Quote of the week

An ‘important purpose of section 34 [of the Constitution] is to guarantee the protection of the judicial process to persons who have disputes that can be resolved by law’ and that the right of access to court is ‘foundational to the stability of an orderly society. It ensures the peaceful, regulated and institutionalised mechanisms to resolve disputes, without resorting to self-help. The right of access to court is a bulwark against vigilantism, and the chaos and anarchy which it causes. Construed in this context of the rule of law and the principle against self-help in particular, access to court is indeed of cardinal importance’.The right guaranteed s34 would be rendered meaningless if court orders could be ignored with impunity:the underlying purposes of the right — and particularly that of avoidance of self-help — would be undermined if litigants could decide which orders they wished to obey and which they wished to ignore.

Plasket AJ
Victoria Park Ratepayers' Association v Greyvenouw CC and others (511/03) [2003] ZAECHC 19 (11 April 2003)
16 March 2012

Office of Chief Justice Media statement on “Leadership Conference”

MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE HEADS OF COURTS

RE: THE I CAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

16 MARCH 2012

Following media coverage on the notice sent to the Heads of Courts relating to a leadership conference; it has become necessary to put the matter in its correct perspective.

As indicated previously, the need for Heads of Courts to be offered leadership training was identified as far back as 2005. As a matter of record from the 4th to the 5th June 2006, Judges underwent leadership training under the auspices of the Stephen Covey Foundation. In July 2011, the Access to Justice Conference passed a resolution that leadership training be offered to Heads of Courts. This resolution was further endorsed by the Heads of Courts themselves at one of their regular meetings.

It is in this context that the invitation to the Heads of Courts to attend the John Maxwell l CAN Leadership conference or workshop must be understood. In this regard; at a meeting of the Heads of Courts in Johannesburg today (Friday, 16 March 2012); the Heads of Courts comprising the Chief Justice, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Judges President of the various Divisions of the High Court and Specialist Courts – the Heads of Courts present unanimously stated that they had not felt compelled to attend the conference. They further distanced themselves from suggestions that they were ordered to attend the I CAN Leadership conference; saying that they did not understand the correspondence to be ordering them to attend.

It became clear during the meeting, that the Heads of Courts had also understood the communication to be presenting them with an opportunity to enhance and strengthen their leadership capacity. The Chief Justice further commits himself to the principles and values enshrined in the Constitution and therefore would not engage in any activity that would undermine those values.

Ends.

Enquiries: Lulama Luti; Director: Media Relations, Office of the Chief Justice Tel: +27 (0) 11 359 7537 / 7570; Cell: +27 (0) 76 424 0667; Email: luti@concourt.org.za

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