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Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs Presentation by Adv S Jiyane, DDG Court Services 28 May 2007
INDEX • The Role of Court Services • The Branch Court Services • Linking Budget to Strategy • Intersectoral Alignment • JCPS Cluster Activities • Integration of systems across the IJS • Court Services’ Approach for 2007 • Achievements of 2006 • Budget management • Priorities & Planning for 2007 • Conclusion
The role of the Branch Court Services WHO ARE WE? • To assist the Department to deal with its objectives, the Branch Court Services was established to focus directly on those aspects relating directly to the courts. This came about after intense deliberation on how to focus attention on our core functions relating to the administration of justice through courts and the fragmented approach across various branches in the past. • In brief our goal is to develop and facilitate the implementation of measures to support and assist the courts and to ensure their independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness in accordance with the Constitution WHAT DO WE DO? Court Services’ core function can be viewed as: • The facilitation of the adjudication of criminal matters, the resolution of civil disputes, the addressing of family law related matters, improving the situation of vulnerable groups and the management of courts facilities; • The coordination and alignment of departmental strategies and programmes in relation to courts within the JCPS and Social clusters; and • The monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of departmental policy in relation to courts.
Linking budget to strategy In line with the DOJCD goals of - 1. Ensuring access to justice for all 2. Enhancing Organizational Efficiencyand 3. Transforming Justice Court Services is dealing with its responsibilities and the funds allocated to it through the courts and the following Programmes at National Office: • Programme Coordination and Court Support Services • Court Performance • Vulnerable Groups • Facility/Infrastructure Management • Family Advocacy
Service Delivery Performance Improvement The budget and additional funds received enabled Court Services and the Department to deal with, amongst other things, the following – • Ensuring that there are sufficient appropriate court buildings, facilities and infrastructure that support access to justice • Support to vulnerable groups • Implementing an effective court management system, including case flow management and ensuring quality and cost-effective court services • Transforming and improving customer service in keeping with the principles of Batho Pele and promoting greater confidence in the criminal justice system
Intersectoral Alignment • The department is attending to infrastructural development in each of the urban and rural development nodes. The development centers around new courts, additional accommodation, repair and maintenance of facilities, installation of new or improvement of existing information technology systems together with the upgrading of office furniture and related equipment. • In as far as possible, all new developments are aligned to the Municipalities IDP and Spatial Development Framework in cases where the municipalities have them. • There is a close co-ordination with SAPS (169 priority areas) in the planning of locations for new facilities and initiatives in general to ensure a more integrated approach.
JCPS CLUSTER ACTIVITIES • DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Court Services participates in the JCPS cluster activities through both the Development and JOINTS Committees. The Development Committee has facilitated, in addition to national intersectoral engagement, the establishment of provincial and local committees • In relation to the criminal justice system, the following main cluster priorities are receiving attention: • Continuation of the implementation of IJS programmes, predominantly in respect of modernising the justice system and improving the management of persons and cases through the justice system chain; • Improving the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, in part, through a review of the Criminal Justice System; • Integrated approach to reduce Case Backlogs in our Courts • Strengthening the CJS capacity in addressing issues of children in conflict with the law • Case Flow Management to improve the effectiveness and service delivery of the system • Restorative Justice identified as a major tool to address overcrowding through diversion and alternative sentencing • Alignment of Victim Empowerment Policy and the Service Charter and other victim support / empowerment initiatives stemming from National Crime Prevention Strategy • Dealing with sexual offences / intermediaries
Integration of Systems of the IJS departments • Through the Development Committee, the following Integration initiatives have been identified as Quick wins for the 2007-2008 financial year: • CAS and Workflow system of the Legal Aid Board (LAB) / and E-scheduler • An electronic notification is send from the CAS (SAPS) system to the Legal Aid Board System notifying them that an accuse require Legal Aid Assistance. On this trigger the Legal Aid Board will arrange for a Legal Aid Officer to take the necessary forms to be completed by the accused to the Police Station whom send the electronic notification/alert. • Re the E-Scheduler integration is to facilitate the electronic transfer of docket information (e.g. Particulars of Complainant, the Accused, the charge) from the CAS (SAPS) system to the E-Scheduler (Case Management Solution of DOJ&CD) • E-scheduler and Admission &Release (A&R) • This integration will facilitate the electronic transfer of postponement dates for people in prison from the E-Scheduler System to the A&R system of DCS • CAS and CRIMM Systems (SAPS) • This is to ensure that there is a link between the CAS system where the case registration particulars are stored and the Crimm System (CRIM) where the criminal history of an accused is stored. • Consensus was reached that the tracking of a person through the entire value chain and the verification of the identity of an accused will be done by using the fingerprint of accused persons as the common/unique identifier. • The strategy includes the integration of the following solutions - • CRIM (SAPS) and Admission & Release (A&R) system of DCS • HANIS system (Home Affairs) with the IJS Systems • Access to AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identity System), NPIS (National Photographic System) and the Live Scan (digitized way of taking fingerprints i.s. o. using ink as is currently the case) will be available to all participating departments to do either fingerprint or mugshot verification.
