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Press release: CGE postpones its Judicial Transformation Inquiry

26 Jul 2013 - 16:00

The inquiry follows a complaint lodged with the CGE by the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit of UCT (DGRU) and Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) in October 2012. The two organisations cited the President, the Office of the Chief Justice, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development as respondents.

One of their primary requests was that the CGE investigate what appears to be gender discrimination in the appointment of judicial officers. The CGE was remarkably slow in taking action on the complaint.

After an eight-month wait, the CGE initially informed DGRU and Sonke that the inquiry would be held in June 2013. The CGE subsequently re-scheduled the inquiry to 24 and 25 July, after concerns around security were raised. A week before the July inquiry was to take place, the CGE once again postponed the inquiry to an undetermined date in August 2013, this time citing the unavailability of a constitutional expert.

This latest postponement is particularly unfortunate, as the inquiry would have coincided with the deadline for the nomination of judges to various high court benches around the country. It would have served as a reminder to all those involved in the selection of judges that gender representation in a judiciary is not an act of goodwill but a constitutional imperative.

Cherith Sanger of Sonke said: