DGRU has completed a small, but growing number of research reports since 2009. In addition, we have a number of reports on some of our other activities
JSC Report - April 2021
The JSC is due to meet between the 12th – 23rd April to interview candidates for a range of judicial vacancies. This will be the first sitting of the JSC for over a year, after the April and October 2020 sittings were postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The DGRU has compiled a research report on the track records of the shortlisted candidates.
Read volume 1 of the report on Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal candidates here.
Read volume 2 of the report on High Court and Labour Court candidates here.
The JSC is scheduled to interview candidates for positions on the Constitutional Court, High Court and Land Claims Court during the week of 20 April 2020. The DGRU's research report on the track record of the candidates can be read here.
adopted at the Southern African Chief Justices’ Forum Conference and Annual General Meeting, Lilongwe, 30 October 2018
The Lilongwe Principles and Guidelines can be viewed here
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (October 2018)
From 1 – 5 October 2018, the Judicial Service Commission will be interviewing candidates for the Electoral Court and the High Court at the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand.
Click to see the list of shortlisted candidates.
Click to see our research report on the candidates.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (October 2017)
Submission and Research report on the Judicial records of nominees for appointment to the High Court.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (April 2017)
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.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (October 2016)
Submission and research report on the Judicial record of nominees for appointment to the Constitutional Court to be held in Cape Town from the 3rd to the 7th October 2016.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (April 2016)
Submission and research Report compiled by the DGRU on the Judicial Records of Nominees for appointment to the Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court to be held from the 4th April to the 8th April 2016 in Cape Town.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (October 2015)
The Judicial Service Commission will be interviewing candidates for appointment to the High Court and Labour Court. DGRU has prepared a research report on the judicial track record of the candidates.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (April 2015)
Submission and research Report compiled by the DGRU on the Judicial Records of Nominees for appointment to the Supreme Court of Appeal, High Court and Land Claims Court to be held from the 13th April to the 17th April 2015 in Cape Town.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (October 2014)
On October 7th and 8th 2014, the Judicial Service Commission will be interviewing candidates for appointment to the High Court and Labour Court. DGRU has prepared a research report on the judicial track record of the candidates.
Reports on appointment: candidates and process (April 2014)
The DGRU's focus on judicial governance has led to it making available to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) research reports on candidates for judicial appointment, and to DGRU researchers attending, monitoring and commenting on the interviews of candidates for judicial appointment.
The intention of these reports is to assist the JSC by providing an objective insight into the judicial records of the short-listed candidates. The reports are also intended to provide civil society and other interested stakeholders with an objective basis on which to assess candidates' suitability for appointment to the bench.
On 7 April 2014, the JSC interviewed candidates for vacancies within the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Electoral Court, the High Court and the Labour Appeal Court.
In October 2013, the JSC interviewed candidates for vacancies within the Electoral Court, the High Court and the Labour Court.
In April 2013, the JSC interviewed candidates for vacancies within the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Electoral Court, the High Court and the Competition Appeal Court.
On 22 February 2013, the JSC held interviews for a vacancy on the Constitutional Court.
On 15 - 19 October 2012, the Judicial Service Commission interviewed candidates for judicial vacancies on the High Court, Electoral Court and Labour Court.
On 9 June 2012, the Judicial Service Commission will be interviewing candidates for judicial vacancies on the Constitutional Court. 4 candidates were shortlisted.
In April 2012 the Judicial Service Commission interviewed candidates for judicial vacancies on the Supreme Court of Appeal and various High Courts.
Read the April 2012 report on the judicial track record of candidates for judicial appointment interviewed by the commissioners in April 2012.
In October 2010, the Judicial Service Commission ("JSC") held interviews in Cape Town for the Supreme Court, numerous High Courts, Competition Appeal Court, Labour Appeal Court (LAC), Deputy Judge President positions.
DGRU researchers Abongile Sipondo and Chris Oxtoby attended all the interviews and compiled a report. In this report we highlight what we believe were the most significant issues raised, and attempt to make some constructive suggestions as to how problems observed in the process might be addressed.
Read the report HERE
In September 2010, the DGRU was approached by the Chief Justice as the head of the Judicial Service Commission, and requested to prepare a research report on the judicial track record of candidates for judicial appointment to be interviewed by the commissioners in October 2010.