COURT SERVICES APPROACH FOR 2007 • Continuation of implementing the MTSF of the DOJCD and activities started in 2006 • Re-positioning and capacitating National Office Court Services to deal with setting policy/ guidelines for implementation at regional and local level – especially regarding projects to improve the efficiency of service delivery at local justice delivery points; and to monitor and evaluate progress of activities and budget expenditure across the spectrum (this includes improving analysis capacity) • Focus on specific high level activities (in conjunction with Regions) such as – • Maintenance and child justice aspects • Monitoring and improving Court performance – though finalisation of roll-out of e-scheduler (including scanning solution/ roll-out of backlog reduction project sites / finalisation of roll-out of digital recording services / improving transcription services • Facility management projects and RAMP • Improving budget expenditure and project management • Extending the Family Advocate Services
2006/07 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DOJCD MTSF AND SOME ACHIEVEMENTS
2006/2007: FACILITIES MANAGEMENT EXPENDITURE WAS OCCURRED IN THE FOLLOWING REGARD IN ORDER TO IMPROVE THE CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE AT SERVICE DELIVERY POINTS
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. • Courts have been made available in the following urban development nodes: Mdantsane, Inanda, Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Motherwell • A total of 285 courts are now registered on RAMP and are in various stages of execution: Status quo reports : 190 Design/ Tender phase : 12 (7- tender, 5- design) Repair phase : 2 Maintenance phase : 55 Completed (36-month cycle finished) : 26 • Capital works: 2 new facilities completed in Madadeni (KZN) and Nerina Youth Centre (PE) 4 Major new accommodation projects where construction is in progress (multi year projects): • Daveyton Branch Court • Motherwell MO • Tsakane Branch Court • Augrabies MO 6 Major extensions’ projects in progress (multi year projects): • Theunissen MO • Ceres MO • Stanger MO • Mitchells Plain MO • Colesberg MO • Supreme Court of Appeal • 3 Major refurbishments in progress (multi year projects): • PMB Masters’ Office: Colonial Building • Polokwane HC: Old Landros Mare Building • Sekgosese MO: Relocation to Soekmekaar Military Base
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. • 2 new facilities went out on tender and contractor has been appointed (in process of establishing on site): • Ekangala MO – new facility • Kagiso MO – new facility • 1 new facility out on tender (re-advertisement): • Galeshewe MO – new facility (re-advertised 25 May 2007) • 10 sites acquired for construction of new facilities for courts • 35 courts were provided with facilities for people with disability: (Budget allocated: R10m) • In construction = 29 • Site establishment = 3 • Tender phase = 2 (tenders closed in May) • Delayed = 1 (awaiting approval from SA Heritage Council) • Re-demarcation of Magisterial Districts • As part of the review process meetings have been held with various role-players in each province to review those cross-border magisterial districts in order to agree in principle the way forward. The objective is to finalize the re-demarcation process during the 2007/08 financial year. • New magisterial districts to be created eg Soweto
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. • CASE BACKLOG REDUCTION • The goal is to achieve a reduction in all case backlogs at the various project sites and other courts in general and also the appeal backlogs during 2007. The project is being dealt with as part of the holistic case flow management process through inter-sectoral engagement with critical role players including the NPA, Judiciary and Legal Aid Board (LAB) • 5 Regional Court Pilot sites set up since Nov 2006; • Project extended to 19 courts • Additional staff were provided to the identified sites (mag/ clerks/ interpreters/ legal aid reps/ pp’s • E-scheduler in place at the backlog sites • Progress monitored monthly • 697 cases finalized, 1119 disposed off (include withdrawals, transfer and warrant of arrest) • Audit of un-utilised sites undertaken • Additional capacity at High courts to deal with appeals • Proposed getting retired judges back for 3 month stints • In the interim, obtained buy-in from Pta and JHB Bars and GCB for use of SCs as pro bono acting judges from 26 March 07 to deal with appeal backlogs • Currently planning a national action plan for whole of 2007 with all backlog hotspots included and to deal with new backlog definition for Regional courts and to plan holistically for using the additional funding obtained from Treasury.
