Sometimes justice delayed is not due to the courts or the state – minister
“It is important to understand the context,” stated the Minister of Justice, Hon Yvonne Dausab when she fielded a question on the administration of justice, in a panel discussion moderated by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, Professor Tawana Kupe.
Minister Dausab, an Alumnus of the University of Pretoria shared ideas with the South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Hon Ronald Lamola, and the Dean of the UP Faculty of Law, Professor Elsabé Schoeman. This was part of a new digital communication forum organised by the university to discuss issues of public interest by leading Tuks alumni.
Listing her requirements for an outstanding university, Dausab emphasised that the profile of the teaching staff is important and that the faculty’s publishing profile must reflect issues that society is dealing with.
On a question about collective decisions that can not be supported by the individual, Dausab said the principle of a collective decision suggests that if you have lost the debate, how do you convince the rest of the collective to follow you?
According to Professor Schoeman the question whether a minister must resign if he or she can not reconcile a cabinet decision with their own convictions, is always popular among students.
“Students always want to know the correct answer to this,” Prof Schoeman said. “I always say there is no single correct answer. You have to argue in a balanced way; you have to argue both sides and come to a decision. That’s why cases go for appeal and to different courts; it is a complicated process.”
On to the issue of “justice delayed is justice denied”, Minister Dausab said the idea relates to the following question: “Do you have sufficient safeguards, such as constitutional provisions and protections that deal with issues of justice – justice imperatives, legal aid and access to legal representation and legal services, such as access to maintenance? It is important to understand the context, because sometimes justice delayed is not just due to the courts or the state. Sometimes the accused is the reason there are delays or the number of witnesses prolongs proceedings.”
Minister of Justice, Hon Yvonne Dausab (left) and the South African Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Hon Ronald Lamola.