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Informative panel discussion
Reflecting on the South African judiciary

"Impeaching Judges: Constitutional Milestone or Admission of Failure?" - That's the question a public seminar under the same title just asked. Renowned expert speakers on the panel of the hybrid event shared very enlightening facts and analysis in their nuanced reflections.

Great discussion of a crucial topic with renowned panelists

Great discussion of a crucial topic with renowned panelists


"The removal from office of Judges John Hlophe and Nkola Motata can be seen as an example of constitutional provisions and processes working as intended, albeit at snail’s pace. At the same time, the lapses in integrity that led to the impeachments inevitably reflect badly on the judiciary as an institution and may undermine the public’s confidence in the courts." 

(From the Invitation)

Co-hosted by the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), Freedom under Law, and News24, this lively event saw a panel of renowned South African experts, and an engaging discussion with the audience facilitated by Mike Pothier, Programme Manager, CPLO.

Here are just some key insights from their very informative contributions:

Judith February, Executive Officer, Freedom Under Law

It is much easier to build an institution than to run it or rebuild it after it was destroyed. We have pockets of resilience & robustness - these we need to protect, strengthen & support. Leadership is crucial. We must also ask who is represented in the JSC.

Mbekezeli Benjamin, Research and Advocacy Officer, Judges Matter:

We know now that judges are also accountable, but we must improve the system: proper funding, processes must be streamlined - impeachment process took way too long. Our judiciary remains strong - but we must stop the decline of trust, and strengthen the system.

Prof Hugh Corder, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, UCT:

This is a tragic moment in the development of our Constitution… But accountability, responsiveness and openness have been shown here - we must take heart from that. First and foremost we must get the appointments right, then we can worry less about accountability.

Karyn Maughan, Legal Journalist, News24:

Misinformation is spread to undermine the judiciary. We must be careful what information we consume. Always ask for the evidence. Also, we should not underestimate the pressure and safety and security issues judges face once disinformation is being spread online.



You can watch a recording of this truly enlightening discussion on the history and current state of the South African judiciary here:

"Impeaching Judges" - Event recording





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