The Judicial authority of the Republic of South Africa is vested in the courts. These provisions are contained in Section 165 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

The courts are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law, which they must apply impartially and without fear, favour or prejudice.

No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the courts.

Organs of state, through legislative and other measures, must assist and protect the courts to ensure the independence, impartially, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness of the courts. An order or decision issued by a court binds all persons to whom and organs of state to which it applies.

Judicial system

The courts are:

  • The Constitutional Court
  • The Supreme Court of Appeal
  • The High Courts, including any high court of appeal that may be established by an Act of Parliament to hear appeals from High Courts
  • The Magistrates’ Courts and any other court established or recognised in terms of an Act of Parliament, including any court of a status similar to either the High Courts or the Magistrates’ Courts {Play}