Media statement on the assessment of the impact of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal on the South African Law and Jurisprudence
26 Mar 2012On 28 February 2011 the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Jeff Radebe, released a discussion document on the transformation of the Judicial System and the Role of the Judiciary in the Developmental South African State for comments.
In his address to the media, which constitute the Preface to the said discussion document, Minister Radebe advised that the department will engage services of research institution (s) to undertake an assessment on how the decisions of the Constitutional Court advance social transformation and the reconstruction of the South African law in general.
In terms of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court is the highest court on all constitutional matters, while the Supreme Court of Appeal is the highest court of appeal except in constitutional matters.
Since the Constitution places the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court at the pinnacle of South African jurisprudence, it is appropriate that any assessment of the impact of such jurisprudence must be in respect of both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has invited interested research institutions to submit proposals for this important task which not only enable us to take stock of progress made in advancing the values of our Constitution, but will also assist in tackling challenges encountered in our path to the reconstruction of the South African society to ensure that every citizen has equal enjoyment of the fruits of our hard earned democracy.
The terms of reference which outline the scope of the assessment are on the department’s website. Briefly the assessment will entail:
(a) a comprehensive analysis of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal with a view to establishing the extent to which such decisions have contributed to the reform of South African jurisprudence and the South African law to advance the values embodied in the Constitution. This includes an analysis of jurisprudence on socio-economic rights with a view to establishing its impact on eradicating inequality and poverty and enhancing human dignity,
(c) assessment of the capacity of the state within the available resources to realise the outcome envisaged by such court decisions,
(d) assessment of the costs of litigation at the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal and the extent to which such costs impact on access to justice, and
(e) assessment of the speed within which cases are finalised in the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal in order to identify areas and reasons for delays with regard to legislative frameworks, structures or processes involved in adjudicating civil disputes.
The assessment should be completed within 18 months from the date of commencement thereof.
We trust that the assessment will stimulate debates and constructive views on constitutional rights that advance our democracy. The outcome of the conference would be structured towards the development of a comprehensive programme of action to enable each branch of the state to overcome the identified challenges confronting the transformation of society.
Interested institutions who wish to make a meaningful contribution in the advancement of our Constitution and the improvement of the lives of our people are encouraged to submit their proposal to participate in this important exercise in our transformation discourse.
The evaluation of the proposals from the interested parties will be made in accordance with the laws and policies regulating the procurement of services as explained in the tender document in our website.
Cell: 082 333 3880
Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
26 Mar 2012
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