No more grumpy or 'disappearing' judges, hopefuls promise the JSC

The chief justice did not disclose exactly when he made the “surprise” visit to the magistrate’s court, which is next door to the high court in the city.

2021-04-22 08:00:00 PM

The chief justice did not disclose exactly when he made the “surprise” visit to the magistrate’s court, which is next door to the high court in the city.

The “trend” of regional court magistrates in Pietermaritzburg “disappearing on Fridays' is a thing of the past, acting regional court president Sharon Marks assured chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Thursday.

“So for example, a prosecutor or a magistrate cannot say the court wasn’t sitting because there was no legal aid, because the head of legal aid will know that there was someone in court.”The chief justice said he was informed at that time that it was a “trend” and “you won’t find them on a Friday from morning until knock-off time”.

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Marks responded:“It is not a trend any longer.”Earlier on Thursday, veteran advocate Bruce Bedderson indicated that grumpy judges should be a thing of the past.“We come from an era where people have been so badly treated in the past ... young practitioners were shouted at.

Instead of breaking someone’s spirit, we need to encourage it.If I was part of the JSC, I would identify people who have a transformed mindset, who treat people with respect and dignity. Those are the virtues we are looking for.”With 24 years' experience as an advocate, a very busy “varied practice” and five children, he was asked about the financial implications of a judge’s salary.

He responded: “If I told my father that I couldn’t afford to live on a judge’s salary, he would tell me I had forgotten where I came from.”In his interview, attorney Bert Laing said judges should get involved when they see an accused person being represented by an inexperienced lawyer who is just “going through the motions”.

He said it was also important for judges and magistrates to come from different communities so they could understand the backgrounds of people appearing before them. Read more: Sowetan LIVE »

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