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What is a Judicial Conduct Tribunal?

When the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) receives a complaint regarding a judge that it considers serious it will form a Judicial Conduct Committee to assess the complaint. If the Judicial Conduct Committee finds that the complaint requires further investigation it will recommend to the JSC that a Judicial Conduct Tribunal is established in order to properly deal with the matter.

JUDICIAL CONDUCT TRIBUNAL

A tribunal comprises two judges and a non−judicial member taken from a list approved by the Chief Justice (and with the Justice Minister’s approval). The tribunal enquires into the allegations and submits a report of its findings to the JSC. The respondent is entitled to attend the tribunal‘s hearing and to have legal representation.

For more details on this procedure you can read the rules made in terms of Section 25(1) of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 (Act No.9 of 1994), to regulate procedures before Judicial Conduct Tribunals.

Judicial Conduct Tribunals are meant to form part of the ongoing development of the system of holding judges accountable, not just through their judgments being appealed, but through their conduct being held up to scrutiny by their peers.

CAN THE PUBLIC ATTEND THE TRIBUNAL?

Tribunals are generally closed to the public, although the Tribunal President may determine that all or part of the hearing can take place in public. The Judicial Conduct Tribunal for Judge Motata was open to the media.

To make a request to attend a Tribunal one can contact Mr Sello Chiloane, the Secretariat of the JSC on (010) 493 2687 or (010) 493 2633 or email; Chiloane@concourt.org.za