Law group warns against attacks on judiciary
Publish date: 07 October 2019
Issue Number: 844
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
The Legal Practice Council (LPC) has called for respect for the independence of the judiciary and cautioned South Africans against criticising judges without any substantive evidence, according to News24. The LPC said it has noted the 'unfortunate' increase in unwarranted criticism of the judiciary, adding that any remarks levelled at the judiciary's decisions without evidence undermined the autonomy of the courts. 'The council believes that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the right of the citizens to criticise judicial decisions where justified,' LPC chairperson Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu said. Recently, several allegations were levelled against judges as some politicians launched personal attacks on them. A purported 'list' was also previously circulated on social media and it was alleged that some judges had benefited from funds from President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency, claims which have yet to be proven or backed up with evidence. 'SA is a constitutional democracy that is safeguarded by the judiciary. Any unfortunate remarks about the judiciary's decisions without evidence undermines the autonomy of the courts. As the regulatory body of the legal profession, we believe that our judicial system is one of the most robust in the world,' Matolo-Dlepu said.