Office of the Chief Justice(link is external)

By | June 16, 2022

Office of the Chief Justice(link is external)

Office of the Chief Justice(link is external)

Office of the Chief Justice(link is external)

Office of the Chief Justice(link is external)

The President of the Republic of South Africa declared the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) on August 23, 2010, as a newly constituted National Department. The Minister for Public Service and Administration was appointed after the OCJ was declared a national department.


 03.06.2022  OCJ ADVERTS  20.06.2022

OCJ History

  • Starting with the 1909 Constitution, South Africa’s prior Constitutions placed the Union of South Africa’s administration of justice under the jurisdiction of a Minister of State (section 139 of the Union of South Africa Act, 1909). The management of courts was part of the administration of justice. Similarly, the Minister of Justice at the time was charged with administering justice under the 1961 Constitution (section 95 of the 1961 Constitution). The Minister of Justice is also in charge of the administration of justice, according to the 1983 Constitution (section 69 of the 1983 Constitution).
  • In enshrining constitutional supremacy and judicial independence, the 1993 Constitution was a watershed moment in our country’s history. Similarly, the 1996 Constitution places the Republic’s judicial authority in the courts, which are independent and subject exclusively to the Constitution and the law (section 165 of the Constitution).
  • The Republic of South Africa is a single, sovereign, democratic state founded on human dignity, equality, the growth of human rights and freedoms, and constitutional supremacy, according to the Constitution. The State is made up of three branches of government: the Judiciary, the Legislature, and the Executive, each with its own set of authorities, responsibilities, and activities. The separation of powers philosophy is established by the Constitution, which vests legislative autonomy in the Legislature, executive autonomy in the Executive, and judicial authority in the courts. This ideology recognizes the functional independence of government branches, as well as the checks and balances in place to prevent one branch from usurping authority from another. One of the most important aspects of the separation of powers is
  • The courts’ independence is explicitly recognized in the Constitution, which states that the courts’ judicial authority is vested in them and that they are independent, subject solely to the Constitution and the law, which they must apply impartially and without fear, favor, or prejudice.
  • Any person or governmental organ is also prohibited from interfering with the working of the courts under Section 165 of the Constitution. It also requires the state to help and ensure the independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility, and effectiveness of the courts through legislative and other means. The rule of law, which is one of the Constitution’s core foundations, also implies judicial independence.
  • The Chief Justice’s role and functions as Head of the Judiciary and Head of the Constitutional Court have significantly increased over time. The Chief Justice, on the other hand, has lacked an adequate support structure to offer the necessary capability and human resources. As a result, successive Chief Justices’ attention has been diverted from their fundamental judicial powers to the necessity to attend to numerous administrative chores, and they have had to rely heavily on executive help to accomplish this.
  • This generated serious concerns about the judiciary’s independence, prompting Chief Justices to propose the capping of their offices to make it easier for them to carry out their duties and powers. The judiciary also highlighted significant concerns about the court administration structure inherited from the apartheid state, which was heavily centralized and driven by the Executive. The Judiciary and the Executive have been debating these issues and the construction of a court administration system that is consistent with the Constitution and the expanding system of judicial independence anticipated by it.

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