MEMORANDUM ON THE OBJECTS OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION AMENDMENT BILL, 2007
The Bill emanates from the Judicial Officers Amendment Bill [B 72—2001], that was introduced into Parliament in 2001. It constitutes a redraft, by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development (National Assembly), in terms of National Assembly Rule 249(2)(g), of those various provisions originally proposed in the Judicial Officers Amendment Bill [B 72─2001] pertaining to judicial conduct and complaints about judges.
2. OBJECTS OF BILL
The principal objects of the Bill are to amend the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 (Act No. 9 of 1994)—
(a) so as to establish a Judicial Conduct Committee to receive and deal with complaints about judges;
(b) to provide that a judge may not hold any other office of profit or receive payment for any service that is not payable to him or her in his or her capacity as a judge, subject to certain exceptions;
(c) to provide for a Code of Judicial Conduct which serves as the prevailing standard of judicial conduct which judges must adhere to;
(d) to provide for the establishment and maintenance of a register of judges’ registrable interests;
(e) to provide for procedures for dealing with complaints about judges;
(f) to provide for the establishment of Judicial Conduct Tribunals to inquire into and report on allegations of incapacity, gross incompetence or gross misconduct against judges; and
(g) to provide for matters connected therewith.
The Portfolio Committee has been engaged with the redrafting of the Bill for a considerable period and an earlier version thereof formed part of a package of legislation on the transformation of the judiciary that was discussed at the Colloquium hosted by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development during 2005. Following further consultation with role-players, certain changes were effected to the Bill whereupon the Portfolio Committee resumed its formal deliberations on a revised version of the Bill during 2007. The Portfolio Committee invited public comment on the Bill and held public hearings, during which a number of interested parties made submissions to the Portfolio Committee.
4. IMPLICATIONS FOR PROVINCES
Financial implication should result from the administrative infrastructure that needs to be developed in respect of the Judicial Service Commission and the Registrar of Judges' Registrable Interests. Such implications will be dealt with in the Department's allocated budgetary framework.
6. PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
Judicial Officers Amendment Bill [B 72—2001] was classified as a Bill that must
be dealt with in terms of section 75 of the Constitution of the