Justices Ray Zondo and Johann van der Westhuizen are on long leave from 1 February to 31 May 2015.The vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Thembile Skweyiya has not yet been filled.
Justices Zukisa Tshiqi, Justice Leona Theron of the Supreme Court of Appeal, as well as Judge-President Mahube Betty Molemela of the Free State High Court have been appointed as Acting Justices of the Constitutional Court until 31 May 2015.
The current bench, until 31 May 2015 is made up of Chief Justice Mogoeng, Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke, Justices Cameron, Froneman, Jafta, Khampepe and Nkabinde, as well as the three Acting Justices.
The Judicial Service Commission has invited nominations to fill the vacancy of a Judge on Constitutional Court following the retirement of Justice Skweyiya in May 2014.
Nominations to fill the post must be submitted by 24 April 2015.
For more details see the advertisement here.
By Duncan Wild on 27 March 2015
In this case, the Constitutional Court held that entities that engage in lending that falls outside the scope of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (“NCA“) (e.g. to entities which exceed the value thresholds set out in the Act) do not need to be registered as credit providers under the NCA, and a failure to register does not invalidate credit agreements outside the scope of the Act. In addition, the Court reversed the current position regarding how the common law in duplum rule applies when litigation commences. The position before this case being that interest may start running again if the creditor institutes action. The Court, however, found that commencing proceedings will not have an effect on the in duplum rule, and interest may not run again. Interest will only run again on a judgment, which effectively is a new debt which restarts any in duplum calculation. Continue reading
The Constitutional Court has published an advertisement seeking applications from persons who would like to be appointed as a law clerk at the Court for 2016. Each Justice of the Constitutional Court is assisted by two law clerks whose primary function is to carry out legal research for their respective Justice. The Constitutional Court invites applications from suitable candidates seeking appointment as law clerks for 2016.
For more information on what it’s like to work as a clerk this Mail & Guardian story provides a few first hand accounts.
For more details on the applications please click here.
By Duncan Wild on 11 December 2014
This is a case seeking to expand the South African common law to recognise a claim for “wrongful life”, or what the applicant calls “wrongful suffering”. Historically, such claim have arisen where a medical professional is alleged to have failed to inform parents that there is a high risk that a foetus may be born with abnormalities, and had the parents been informed, they not have permitted the foetus to be born. The applicant sought to cast the claim as one for “wrongful suffering”, seeking to emphasise that it is not claim with the basis that it would have been better for the child not be born, but that in failing to give the accurate information, the physician caused the suffering of the child once it was born. At present neither of these claims exist in South African law, and the applicant sought to have such a claim recognised.
The Constitutional Court did not recognise the claim for “wrongful life”, but indicated that there was the potential for such a claim in South African law, and so upheld the appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of the claim. The Constitutional Court, however, found that the parties had not put argument before it on how the constitutional protection for the rights a child impacted the claim, and that it would not develop the common law to recognise this claim without all the facts before it. Therefore, the Constitutional Court indicated that the applicant could amend their papers and reinstitute the case in the High Court which could then consider whether a valid claim existed and whether the applicant met the requirements for that claim.