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. • The new Re aga Boswa court management model required new skills, competencies and organizational structure in line with new developments and challenges facing courts. Consequently the following interventions/programmes as part of the roll out of Re aga boswa were embarked upon: • Court Management Learnership • Initiated in 2005 • 2 year programme, ending in 2006/7 • NQF level 5 • 100 learners enrolled – 90 serving and 10 unemployed ito Skills Dev Legislation • Currently 95 learners are still in the programme • Long term – Court Management Development Programme will be located at new Justice College • Programme to be offered in modules as per needs of the courts from Justice College • Other Initiatives • A total of 58 Area Court Managers appointed nationally and given orientation about the Department and courts • A total of 162 Court Managers appointed nationally and given orientation about the Department and courts • A total of 6 Court Operations Directors appointed in the regional offices to coordinate provincial court management • Above include dedicated court managers for the high courts • Legally qualified Registrars now focus on case flow management (under the court managers in the high courts). • A model organizational structure for courts is developed and being finalized. This will cater for appropriate structure to execute the full mandate of the courts/complete package of all services rendered in the courts, including dedicated capacity for court information management to support courts to manage court performance. • Additional capacity (clerks) created in the courts to handle new court systems, eg. e-scheduler etc • New delegations for court managers developed and duly approved.
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. • The modernisation programme compose of the following initiatives undertaken during 2006/07: • e-Scheduler (web based with 444 sites completed) • Video postponements (currently piloted at KZN – 4899 postponements conducted ) • Digital Court Recording System (digital system transition from previous analogue systems in all courts) 1238 recorders installed • Transcription services – to improve services each region provided with dedicated service provider. • Scanning solution – the system developed enhancing the e-scheduler to provide support to the courts regarding capturing of file/ case dockets/charge sheets. 329 scanners distributed. Final testing of the enhanced version and impact study to determine resource for utilisation need to be conducted.
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. Case Flow Management • CFM is overseen by an National Integrated CFM Steering Committee – all cluster partners represented • CFM governance structures established at provincial, area& local level (Integrated Case Flow Management Forums) - chaired by the Judicial heads • CFM Planning Tool/Template developed and introduced to CFM role-players • CFM Guidelines distributed and available on DJINI
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. Video Remand System • Proof of concept completed to conduct postponements without the awaiting trial detainee leaving the correctional facility. • Benefits - remove security risks and logistical nightmare associated with daily transportation of ATD’s between court and prison, and free time & resources in the system for trial ready cases. Targeting only remand cases where no juveniles are involved • Piloted in Durban, Pinetown & Westville prison in KZN since Oct 05 - 4899 remands concluded • Suitable DOJ sites has been determined for further roll-out and cost analysis conducted. Engagement with DCS in progress to secure appropriate Correctional Centres. • Challenge - Draft legislation to be finalized and appropriate infrastructure lacking especially in correctional centres
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. e-Scheduler/ Case Management System • Deployed at 444 Lower Courts( All courts by July 2007) • User distribution – 3582 (Judiciary, Prosecution, Court Support Services) E-scheduler Roll Out per month
Court Nerve Centre • Court Nerve Centre concept : • Court Services to facilitate the collection, capturing, processing, analysis and reporting on the performance of the courts within the criminal, civil and family court services • Interface with other data sources (NPA, judiciary, DCS, SAPS etc) • Progress : • Performance measuring tool developed – balanced scorecard to be communicated and implemented at the courts • The 2 monthly returns being administered • Access and SQL server data base have been developed at national level (for data storage) • JMIS developed to provide for standard court performance reporting and business intelligence (data mining and drilling) • National Operating Centre (NOC) and CNC are mandated to manage Departmental Information – • CNC mandate – Criminal, Civil and Family case • NOC – All other departmental strategic and operational support information • Interface with NOC - CNC is a data node of the NOC - feeds information to the NOC
