Maya supports 'traditional view' that judges speak through their judgments
Supreme Court of Appeal president justice Mandisa Maya said on Wednesday judges speak through their judgments.
Maya is one of four candidates being interviewed this week by the Judicial Service Commission for the position of chief justice.
She was responding a question from commissioner Vusumuzi Xaba, one of the six members designated by the National Assembly for the interviews.
Xaba said there is what is known as a traditional approach that says judges speak through their judgments, but there was also a constitution which gives everyone the right to freedom of expression.
“The question is what is your take when a senior judge falls into the temptation of entering into a policy discussion on matters, in some cases, that would likely come before him or her at some point?” Xaba asked Maya.
Maya said she was on record, as recently as 2017, in an exchange with former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng about the rights judges enjoy together with the rest of society in relation to freedom of expression.
“I espoused the traditional view, which is considered conservative, that judges speak through their judgments. Yes, we speak on public platforms. I do that all the time, but only for discreet purposes.”
She said these public addresses would be on scholarly platforms “and your presence there would be for the purpose of educating the public about the law, our institution and related matters. No more. That is my view.”
The interview continues.
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