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Invitation to comment on the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill 2016

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development invites interested parties to submit written comments on the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill 2016. Any person wishing to comment on the Bill is invited to submit written comments to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on or before 20 May 2016 at the following e-mail address: srobbertse@justice.gov.za

The Judicial Matters Amendment Bill, 2016 (the Bill), proposes amendments to -

  • the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944, so as to -
    • further regulate the benefits of magistrates who are required to dispose of proceedings which were not disposed of on vacation of the office of magistrate; and
    • further provide for the appointment of magistrates of regional divisions to adjudicate on civil disputes;
  • the State Liability Act, 1957, so as to -
    • further regulate the service of court process;
    • further regulate the issuing of writs of execution or warrants of execution by registrars or clerks of the court; and
    • amend the definitions applicable to the Act;
  • the South African Law Reform Commission Act, 1973, so as to further regulate the constitution of the South African Law Reform Commission;
  • the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, so as to -
    • further regulate the prescription of the right to institute prosecutions;
    • delete a provision relating to defamation;
    • provide for a less invasive process to ensure the availability of a witness, who is about to abscond, to give evidence in proceedings involving an offence referred to in Part III of Schedule 2;
    • further regulate the competency or compellability of witnesses to give evidence;
    • effect technical corrections;
  • the Attorneys Act, 1979, so as to further regulate the engagement of candidate attorneys;
  • the Small Claims Courts Act, 1984, so as to give the Rules Board for Courts of Law the power to make rules regulating various aspects in respect of small claims courts;
  • the Rules Board for Courts of Law Act, 1985, so as to further regulate the constitution of the Rules Board for Courts of Law;
  • the Sheriffs Act, 1986, so as to -
    • provide for the appointment of a person as sheriff without following the prescribed manner for such an appointment if it is in the interests of sustainable service delivery or the administration of justice;
    • provide for the transfer of certain moneys in the trust accounts of sheriffs to the Fidelity Fund for sheriffs;
    • provide for the allocation of areas to sheriffs; and
    • assist impecunious litigants with the payment of costs for the execution of small claims court judgments;
  • the Magistrates Act, 1993, so as to -
    • effect technical corrections;
    • further provide for the composition of the Magistrates Commission; and
    • extend the age of retirement of magistrates;
  • the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996, so as to further provide for the remuneration, allowances and other terms and conditions of service and service benefits of the Head or Acting Head of a Special Investigating Unit;
  • Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997, so as to provide that rape of an older person is punishable with a sentence of imprisonment to life;
  • the National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998, so as to provide for the establishment of Offices for the prosecuting authority at the seats of Local Divisions of the High Court;
  • the Debt Collectors Act, 1998, so as to further regulate the powers of the Council for Debt Collectors;
  • the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, so as to further regulate the designation and training of presiding officers;
  • the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000, so as to further regulate the designation and training of presiding officers;
  • the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000, so as to add HIV/AIDS status to the definition of “prohibited grounds” and further regulate the designation and training of presiding officers;
  • the Institution of Legal Proceedings against certain Organs of State Act, 2002, so as to further regulate —
    • the attaching of an identity document to a notice of intended legal proceedings;
    • service of notices and against organs of state;
    • service of process against organs of state, in accordance with the provisions of the State Liability Act, 1957;
  • the Children’s Act, 2005, so as to effect technical corrections;
  • the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, so as to further regulate—
    • the categories of persons whose particulars must be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders;
    • the inclusion of the particulars of convicted persons in the National Register for Sex Offenders; and
    • aspects relating to the designation of sexual offences courts;
  • the Child Justice Act, 2008, so as to delete the offence of defamation referred to in Schedule 1 thereof;
  • the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013, so as to effect technical corrections;
  • the Superior Courts Act, 2013, so as to further regulate the electronic transmission of summonses, writs and other process; and
  • the Legal Aid South Africa Act, 2014, so as to —
    • effect technical corrections; and
    • further regulate the term of appointment of Board members; and
  • the common law in order to repeal the offence of defamation and related statutory provisions.

The Bill and a note, explaining the proposed provisions of the Bill, are available for download on the website of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Any person wishing to comment on the Bill is invited to submit written comments to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on or before 20 May 2016 at the following e-mail address: srobbertse@justice.gov.za

For further information, please contact S J Robbertse at 012 406 4770.


National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2016 – 2021) - Draft for public consultation

A National Action Plan (NAP) provides the basis for the development of a comprehensive public policy against racial discrimination and assists States in giving effect to their international human rights obligations related to the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It provides for specific outcomes and is also a process bringing stakeholders together to discuss the challenge of combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. A NAP also provides a technical guiding framework for the State’s policies, programmes and strategies to combat racial discrimination and is a step towards complying with the State’s obligation to give effect to the constitutional value of equality and non-discrimination.

Follow this link to read more: National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

The closing date for comments/submissions is 30 June 2016.

Comments and inputs can be submitted via email: nap@justice.gov.za

Enquiries can be directed to: Ms Danaline Franzman, Chief Director: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, tel: +27 (0) 12 315 1500/1487, email: DFranzman@justice.gov.za