Challenges: Monitoring Court Performance: National Role • Gathering/collection of statistics from courts as per monthly returns, e-scheduler & other sources • Interface with Judicial & prosecutorial court information (MC15 and NPS data) • Central monitoring of the e-scheduler operations • Cleaning of received data and identify variables needed for measuring court performance • Analyze and interpret data • Draw conclusions from analyzed data • Recommendations based on analyzed data • Reporting/feedback to support management decisions • Develop court information management strategies Currently the courts, regions and national office do not have appropriate capacity ito human resources, information management culture, skills and competencies to properly collate and analyze court statistics to show court performance. Managing Court Performance: Regional & Area/Court Management Role • Court to compile/prepare statistics by ; • Keeping & updating registers as per prescripts and identified court information needs • Compile/prepare statistics from • monthly returns ito Circulars from registers, or • e-scheduler where applicable • Other sources • Analyze and interpret data • submit consolidated reports to area court level • Area consolidate data from courts • analyze and interpret courts reports/data • compile area report • submit area report to regional office, Court Operations Director • Region consolidate area court reports • analyze and interpret area reports/data • submit regional report to N/O and/or Court Performance
INFORMATION FLOW Court A Court A Area 1 Court Services Court A Region Court Nerve Centre Court A Area 2 Court A INFORMATION FLOW
COURT PERFORMANCE • In general there has been a slight decline in court productivity, with slightly less hours sat, less cases finalised, more cases outstanding. • However, this should be viewed against a backdrop of the magistracy taking over case flow management (CFM), training still being implemented ito CFM, more accused involved in more counts per case, more legal aid representatives dealing with the cases – all factors impacting on court productivity. • In addition, case cycle time has been improved. • For example, the finalisation rate achieved by the Regional Courts during 2006 indicates clearly an improved performance. They have managed to finalise on average 2.7% more cases per month than in the previous year, with an increase of 8.9% during December 2006 – a month which is usually known for its low productivity. • During an audit conducted on outstanding cases country-wide at the end of November 2006, it was determined that the cycle times of cases in the Regional Courts have been reduced from the previous year. The cycle time of cases from first appearance in the District Court to first appearance in the Regional Court comprises on average 5 months. From the date of first appearance in Regional Court to finalisation is on average another 11 months. A total cycle time of 16 months is therefore maintained nationally on Regional court cases. This is an improvement on the cycle time of 20 months that was recorded for Regional court cases in 2005. • In the High Courts, it is clear that during 2006, 84% of cases had been finalised within three years of first appearance in the District Court compared to a mere 53% the previous year. The audit on outstanding cases conducted at the end of November 2006 indicated that the cycle times of all high court cases have shortened by 3 months. Although the cycle times according to outstanding cases amount to an average of 29 months from date of first District Court appearance, the cycle times on finalised cases are much shorter, because of cases that is being ‘fast-tracked’. • It should also be noted that even with a general decline in the performance of the Courts; the courts have still managed to maintain high conviction rates which are an indication of the quality of prosecutions managed by the Lower Courts. The District Courts exceeded their target of 85% with 2% by maintaining an 87% conviction rate. The Regional Courts managed
Court Performance cont. • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as part of the CFM process, is impacting positively on court productivity and cycle times as more time is available to deal with trial matters. • At the end of January 2007, a total of 37 225 cases have been diverted, compared to the total of 29 935 diversions during 2005/2006 away from the criminal justice system into suitable programs. • By diverting cases, the incarceration of accused on trivial matters merely because they can’t afford to pay a fine, is also prevented.
