n South African Journal on Human Rights - Reaching the pinnacle : principles, policies and people for a single apex court in South Africa




Proposed constitutional amendments envisage the creation of a single apex court for South Africa. If adopted, this will change the system that has existed since 1994 in which the Constitutional Court is the court of final instance for constitutional matters and the Supreme Court of Appeal the court of final instance in matters that are not constitutional. Since the distinction between constitutional and other matters is illusory, this change is welcome. What is not welcome is the manner in which an important change to the structure of the judicial system has been introduced by stealth. It is also undesirable for the Constitutional Court as it is currently constituted to perform the role of an apex court with general appellate jurisdiction.


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