The Constitutional Court’s electronic case management and filing systems are vital to its functioning. The justices and their staff are entitled to the best available technical aids while the public is entitled to ready and accurate information about the work of the Court.
Media reports claim that Constitutional Court records are not being properly maintained online, that court documents go missing and that they are often unavailable online ahead of hearings. With online technology playing an increasing role in how courts function, these reported problems with the Constitutional Court’s online record-keeping are therefore of particular concern.
Information is the oxygen of democracy: as the Supreme Court of Appeal has said, “the right of open justice must include the right to have access to papers and written arguments which are an integral part of court proceedings”. Regrettably, it seems that the situation described
at the Constitutional Court falls short of this standard.
Freedom Under Law trusts that with the fresh leadership of Justices Zondo and Maya, these shortcomings will be addressed with due urgency.