Court Statistics from April 2006 to end of March 2007 High Courts • On average 833 courts sat for 689 court days; on average 3h20 minutes pd • New trials: 2036; • New Section 52 matters (minimum sentences): 1396 • Cases withdrawn: 102 • Trial Cases finalised: 1185 of which 1016 (86%) were guilty; 169 not guilty • Section 52 matters (minimum sentences): Sentenced: 988 (90%); Acquitted: 109; Referred back: 54 • High Court Outstanding trials: 1214 (of which 888 are outstanding as trials; 326 outstanding Section 52); of which only 170 trial cases or 14% are outstanding for more than 12 months
Court Statistics from April 2006 to end of March 2007 cont. Lower Courts (district and regional courts combined) • On average 1493 courts sat pm; on average 4h00 minutes pd • 17 911 courts sat per annum for 230 866 court days (on average 19 239 court days pm) • New trials: 1 055 971 (on average 87 998 pm) • Finalised cases: 375 436 • 284 030 (86%) Guilty • 47 150 Not guilty • 44 256 ADR (diversions) • Cases removed 720354 (60 030 pm) (withdrawn: 304 366; Warrants 180 170) • Cases finalised: 1185 of which 1016 (86%) were guilty; 169 not guilty • Lower Court Outstanding trials: 191 371 (128 per court on average) of which 35 651 (19%) are longer than 6 months
Court Statistics from April 2006 to end of March 2007 cont. Lower Courts: Just Regional Courts • 5 485 courts sat pa for 58 690 court days (on average 4891 court days pm and average 457 courts sat pm) • They sat on average 3h55 minutes • New trials: 79 651 (on average 5923 pm) • Finalised cases: 37 141 • 26 648 (72%) Guilty • 10 181 Not guilty • 312 ADR (diversions) • Cases removed 50 541 (4 212 pm) (withdrawn: 25 311; Warrants 11 598) • Outstanding trials: 47 614 (128 per court on average) of which 20 094 (42%) longer than 6 months
Current Backlog Project Strategic Project Objectives: • To identify the worst backlog sites and achieve a reduction in all case backlogs at these project sites and other courts in general and also the appeal backlogs during 2007 • To ensure that the inflow of new cases are balanced by matters concluded. To have ensured greater court efficiency and effectiveness, including alternative methods of dealing with demand, across the greater IJS value chain. • The project is being dealt with as part of the case flow management (CFM) processes through inter-sectoral engagement with critical role players including the NPA, Judiciary, Legal Aid Board (LAB) and SAPS
BACLOG REDUCTION SITES • PRINCIPLES • Additional regional courts to be set up with additional assistance from retired/ ex-magistrates / Additional prosecutors, legal aid representatives, court clerks, interpreters • Set up local case review teams to screen cases and ensure trial ready court rolls • Set up reception courts where possible • Use unutilised accommodation optimally • Deal with trial ready backlogs, not new cases • Work on a continuous roll and LIMIT partly-heards • Limit withdrawals • Monitor stats, consider interventions • Case Flow Management to be implemented nationally and efficiency enhanced • Improved screening of all cases by NPA nationally
BACKLOG REDUCTION SITES • It was decided that the INITIAL FOCUS in terms of backlog reduction would be the following 5 (five) regional court top backlog hotspot sites and interventions started there on 1 November 2006: • Pietermaritzburg Regional Courts in KZN (76% Backlog cases) • Port Elizabeth Regional Courts in Eastern Cape (61% Backlog cases) • Pretoria Regional Courts in Gauteng (58% Backlog cases) • Bellville Cluster in Western Cape (Regional Courts of both Bellville (39%) and Kuilsriver (53%) to be dealt with at Kuilsriver) • Protea Regional Courts in Gauteng (60% Backlog cases) – In view of accommodation constraints this site dealt with the backlogs through Saturday court sessions until 17 February 2007. A full time additional regional court is now dealing with those backlogs at Lenasia with effect from 1 March 2007.
NEXT BACKLOG REDUCTION SITES • 9 Additional courts to these 5 sites that have since come into operation (mostly from March 2007) after having been identified on statistics and on request from the Regional Court Presidents in terms of backlog hotspot areas in December 2006 and January 2007, are the following: • 1 additional court at Bellville (dealing with commercial crime backlogs) • 1 additional court at Paarl, but sitting at Somerset West in view of accommodation challenges at Paarl • 1 additional court at Khayalitsha • 1 additional court at Atlantis • 1 additional court at Durban dealing with commercial crime backlogs • 1 additional court at Port Shepstone, but sitting at Ezingolweni in view of accommodation challenges at Port Shepstone (it is envisaged that the additional court will from April rotate between Ezingolweni and Tuton (2 weeks each per month in order to deal with access to justice for the witnesses in an improved manner) • 1 additional court at Kokstad • 1 additional court at Middelburg • There are thus currently 20 additional courts in operation on the backlog project.