The report is similar to our 2009 report on candidates for the Constitutional Court, and seeks in particular to highlight candidates' understanding of constitutional issues, capacity for hard work, and independence of mind. The report aims to assist commissioners in questioning the candidates, and does not seek to advocate for any particular candidate.
DGRU researchers attended the "Kliptown Hearings" in September 2009 at which the JSC selected the new Constitutional Court Judges. Read a summary of the hearings.
The first research report in this series was prepared in September 2009 and was an analysis of judgements of those people being interviewed for the vacant Constitutional court posts .
The ideal South African Judge
The DGRU commissioned Advocate Susannah Cowen to write a paper on the qualities of the ideal South African Judge. Read the paper " Judicial Selection: a timely debate"
From 12 to 19 April 2010, the Judicial Service Commission ("JSC") held interviews in Cape Town for numerous High Court, Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court (LAC), Deputy Judge President and Judge President positions.
As part of its ongoing work in the area of judicial appointments, DGRU made a submission to the JSC, emphasising the qualities we felt should be looked for an aspirant judges.
How did the JSC fare in assessing these criteria at the interviews? In this report we highlight what we believe were the most significant issues raised, and attempt to make some constructive suggestions as to how problems observed in the process might be addressed.
The DGRU participated in the international Freedom of Expression Project. Our contribution was to examine the trends and challenges in South Africa's communications environment and how these impact on the rights to freedom of expression and political participation.
A discussion paper on SA's communications environment by members of the DGRU research team was produced. This paper will form the SA report on the Freedom of Expression Project website. Read the paper.
The governance of power
DGRU researchers participated in a project into the Energy Governance Sector in South Africa co-ordinated by IDASA. The EGI-SA assessment report is written against a backdrop of significant national concern over how to meet the growing demand for electricity, Eskom's request for a major increase in the price of electricity, and the State-owned utility's own challenges of corporate governance.
The assessment highlights a systemic lack of clarity concerning roles and responsibilities in the electricity sector, with an associated extended period of policy opaqueness and uncertainty. Despite an initially clear vision for energy policy, established after extensive collaboration and cooperation, a sense of drift - possibly even destructive competition - has subsequently characterised policy development in the sector. Infrastructural and institutional capacity has suffered.
To download an electronic copy of the book, or to order a hard copy, please go to IDASA's website, click on Economic governance, then on Books.
2009 was a very big year for the Human Rights Commission. Five of the six Commissioners' term of office came to the end. The question of who is appointed to replace them was of great importance - given the likely strain that the nascent South African culture of human rights is likely to be put under in the coming years. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional development interviewed about 27 candidates for 6 positions in the Human Rights Commission (4 full-time and 2 part-time). The interviews took place from the 14th to the 17th of September 2009.
Prior to the interview process, DGRU made a submission to the Justice and Constitutional development portfolio committee and copies of the research report and submission were distributed to all its members. This submission offers some preliminary thoughts on the attributes for an 'ideal Human Rights Commissioner'. The purpose of the intervention to promote a process that delivers the very best, progressive new Human Rights Commissioners.
The DGRU attended most of the interviews, and compiled a report. The document reports on the whole interview process, and provide some analysis of the performance and credentials of some of the candidates interviewed by the portfolio committee.
Densification and sustainable cities
Densification has been embraced as a policy goal of government at all levels and most political persuasions since 1994. However various factors, such as market incentives in favour of high-income low-density private developments, increases in the provision of RDP and other subsidised housing which have replaced some dense shack housing, as well as the social developmental trend toward smaller household size, are believed to have had the practical effect of reducing densification in spite of policy to the contrary i.e. it is believed the number of households and people housed per 100 square metres in urban areas, especially inner-city areas, has declined. This is also believed to be the case in Cape Town.
Consequently it appears that South African policies in favour of densification have not been adequately or appropriately levered by law or associated regulations and development control instruments.
The objectives of this research project were the following:
- to determine for Cape Town what have been the actual geographical trends in relation to densification since 1994
- to review the literature on the international experience in relation to sustainable cities and its relationship to densification and government policy
- to review and analyse relevant South Africa legislation, policy, by-laws, including rates policy and development control instruments, at national, provincial and local level, to determine their impact on sustainability and densification in Cape Town
- to analyse the extent to which the actual trends in relation to densification observed since 1994 in Cape Town bear any relationship with policy and the possible reasons for the observed trends
- to identify appropriate policy goals, policy, and policy levers in relationship to sustainability and densification for Cape Town.