As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
Whilst we are not fully appraised with the reasons thereto, we hold a firm and honest belief that it should stand to reason that as custodians of the interpretation and application of the constitution, which is unequivocal on issues of transparency and accountability by all arms of government including the judiciary, there was and there still remains a duty to lead the pack on transparency which is already meted out against executive and legislature. To this end, there does not appear to be any foundational basis for the justices not to disclose their financial interests including their assets. If anything, their focal point should be hinging on establishing mechanisms of ensuring that the disclosures are as less intrusive “IS possible, largely in so far as same may be relating to their families.
The disclosures which are meted out to the Executive and Legislature should similarly hold same for the judiciary. There are hosts of reasons for such line of disclosure to be adopted.
While we acknowledge the inalienable right to follow the due process, it will be extremely amazing if the justices were to carry out the threat of subjecting this issue to court processes. Such a course of action is not only undesirable but is also enemical to the judiciary’s commitment to transparency as envisaged by the constitution.
The BLA accordingly urge the justices not to entangle themselves in a quagmire of whether or not the proposed disclosures are necessary or not. In our view these measures are not only desirable but are also necessary both in fact and law and above all are instructure in terms of the constitution which binds the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.
PER: P B MABUNDA
OBO: BLACK LAWYERS ASSOCIATION