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Specialization of South African Judges and Courts: Multi-skilled, Multitasked, Multiaccess?

https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2014-2-4-187-203

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Abstract

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) and various acts of Parliament establish courts with diverse powers. The judiciary is required to be multi-skilled for the proper performance of multitasks in order to protect the constitutional right of everyone to have access to court in civil disputes. This article deals with the aspects of such skills, tasks and access to justice. The article demonstrates that a well diversified structure of courts exists and that the judiciary is constitutionally and statutorily required to be possessed of the necessary diverse skills not only to perform multitasks but also to ensure that the rights of everyone to have access to justice is properly protected. In this regard the article sets out the course of a civil trial and the requirements of a class action. As regards the latter, it is contended that class actions put new demands on South African judges and courts to be multi-skilled and multitasked in order to guarantee multiaccess to large numbers of litigants who are joined in such actions. To this extent, judges will need the necessary expertise (through experience and training) to ensure that they remain multi-skilled and well-equipped to perform the multitasks that are inherently part of class actions.

About the Author

Danie van Loggerenberg
University of Pretoria
South Africa
Extraordinary Professor of Law at the Department of Civil Procedure, University of Pretoria (Lynnwood Ridge, 0040, Pretoria, P.O. Box 72058, South Africa)


References

1. Baxter, Lawrence G. Civil Litigation and Jura Novit Curia, 96 S. African L.J. 531, 536 (1979).

2. Collins English Dictionary (10th ed., Harper Collins Publishers 2009).

3. Erasmus, H.J. Historical Foundations of the South African Law of Civil Procedure, 108 S. African L.J. 265, 265–67 (1991).

4. Hahlo, H.R., & Kahn, Ellison. The South African Legal System and Its Background 243 (Juta 1968).

5. Loggerenberg, Danie van. What is Happening to Fundamental Procedural Guarantees in the Area of Civil Justice? A View from South Africa, Public and Private Justice 2014: Procedural Human Rights and Access to Justice in the World of Emergencies and Economic Crisis: Course Materials (Dubrovnik, 26–31 May 2014) (Inter University Centre Dubrovnik 2014), <http://alanuzelac.from.hr/iuc/course2014/PPJ_2014_course_material.pdf> (accessed Sep. 27, 2014).


For citation:


Loggerenberg D. Specialization of South African Judges and Courts: Multi-skilled, Multitasked, Multiaccess? Russian Law Journal. 2014;2(4):187-203. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2014-2-4-187-203

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)