Judicial Service Commission

The Helen Suzman Foundation’s litigation in respect of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) sought transparency in the process by which judges are selected. The catalyst for the litigation was a 2012 decision by the JSC to recommend certain candidates to be appointed as judges in the Western Cape Division of the High Court. The effect of the decision was to overlook certain well qualified candidates. This caused the HSF to launch a review of the 2012 decision.

However, the JSC was determined to keep secret its deliberations about the decision, effectively blocking the HSF’s review. What ensued was a six-year long court battle, in which the HSF sought, successfully in the end, to compel the JSC to release its private deliberations. The HSF’s successful litigation in this matter has laid the foundations for a transparent judicial selection process going forward.

Helen Suzman Foundation v Judicial Service Commission [2014] ZAWCHC 136
Author: Karel
Published: 05 Sep 2014
In October 2012, the JSC decided to advise the President of South Africa to appoint certain candidates as judges in the Western Cape Division of the High Court. The JSC’s advice had the effect of excluding certain well-qualified candidates from that office.
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