Findings • Result: courts sit low hours; too many partly-heard matters; many withdrawals, lack of sufficient numbers of cases finalised • Remedy: • High level visits to all court sites and in-depth discussions with role-players to improve functioning and rectify shortcomings; • Establishment/ re-establishment of local case review teams and reception courts; all role players to re-commit to project goals • Result: The situation at the various sites are starting to improve as the number of cases being finalised is increasing; there are less partly heard matters; withdrawals are addressed; and the conviction rates are improving. • Additional legal aid representatives is a key success factor
Other Initiatives • In addition to continuing with the various backlog sites, the following initiatives identified as part of the original backlog project scope are continuously being promoted country-wide at all courts: • Provincial Development Committees and CFM Committees to monitor backlog and assist with the backlog projects • Fast-tracking the execution of warrants of arrest. • Improving witness preparation and getting them to court. In this regard witness fees is a challenge as witnesses are not willing to come to court for the current prescribed witness fees per day. This is receiving attention. • Fast-tracking DSD reports. • Fast-tracking forensic analysis. • Identifying training needs for prosecutors, the judiciary and training court managers and admin staff on court operations management.
Appeal backlog cont. Pretoria High Court Special appeal court session statistics from 26 March 2007 to 16 April 2007 indicate the following: • Appeals enrolled 26 March – 16 April : 103 • Appeals finalized 26 March – 16 April : 95 • Appeals postponed 26 March – 16 April : 8 The 95 Finalized Appeals Involved 107 Appellants and of the 95 Appeals Finalized - • 71 appeals failed or succeeded only partially • 18 appeals succeeded • 2 appeals were struck off the roll • 2 appeals were withdrawn • 2 judgements were reserved (and had not been given yet) • 227 more appeals have been set down as yet until 2 July.
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. • VULNERABLE GROUPS SEXUAL OFFENCES • Preliminary investigation into the modalities of the function of intermediary had been made and draft policy framework with recommendation prepared on how best the intermediary functions can be best managed; • Reconvening of the intersectorial costing teams had began in order to finalized the costing of the Sexual Offences Bill VICTIM SUPPORT • Investigation on the integration / embedding of Restorative Justice principles in the criminal justice system and development of a policy / programme to guide the integration and implementation at a National level and to drive this a task team has been formed and fact finding initiatives have began such as attending Restorative Justice scoping session led by NPA Serurubele • Alignment of Victim Empowerment Policy and the Service Charter and other victim support / empowerment initiatives stemming from National Crime Prevention Strategy and in this regard bilateral held with Social Development which has come up with recommendations for DevComm of how alignment can be attained • Development of the complaint management / feedback mechanism and victim tracking system has began • To facilitate the referral of victims of crime to victim support services such as counselling, shelters etc over R500 000.00 has been spend procuring National Directory for Service to Victims of Crime, which directory will be distributed to front line court staff to enable them to refer victims to these services
ACHIEVEMENTS cont. SMALL CLAIMS COURTS • A Small Claims Court project to drive the process of re-engineering the Small Claims Courts has been established and structure in place • Audit with respect to the 154 Small Claims Courts has been undertaken the results of which are being used to develop baseline data which will be automated for ensuring the management of functioning of Small Claims Courts as well as sustaining / reviving the none functional ones • Roll out plan for the 106 Small Claims courts is being implemented and to date 8 Small Claims courts are in process of establishment and a workshop to be held on 22 June 2007 with all Regional heads and Area court managers on the roll out • Bilateral with Legislation unit held on provisions in the Small Claims Act requiring amendment to enable increased access to courts and transform them. Legislative unit has assigned a director to do the investigations • A step by step poster on procedure to institute a claim in the Small Claims Courts has been developed and is being distributed to the Regions and the poster is being translated in all the official languages • For improved assessing of impact of the Small Claims Courts to vulnerable groups the template for collecting statistics has been amended to enable us to determine who accesses the courts in terms of race, gender, age group, rural / urban, economic position of complainant, types of cases and turn around time with respect to finalization of cases • Database of all Commissioners and Advisory Board has been developed to enable function of courts
