Draft Lower Courts Bill in the Pipeline

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

A Draft Lower Courts Bill is under development.

In a briefing in parliament on its 2016/17 annual report, the justice and constitutional development department indicated that the proposed legislation aims to “rationalize and transform the legislative framework of the lower courts in line with the constitution.”

The draft bill seeks to overhaul the Magistrates Courts Act of 1944 and transform the Lower Courts in line with the Superior Courts Act of 2013 which is a blueprint for the transformation of all courts.

The department pointed out that development of a policy framework to transform magistrates’ courts will include consultation with the judiciary.

The plan is to table a draft bill in parliament before the end of 2017/18.

A draft bill focused on the paralegal sector is also under construction.

According to the department, the legislative reform is designed to “provide both the professionalisation and the regulation of the paralegal sector, including the accreditation, training and ethical conduct of paralegals.”

Draft Regulations providing for special health services to be rendered free of charge to declared TRC victims and their relatives will be developed once amendments to the National Health Act are completed.

Sabinet Cape Town Office