n Annual Survey of South African Law - Civil and constitutional procedure and jurisdiction




A draft version of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill [B6-2011] was published for public comment ( 33216 of 21 May 2010). The primary aim of the Bill is to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, further to define the role of the Chief Justice as the head of the judiciary; to change references to 'magistrates' courts' to 'lower courts'; to provide for a single 'High Court of South Africa', comprising of various divisions, and for the Constitutional Court as the apex court in all matters; to regulate the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal accordingly; and to provide for ancillary matters pertaining to certain appointments, the composition of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and its extended role. The changes envisaged in respect of the role of the Chief Justice as head of the judiciary and the establishment of a single 'High Court of South Africa' would in turn lay the constitutional basis for the provisions of the Superior Courts Bill 2011 that aim to give effect to these changes. Because these two Bills are closely linked, the latter was simultaneously published for public comment.


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