Judicial Service Commission, indigenous law, Constitutional Court, justices, highest court
South African courts are independent, subject only to the constitution and the law. The Constitutional Court, located in Johannesburg, rules on constitutional matters. It is composed of a president and ten justices, six of whom are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission (an advisory body for national and provincial judicial matters). The other four justices are appointed by the president from among the judges of the Supreme Court in consultation with the chief justice.
The Supreme Court of Appeal, situated in Bloemfontein, is the highest court in all but constitutional matters. It is composed of a chief justice and a number of judges of appeal. Below the Supreme Court of Appeals are High Courts and Magistrates’ Courts. Black South Africans may choose to bring civil claims based on indigenous law and custom to a local chief’s court, with subsequent right of appeal in one of the Magistrate’s Courts.
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