Judicial Capacity in a Transforming Legal System

Authors

  • Hugh Corder University of Cape Town

Abstract

Given the perennial problem of lack of access to justice; the fact that there was no shortage of superior court judges until 1994; the demands on court process which flow directly from transition to the constitutional democratic system; and the urgent and justified necessity for the demographic transformation of judicial personnel, two challenges to the capacity of the judicial system present themselves in South Africa: Enlarging the number of suitable candidates for judicial appointment to redress the former demographic imbalance; and developing the kind of skills among those appointed as judges to be able to respond with confidence across a wide range of often complex legal issues; and developing a theory of judicial deference which observes the separation of powers and preserves judicial independence. This paper explores these challenges, after setting out the socio-political context, as it impacts directly on their nature and scope, and the prospects of meeting them.

Debido al constante problema de la falta de acceso a la justicia, al hecho de que no hubo escasez de jueces de tribunales superiores hasta 1994, las demandas del proceso judicial que surgen directamente de la transición al sistema democrático constitucional, y la necesidad urgente y justificada de la transformación demográfica del personal judicial, el rendimiento judicial en Sudáfrica se encuentra con dos desafíos: Aumentar el número de candidatos aptos al nombramiento judicial para compensar el anterior desequilibrio demográfico y desarrollar en los jueces nombrados aquellas habilidades que les permitan responder con confianza a asuntos jurídicos a menudo complejos; y desarrollar una teoría de deferencia judicial que respete la separación de poderes y preserve la independencia judicial. Este artículo explora estos desafíos tras explicar el contexto sociopolítico, ya que éste afecta directamente a su naturaleza y alcance, y las probabilidades de que se superen.

DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039518

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How to Cite

Corder, H. (2017) “Judicial Capacity in a Transforming Legal System”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 7(4), pp. 770–789. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/873 (Accessed: 29 November 2021).

Issue

Section

Shortage of Diversity – Gender, Ethnicity and Class