Who or What is Judges Matter?
Judges Matter (www.judgesmatter.co.za) is formed by a group of civil society organisations who believe in the importance of the judges in South Africa. South Africa’s political system as a democracy is governed by the three arms of the government - the Legislative which is Parliament, the Executive which refers to The President and Cabinet, and the Judicial: The Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the High Court.
Judges and the judgments they make have increasingly become more central to politics in South Africa. Judges Matter believes that the Judicial arm of the government and the judges that are a part of it are a vital element in our democracy, as they represent a significant check against executive or legislative abuse and are key to maintaining our democratic processes.
Judges Matter also believes that since the Judiciary has the power to overturn the decisions of the Legislative and Executive branches of government, we need to be watching and monitoring the men and women who have this power.
The process of the appointment of judges is therefore a very important one, and one where many people do not have full insight. Judges Matter strives to explain how judges are appointed and to shine a light on the JSC interviews through which the judges are chosen and which selections are made.
Part of Judges Matter’s role is to provide a snapshot of the judgements of any judicial candidate on the issues that civil society are involved in such as land, gender-based violence, housing and customary law.