The South African Judicial Education Institute (SAJEI) will next year offer a programme for aspirant women judges with the aim of educating and training more women judicial officers to take their place at the bench.

A statement released by the Office of the Chief Justice said the Aspirant Women Judges Programme is in line with the Constitution’s section 174 (2), which highlights the need for the judiciary to be a reflection of South African society in terms of gender and race.

“It is envisaged that the programme will be conducted over a period of a year in the 2022/23 financial year. The programme will consist of virtual training, as well as practical training. After the initial formal training of judgment writing, the participants will be placed at various courts under mentorship,” the statement read.

The following criteria will be used to determine suitable candidates for the programme:

• The applicant must be a fit and proper person.

• The applicant must have a minimum of 12 years of experience as an attorney, advocate, judicial officer and any other legal capacity.

• The applicant must have practiced law in either the lower or higher courts.

• Practitioners must submit a certificate of good standing from their statutory bodies and recognised Bar associations. Magistrates must submit letters of good standing from the Magistrate’s Commission, as well as a recommendation from the Head of Court based on judicial performance.

• Academic qualifications: a recognised law degree.

The training programme will be developed, monitored and implemented by nine training committee members led by senior members of the judiciary including North West Judge President Mashangu Leeuw and former Gauteng High Court Deputy Judge President Justice Phineas Mojapelo.

Source: South African Government News Agency