995)
9. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995 (Act 34 of 1995)
10. Investigation of Serious Economic Offences Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 46 of 1995)
11. Right of Appearance in the Courts Act, 1995 (Act 62 of 1995)
12. Judicial Matters Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 85 of 1995)
13. State of Emergency Act, 1995 (Act 86 of 1995)
14. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 87 of 1995)
15. Justice Laws Rationalisation Act, 1996 (Act 18 of 1996)
16. National Youth Commission Act, 1996 (Act 19 of 1996)
17. Legal Aid Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 20 of 1996)
18. Magistrates Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 35 of 1996)
19. Commission on Gender Equality Act, 1996 (Act 39 of 1996)
20. General Law Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 49 of 1996)
21. Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Act, 1996 (Act 72 of 1996)
22. Abolition of the Restriction on the Jurisdiction of the Courts Act, 1996 (Act 88 of 1996)
23. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 18 of 1997)
24. Abolition of Corporal Punishment Act, 1997 (Act 33 of 1997)
25. State of Emergency Act, 1997, (Act 64 of 1997)
26. Divorce Courts Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 65 of 1997)
27. Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 76 of 1997)
28. Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 77 of 1997)
29. Qualification of Legal Practitioners Amendment Act, 1997, (Act 78 of 1997)
30. Constitutional Court Complementary Act Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 79 of 1997)
31. Magistrates’ Courts Second Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 80 of 1997)
32. Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 81 of 1997)
33. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Second Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 84 of 1997)
34. Natural Fathers of Children Born Out of Wedlock Act, 1997 (Act 86 of 1997)
35. National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 (Act 32 of 1998)
36. Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 33 of 1998)
37. Magistrates Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 66 of 1998)
38. Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 67 of 1998)
39. Sheriffs Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 74 of 1998)
40. Public Protector Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 113 of 1998)
41. Attorneys and Matters relating to Rules of Court Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 115 of 1998)
1. Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 75 of 1995)
2. Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act 74 of 1996)
3. International Co-operation in Criminal Matters Act, 1996 (Act 75 of 1996)
4. Proceeds of Crime Act, 1996 (Act 76 of 1996)
5. Extradition Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 77 of 1996)
6. Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 85 of 1996)
7. Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 86 of 1996)
8. Judicial Matters Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 104 of 1996)
9. Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 85 of 1997)
10. Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 105 of 1997)
11. Judicial Matters Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 34 of 1998)
12. Criminal Matters Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 68 of 1998)
13. Witness Protection and Services Act, 1998 (Act 112 of 1998)
14. Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (Act 116 of 1998)
15. Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 1998 (Act 121 of 1998)
16. Judicial Matters Second Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 122 of 1998)
1. Insolvency Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 32 of 1995)
2. Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Amendment Act, 1995 (Act 77 of 1995)
3. Divorce Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 95 of 1996)
4. Prescribed Rate of Interest Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 7 of 1997)
5. Contingency Fees Act, 1997 (Act 66 of 1997)
6. Maintenance Act, 1998 (Act 99 of 1998)
7. Debt Collectors Act, 1998 (Act 114 of 1998)
8. Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998 (Act 120 of 1998)