The Judicial Service Commission was established in terms of section 178 of the Constitution and consists of 23 members. In terms of section 178 (5) of the Constitution, the JSC is entitled to advise the national government on any matters relating to the Judiciary or administration of justice. Additionally it performs the following functions:
- interviewing candidates for judicial posts and making recommendations for appointment to the bench; and
- dealing with complaints brought against Judges.
The first function is handled by the JSC as a whole and the second is handled by a smaller group of 13 commissioners. Complaints against Judges who contravene the Code of Judicial Conduct must first be reported to the JSC Secretariat which is located within the OCJ. The Code of Judicial Conduct provides for ethical and professional standards required of every Judge.
As members of JSC act in other professional capacities, the JSC and its various committees meet bi-annually. The JSC Secretariat is required to manage and facilitate the work of the JSC throughout the year and to liase with various JSC committees on matters they are tasked to deal with by the JSC at its bi-annual meetings.
The JSC Secretariat is responsible for organising and financing the bi-annual meetings of the JSC. The JSC meets for a week in April and October of every year. The meetings are generally held in Cape Town. The JSC Secretariat makes all logistical arrangements for all commissioners and is responsible for collating an agenda and documents relating to general matters to be dealt with by the JSC