Judicial Service Commission (JSC)
|Postal||Private Bag X1, Constitutional Hill, Braamfontein, 2017|
|Physical||1 Hospital Street, The Constitutional Court, Constitutional Hill, Braamfontein, Johannesburg|
|Tel||011 838 2010/9|
OverviewThe Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is a constitutional body established in terms of section 178 of the Constitution read with the Judicial Service Commission Act 9 of 1994. The primary functions of the Commission are to: interview candidates for judicial positions and make recommendations for appointment to the bench; deal with complaints brought against the Judges; manage the Register of Judges’ Registrable interests; and advise national government on matters relating to the Judiciary.
When the JSC interviews candidates for judicial appointment, all the 23 members of the JSC, as well as the respective Premiers and Judges President of the respective Divisions of the High Court where the candidates have been nominated, participate in the interviews. All interviews for judicial appointment are conducted in public. Following the conclusion of the interviews, the recommendations are sent to the President, who then appoints the recommended candidates as Judges.
Complaints against Judges who contravene the Code of Judicial Conduct or any law must first be reported to the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC), a body comprised of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and four other Judges designated by the Chief Justice after consultation with the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services. If the JCC is of the view that the complaint lodged against a particular Judge is of a serious nature to warrant an impeachment of a Judge, the JCC is empowered to recommend to the JSC for the complaint to be investigated and reported on by a Judicial Conduct Tribunal. It is the Chief Justice who has the power to appoint a Judicial Conduct Tribunal following the recommendation by the JSC.
Judges are also required in terms of the law to disclose their financial interests annually. These disclosures are recorded in a Register that is managed by the Registrar of Judges’ Registrable Interests.
As members of the JSC act in other professional capacities, the JSC and its various committees meet biannually. The JSC Secretariat is required to manage and facilitate the work of the JSC throughout the year and to liaise with various JSC committees on matters they are tasked to deal with by the JSC at its biannual meetings. The JSC Secretariat is responsible for making all logistical arrangements, including collating agenda and all relevant documentation for all JSC meetings and financing the biannual meetings of the JSC, which take place for a week in April and October every year. The meetings are generally held in Cape Town.