n South African Journal on Human Rights - Two's company, three's a crowd : public interestintervention in investor-state arbitration () : current developments / case notes

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



The legal culture of public interest litigation generally, and amicus curiae interventions specifically, is now fairly well developed in South African domestic litigation. The rules of court have been amended to cater for amicus participation and a body of jurisprudence has developed regarding questions of the admissibility and role of amici. It is not unheard of for an amicus to seek to be admitted even in criminal or commercial matters, and not merely matters in which constitutional issues are the central questions. Our courts are increasingly recognising that certain matters cannot be resolved simply as disputes between the parties, but must necessarily involve the perspectives and voices of organisations or entities that may not have a direct legal interest in the matter in the traditional sense, often asserting (their conceptions of) the public interest. Indeed, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) recently expressed its displeasure with an unmeritorious and churlish objection to the admission of an amicus by visiting an adverse costs order upon the objecting party.

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