FUL could take JSC to court

FUL could take the JSC to go to court to clear up confusion surrounding its criteria for appointing judges.

Retired Constitutional Court Judge Johann Kriegler. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Former Constitutional Court Judge Johann Kriegler on Monday said he wants the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to be responsible and go to court to clear up confusion surrounding its criteria for appointing judges.

His organisation Freedom Under Law (FUL) said it would consider challenging the JSC in court after a report was leaked to the media.

The document, written by senior Advocate Izak Smuts, threw focus on the commission's appointment process.

Smuts resigned last week.

He said the best people were not appointed and some advocates were being overlooked for promotion.

"Why are we rejecting, so frequently, the independent-minded thinking and rational intellectuals who make themselves available for appointment?"

Kriegler said the JSC needed to clarify its position.

"Some people are put to the grill [during the interviewing process] and some are given a handshake and a standing ovation."

According to the JSC'S Dumisa Ntsebeza, the body could approach the courts soon.

"If we have to reflect constantly because people are holding a gun to our temple and forcing us to go to court, then we will, but we would rather have a debate."