Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
15 September 2010

Criteria used by JSC when considering judicial appointments

ISSUED BY: JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION

SUMMARY OF THE CRITERIA USED BY THE JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION WHEN CONSIDERING CANDIDATES FOR JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

At its Special Sitting held, in Johannesburg on 10 September 2010, the Judicial Service Commission resolved, after a lengthy debate and a review of the Guidelines that had been adopted in 1998, to publish the criteria used when considering candidates for judicial appointments. This decision is in line with the JSC’s principle that the process of judicial appointments should be open and transparent to the public so as to enhance public trust in the judiciary.

The following criteria are used in the interview of candidates, and in the evaluation exercise during the deliberations by the members of the Commission:

Criteria stated in the Constitution

1. Is the particular applicant an appropriately qualified person?
2. Is he or she a fit and proper person, and
3. Would his or her appointment help to reflect the racial and gender composition of South Africa?

Supplementary Criteria

1. Is the proposed appointee a person of integrity?
2. Is the proposed appointee a person with the necessary energy and motivation?
3. Is the proposed appointee a competent person?
(a) Technically competent
(b) Capacity to give expression to the values of the Constitution
4. Is the proposed appointee an experienced person?
(a) Technically experienced
(b) Experienced in regard to values and needs of the community
5. Does the proposed appointee possess appropriate potential?
6. Symbolism. What message is given to the community at large by a particular appointment?

Issued by the Judicial Service Commission

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