In its continued deliberations on the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill and the Superior Courts Bill, the Committee had a lengthy general debate on the distinction between ‘constitutional matters’ and ‘other matters’, the resolution of which would determine whether to have a singular court comprising the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. A Member pointed out that that the problem in
A Member proposed that the direct access clause, Section 167(6), in the Constitution should be developed or removed in total. Other Members were of the view that the deletion was a fundamental amendment even if it was not used. In addition, this proposed amendment was not in the introduced legislation. The comment was made that doing away with the direct access clause was concerning and the Constitutional Court had to clarify why its rules were the way they were and why it was extremely difficult for the court to be accessed directly, especially by poor people. The Chairperson said his personal view was in line with the majority view of the Committee that there was nothing wrong with the present constitutional regime. The Committee took the decision to wait for the consultations with the judges and the leaders of the magistracy before proceeding with the Superior Courts Bill.
The Committee continued with deliberations on the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill. Under clause 9 the issue of providing for an acting Chief Justice was discussed. A Member said the wording of Section 175 provided for acting judges and an acting Deputy Chief Justice, and this did not fit well together. The drafters were asked if there was any thought in separating the other judges of the
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