Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Discipline judges for misconduct

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM


While every student of constitutional law ought to know that it is not possible for the judiciary to be independent except, and only except, in the exercise of judicial functions, everyone expects the judiciary to be underpinned by discipline and for them to slavishly adhere to the observance of the rule of law.

In the sphere of discipline, judges are only human and subject to human frailties, and so our Constitution and statutes make provisions for their removal for misbehaviour. These provisions are not being observed and no action taken against those responsible for not taking action, leaving too many errant judges to continue to be on a frolic of their own.

One of the consequences is the unconstitutional long delays in our justice system contributing to injustice, resulting, for example, in litigants not only having their matters disposed of in a timely manner, but at considerable expense, which only too few in society can afford in seeking redress through appeals and applications governed by far too unnecessary and complex rules of court.

Perhaps the learned honourable minister of justice, who is obviously committed to reducing delays, will consider seeing to action by those responsible for discipline.