Competition Amendment Bill: discussion & voting

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Trade, Industry and Competition

09 March 2000
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

TRADE & INDUSTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
10 March 2000
COMPETITION AMENDMENT BILL: DISCUSSION AND VOTING

 

Documents handed out
Amendments to the Competition Amendment Bill (included in the minutes)
 

Competition Amendment Bill

SUMMARY
The committee approved the Competition Amendment Bill with the minor additional amendments to the Bill as proposed and explained by the Department and the Competition Tribunal. The Bill will hopefully come before the National Assembly in the week of 13 March 2000.

MINUTES
Mr David Lewis, chairperson of the Competition Tribunal discussed the proposed amendments to the Competition Amendment Bill:

Amendment to Section 37(2):
37(2) The Competition Appeal Court may give any judgement or make any order including an order to -

(a) confirm, amend or set aside a decision or order of the Competition Tribunal; or

(b) remit a matter to the Competition Tribunal for a further hearing on any appropriate terms. [; and

(c) give any judgement or make any order.]

What was in general being introduced to the Act by the amendment was greater specificity in the powers and jurisdiction of the Competition Appeal Court. The minor amendment to the Amendment Bill was technical and simply tidied up the grammar of the Amendment Bill.

Amendment to Section 38(4):
Section 38 of the principal act is amended by the substitution for subsection (4) of the following subsection:

38(4) If [any judge or any of the judges hearing a matter assigned in terms of sub-section (2) is unable to complete the proceedings in that matter, the Judge President must-

(a) direct that the hearing of that matter proceed before the remaining judge or judges to whom the matter was assigned; or

The amendment to the Amendment Bill was to take account of the fact that there were three judges on every bench of the Competition Appeal Court. Without the amendment, if one judge falls ill or is indisposed, in the middle of a lengthy proceeding, one ran the risk of having to start the whole proceeding again. The amendment simply gave the judge president the power to allow the remaining judge(s) to continue hearing a matter simply to facilitate the efficiency of the court.

Amendment to Section 39(1)
:
39(1) The Judge President and any other judge of the Competition Appeal Court is appointed for a fixed term determined by the President at the time of the appointment and holds office until-

(a) the expiry of the term:

(b) the date the judge ceases to be a judge of the High Court or

(c) the judge resigns from the Court by giving written notice to the President

In this section there was simply a grammatical amendment specifying that all the judges were appointed for a fixed term, and their period of office terminated when their term ended. In terms of (b) and (c) the period could also terminate when the judge ceased to be a member of the High Court, or if he resigned. Thus the only amendment was the introduction of "or".

The chairperson, Mr Rob Davies (ANC), said that he had not received any notification from anyone interested in making any comment on the Bill.

Discussion
Ms B Ntuli (ANC) asked, in relation to section 39, whether the fixed term for which the President appointed the judges would still apply or whether this would fall away.

Ms Shalini Rajoo, the Department's Deputy Director for Business Regulations and Consumer Services, said that the President would still determine the term of office for all the members of the Competition Appeal Court.

The Committee unanimously supported the Amendment Bill with these minor amendments. They agreed that there was no need for a lengthy debate on the Bill in the Chamber. It was agreed to try to place the Bill in the Order Paper for the week of 13 March 2000 so that the Bill could come before the National Assembly in its plenary session before recess.

 

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