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Keynote Address by the Honourable Jeff Radebe, MP, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; on the occasion of the congratulatory dinner for Judge Colleen Collis; at the Parc Ferme Restaur​ant, Sandton Centre

                                                                         17 NOVEMBER 2017

 Topic: Transformation of the Judiciary with particular attention to creating a single judiciary and empowerment of women                                       

It gives me great pleasure to stand here today to celebrate an accomplishment of one of our most principled legal minds.

During the first decade of democracy, several fundamental changes were effected to transform the judicial system, in particular the setting up of appropriate judicial and legal structures and replacing the apartheid laws that institutionalised and enforced segregation policies of the erstwhile apartheid government. The establishment of the Constitutional Court and other commissions strengthening democracy such as the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission on Gender Equality, the Office of the Public Protector, the Independent Electoral Commission and the Auditor-General became one of the fundamental transformation outcomes brought about by our democratic government.

This contributes towards the attainment of some of our national imperatives in the judicial sector.

When I was Minister of Justice, the transformation agenda one of the fundamental programmes of government. I am glad that even under the leadership of my cabinet colleague, Minister Michael Masutha, this imperative is still

Our democratic society was founded on the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.

Admission to the high office of judge

Furthering the vision of transformation in the and a single judiciary coupled with the vision of empowerment of women

A sterling example of progress made in the empowerment of able women

Promoting unity amongst judicial officers

The transformation discourse has been … in the judicial sector

•The role of the judiciary in transforming the state and society

•Separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law as fundamental values that underpin the democratic society

•The impact of South African jurisprudence on the transformation of society

The constitution is the supreme law of the land and provides the basis for the transformation of the state and society. It sets out, as its vision, the establishment of a non-racial, non-sexist, equal and prosperous democratic society, founded on human rights. It is these uniquely transformative features of our constitution that seek to redress the legacy of inequality and deprivation implanted during the 300 years of colonial domination and decades of apartheid rule.

The judiciary, as a branch of the state, must complement the executive and the legislature in transforming and developing society. In a constitutional democracy the judiciary, through the exercise of judicial authority, has more responsibility than its traditional adjudicative role which arises from its power of judicial review. Therefore the strong independent judiciary is an absolute necessity for the rule of law to thrive.


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