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An investigation into the application of judicial case management in the South African civil court system to enhance quality and access to justice

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Annette Lotter; Dr. Jacques van Zyl en_US
dc.contributor.author Abader, Moegamat Ishaam
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-20T09:58:26Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-20T09:58:26Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08-20
dc.date.submitted 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/6253
dc.description M.B.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract An investigation into the application of judicial case management in the South African civil court system to enhance quality and access to justice. Background The South African judicial system, and in particular, the lower Courts have been plagued by inefficiency and inadequate use of its resources. This, in turn, has lead to inordinate delays in the prosecution of both civil and criminal matters. This research will however focus on the civil prosecution of cases. Ultimately, the quality of service being provided to both internal and external customers is lacking and is evidenced by the slow pace of cases through the system. The civil justice system in South Africa is in need of an overhaul as the quality of the service provided by the courts has been questioned extensively. The focus of this research is to look at judicial case management as well as some of the current factors that may be responsible for the delays in the civil justice system and to propose judicial case management as a possible solution to enhance quality in the South African judicial system. Related to the concept of quality are productivity and efficiency and, by implication, these areas may also be improved. Accordingly, this study will assess the current situation in the South African civil justice system and investigate if judicial case management will assist in achieving quality and productivity. IV Objectives The overall objective of this study is to formulate recommendations to enhance quality and access the civil justice system. To reach the above aim, the following objectives are relavant: 1.3.1 Conduct interviews with members of the public and legal professionals involved in the civil justice system in South Africa to assess their perceptions of the system. 1.3.2 During the interviews, elicit recommendations on how the system may be improved with particular emphasis on judicial case management. 1.3.3 Conduct a literature review of relevant and available literature that investigates developments in the British, Canadian, Australian and part of the American legal system, respectively. 1.3.4 Describe and analyse the data collected. 1.3.5 Compare the data collected in the South African context with developments in international judicial systems. 1.3.6 Make recommendations with a view to improving quality in the South African civil justice system. Design and data collection A qualitative research paradigm will be used for this study. Primary data was collected using the semi-structured interview method and the in-depth interview methods, respectively, in order to determine the views among some legal professionals in the province of Gauteng as well as certain members of the public. Documentary secondary data was also used in this research project in addition to the primary data collection methods. Conclusions In summary, the conclusions can be drawn that: there are problems in the South African civil justice system that lead to increased costs, unnecessary delay and complexity of the system; the causes of the problems are related to a wide variety of issues that range from, inter alia, human resources, training, operational issues, jurisdiction of courts, the structure and functioning of the courts, pleadings and the rules of court; there is a need and a willingness for judicial case management, despite some opposition, but that nature and form thereof will have to be the subject of discussion. Recommendations Recommendations to improve the system range from improving statistical analyses; increasing the public participation process in law making; improving the sheriffs services and service of process; improving the management and administration of the courts; introducing alternative dispute resolution and possibly mandatory dispute resolution; addressing procedural issues and finally, introducing some form of judicial case management. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Court administration - South Africa en_US
dc.title An investigation into the application of judicial case management in the South African civil court system to enhance quality and access to justice en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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