Equality Courts • Draft policy framework has been developed to guide the Department in implementing the Act and achieve the objectives of the Act • Equality Act has been translated into further five languages (Ndebele, Tswana, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Tshivenda) the remaining three languages to be finalized end May 2007 • Section 16 of the Equality Act has been complied with in that the Department has a comprehensive database of all Magistrates and Judges who have been trained and appointed as presiding officers of the Equality Courts. A database with respect to clerks is being finalised • Monthly meetings are being held with Chapter Nine institutions to address issues of coordination of training, public awareness, monitoring, and development monitoring tool for the Equality courts • Service providers have been identified to undertake an audit of the functioning of 220 equality courts, audit to include looking at whether courts comply with Act ito infrastructure, accommodation, facilities for the disabled (ramps), trained officials, availability of assessors, interpreters, trained clerks and Magistrates; • Norm and standards for Magistrates and clerks are being developed • Bilateral with Justice College has taken place on the conducting of refresher training and training the newly appointed clerks (139 clerks have and are in the process of being appointed) • Process with respect to designation of the remaining courts has began with identification of Magisterial Districts where the Equality Courts will be established • For improve assessing of the impact of Equality courts to vulnerable groups the template for the collecting of statistics has been amended to enable us to determine who access the courts ito race, gender age group, types of case
FAMILY COURTS • Family Courts • Intensified programmes to set up Family Courts by capacitating the courts with Human Resources; • Facilitated the development of the Family law Learnership (100 learners) • Developed guidelines for Domestic Violence cases • Appointed legally qualified personnel to assist the court user, more especially in the area of Maintenance: 87 (with LLB-degrees) and others =155 Maintenance Officers and assisted with the appointment of extra Administrative Clerks for Family Law sections, which brings the total to 569 Family Law Clerks; • 171 Maintenance Investigators Appointed for Tracing of Defaulters; • Training: clerks of the courts in the family law streams have received training, in all nine Provinces • Facilitated the development of an automated management system for family law services, which will assist in standardising workflows, unblock administrative workflows, improve turnaround times and assist monitoring and evaluation family law service • Achievements for the Family Courts from March- May 2007: • Assessment of the original five (5) in progress • Identification of service providers to render mediation training has began which will be piloted in Gauteng • Restorative Justice: • During 2006/07, facilitated non-custodial sentencing sessions for lower court judiciary, including regional court magistrates, in 9 Provinces as well as the incorporation into Justice College of training in this regard. The Regional Magistrates’ Workshops resulted in a bench book for Magistrates. • During January 2007, a strategy was developed for Restorative Justice for Vulnerable Persons and submitted to the JCPS Development Committee. A Restorative Justice Task Team was established to interrogate how the JCPS Cluster will draft policy and develop and implement aligned Restorative Justice programs. We have started an audit of Programmes and held meetings with service providers to start the development of programmes for Non-custodial Sanctions. Consultations will be held with broader role players and civil society.
OPERATION ISONDLO: Maintenance: • Developed implementation plan to facilitate successful implementation of Operation Isondlo; updated the Isondlo statistical template for information management, and 83 legal interns appointed to assist at court level; Maintenance complaints referred to Regional Heads; training for 68 newly appointed legally qualified Maintenance Officers facilitated MAINTENANCE PAYOUTS: • Efforts by DOJCD officials with the co-operation of Judiciary and Prosecution has resulted in the pay out of unclaimed monies to beneficiaries countrywide as follows: • Province Amount • Eastern Cape R 491 811-00 • Free State R 470 000-00 • Gauteng R 669 000-00 • KZN R 800 000-00 • Limpopo R 800 000-00 • Mpumalanga R 683 721-00 • Northern Cape R 35 000-00 • North West R 428 956-00 • Western Cape R 757 821-00 • TOTAL R 4 969 488-00
TRACING PROJECT • The appointment of tracing agents and Maintenance Investigators have also alleviated tremendously the burden and responsibility that beneficiaries had to supply information on defaulters for them to be traced. • Defaulters are now traced by tracing agents and Maintenance Investigators with the information that is available from the DOJCD. • Tracing agents are also tracing beneficiaries with unclaimed monies at courts in the Provinces and numbers are as follows for January to February 2007: • Beneficiaries traced: 435 • Defaulters traced: 430 • Total traced: 865