Monday, June 23, 2008

Institute calls for judicial officers’ code of conduct

By Tina George
23 June 2008

According to the Institute for Constitutional and Labour Law Studies, an initiative of the trade union Solidarity, a compilation of a comprehensive judicial officers’ code of conduct has been called whereby their conduct in court and in chambers is to be directed and regulated, in addition to legislation already in place to judicial officers.

This follows after the recent publication of claims of misconduct against Judge John Hlophe.

Chief executive of the Institute, Johan Kruger, says the code of conduct will serve to direct judicial officers, in future, as to exactly when it becomes necessary to lay a complaint against a colleague in circumstances like the present.

“It would prevent situations as that which Judge J Nkabinde and AJ Jafta of the constitutional court found themselves in after being approached by Judge Hlophe whereby they didn’t lodge a complaint and alternatively didn’t act immediately in informing other constitutional judges of this approach and that’s regrettable,” says Kruger.

“One wonders in what circumstances would they have found it necessary and prudent to have lodged a complaint or make a statement and I think that this is something that can be encompassed in the judicial offices codes of conduct.”

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