The Constitutional Court of South Africa
was established in 1994 by South Africa
's first democratic constitution
: the Interim Constitution
of 1993. In terms of the 1996 Constitution
the Constitutional Court established in 1994 continues to hold office. The court began its first sessions in February 1995. Since February 2004, Constitution Hill
has been the seat of the court. The court consists of eleven judges
, headed by a Chief Justice
and Deputy Chief Justice
. Currently eight of the judges are men
and three are women
. Their duty is to uphold the law and the constitution, which they must apply impartially and without fear, favour or prejudice.
The constitution requires that a matter before the court be heard by at least eight judges. In practice, all eleven judges hear almost every case. If any judge is absent for a long period or a vacancy arises, an acting judge may be appointed by the President of the Republic
on a temporary basis on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice acting with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. Decisions of the Court are reached by majority vote of the judges sitting in a case. Each judge must indicate his or her decision. The reasons for the decision are published in a written judgment.
Appointment procedure and tenure
Sections 174 to 178 of the Constitution deal with the appointment of judicial officers. Judges may not be members of Parliament, of the... Read More