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About us

WHY JUDGES REALLY DO MATTER

Independent, well-resourced judiciaries are the bedrock of the rule of law, fostering well-functioning societies and spurring economic growth. A prosperous, and democratic South Africa demands strong, independent judiciaries to safeguard constitutional principles, uphold the rule of law, and protect human rights. Strong judiciaries foster economic growth and inspire confidence in the legal system.

Yet, for justice to truly serve all, it must be accessible and comprehensible to every citizen. The need for public scrutiny is vital to ensure judicial independence and good governance. Trust in our judiciary is not just a nicety; it’s a fundamental pillar of democracy and social cohesion. Transparency, accountability and efforts to combat corruption and inefficiency are paramount to maintaining this trust.

At Judges Matter, our mission is to bring transparency to South Africa’s judiciary. Through advocacy, research and monitoring, we shine a light on crucial issues of judicial appointments, judicial conduct, and judicial governance.
Join us in empowering citizens with knowledge, fostering accountability, and upholding the principles of justice and fairness. Follow us for updates, analysis, and advocacy efforts aimed at strengthening our judiciary. Together, let’s build a South Africa where justice truly serves all.

Good Judges Make Good Judgments

Throughout the year Judges Matter monitors the judiciary and does research into judicial governance processes and other topics of public interest. This includes; monitoring judicial conduct tribunals, researching the appointment process for acting judges, interrogating the criteria the JSC uses to nominate candidates to the bench, examining the governance of the magistracy, investigating statistics regarding the judiciary, writing thought pieces and more.

While the role of Judges Matter in the public space is constantly evolving, here are some of the activities Judges Matter currently performs to bring transparency to the JSC interviews and awareness of the judiciary to the public:

– Sharing the live streaming the JSC interviews for the public to watch

– Writing profiles on judicial candidates and synopses of their JSC interviews

– Making a video of each JSC candidate’s interview available on YouTube and our website

– Attendance at, and monitoring of the JSC Interviews

– Raising awareness of the JSC appointment process and the judiciary

– Supporting journalists and the media in their monitoring of the judiciary

– Writing of articles and thought pieces about the judiciary and JSC processes

– Further research and investigation into judicial governance processes

 

#JudgesMatter #TransparencyInJustice #SouthAfrica #WhyJudgesMatter

 

Meet the team

Alison Tilley

Alison Tilley is an attorney and the co-ordinator of the Judges Matter campaign. This monitors the JSC appointments process of judges and aims to improve civil society scrutiny of judicial appointments.

She has litigated on access to information and whistle-blowing issues in a number of High Court matters, the Labour Court, and the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal.

Her publications include “The Right to Know, The Right to Live”, edited by Richard Calland and herself, and she contributes to the Daily Maverick. She works on issues surrounding gender based violence, and particularly the roll out of sexual offences courts with the Rape Survivor Justice Campaign.

Zikhona Ndlebe

Zikhona Ndlebe is a Research and Advocacy Officer of the Judges Matter Organisation situated at the DGRU. Judges Matter monitors the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) appointments process of judges and aims to improve civil society scrutiny of judicial appointments.

Zikhona Ndlebe holds an LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and is currently studying towards an LLM specialising in Labour Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa with a High Court Right of Appearance. Subsequent to being admitted as an attorney she practiced as an attorney at one of the prestigious law firms in Cape Town and specialised in Labour and Employment Law. She has represented clients at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and at the various Bargaining Councils. She has appeared at the Labour Court and has been involved in court cases up to the Labour Appeal Court.  Zikhona Ndlebe brings to the Judges Matter Organisation her Labour Law expertise and experience in legal practice.

Mbekezeli Benjamin

Mbekezeli is a Research and Advocacy Officer of the Judges Matter Campaign  at DGRU. Judges Matter aims to improve civil society scrutiny of the South African Judiciary through monitoring the appointment, governance and discipline of judges and magistrates.

Mbekezeli has litigated on issues relating to the right to education, the right to housing, and the right to protest for activists. He has been involved in cases that have come before courts at all levels of the court system, from the Magistrates Courts, up to and including the Constitutional Court. He has also made submissions at international bodies, including UN treaty bodies. He was recently selected as the Global Practitioner-in-Residence at Stanford Law School for the Spring Quarter 2019.

He holds an LLB from Wits University and is currently reading for an LLM at the University of Cape Town.

We hope that this website provides you, our reader with more information about the JSC, the judge interview process and the South African judicial system as a whole.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on email.

Stay up to date on our social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn and X/Twitter.

 

A big thank you to our sponsors:

Millennium Trust - Sponsors of Judges Matter