Access to updated legal resources is an ongoing challenge for those who work in grassroots community justice institutions. Few advice offices have well-functioning computers; internet access is a luxury and resource manuals are often out of date and not shared between staff.
In order to address this problem, the DGRU and AfricanLII have developed a cellphone app for South African community based paralegals. It contains the 2015 Black Sash paralegal manual, relevant case law and legislation and news about relevant legal developments. Once downloaded onto the phone, it is available offline , providing easy and cheap access to legal resources.
The app can be downloaded from the Play Store. Search for Paralegal Pocketlaw.
JIFA will be hosting its first Judicial leaders retreat 24-28 July in Cape Town. It will be attended by 7 Chief Justices from SADC as well as 11 other senior judges. The faculty includes retired Justices Linda Dobbs ( DBE) ; Dikgang Moseneke; Kate O’Regan; the Chief Justice of Malawi and Supreme Court of Appeal of New York Judge Karen Peters. The Programme can be seen here.
The Judicial Institute for Africa( JIFA), a joint initiative of the DGRU, Southern African Chief Justices Forum and ICJ- Africa , is hosting their annual core skills short course for judges . It will be attended by 24 judges from 11 SADC countries and will be run from 24 – 28 April 2017 in the Moot court. The programme is run by a core faculty of judges including Dame Linda Dobbs DBE ( Director of Programmes) and Justice Key Dingake ( UCT Alumnus and Honorary Professor of Public Law) , as well as a number of other judges from the SADC region. Academic experts such as Professor Penny Andrews and Professor Hugh Corder will also contribute to the programme as well as a team of post-graduate students from the faculty who will demonstrate some hypothetical scenarios around motions and applications.
From April 3 – 7 2017, the Judicial Service Commission will be interviewing the prospective new Deputy Chief Justice and President of the Supreme court of Appeal, as well as candidates for positions on the Constitutional Court, High Court, Labour Court and Electoral Court. The DGRU has prepared a research report on the judicial track records of all the candidates.