In terms of Section 180 of the Constitution, whenever it is necessary to appoint a judge, the Judicial Service Commission must advertise the position, invite the President and members of the public to make nominations, conduct interviews in public of prospective candidates, prepare a list of three qualified persons as nominees for each position and submit the list to the President, who must appoint one of the nominees and cause such appointment to be published in the Gazette.
The qualifications for office for each court are detailed in the Constitution. These include the requirement that to be appointed as a judge, a person must be a fit and proper person to hold that office.
In carrying out its mandate in terms of section 180 of the Constitution, the Judicial Service Commission is bound by the provisions of that section. It shall adopt the processes that follow hereunder in fulfilling its mandate.
PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES
(a) set out the essential processes that the Judicial Service Commission will follow in implementing section 180;
(b) act as an aide-memoir and checklist for essential matters which the Judicial Service Commission must take into consideration in determining the qualifications and probity of the nominees for judicial office during the selection process;
(c) inform the entire decision-making process of the Judicial Service Commission.
The guidelines also take cognisance of the imperatives of section 191 of the Constitution for the conduct of the business of the Judicial Service Commission in a fair, just and transparent manner. The guidelines encapsulate these imperatives.