The Constitutional Court is failing to deliver judgments timeously, reports GroundUp. According to the news outlet, the apex court has four late judgments outstanding and many others have been delivered late this year.

The court’s website is also poorly maintained, with judgments which have already been handed down still listed as ‘awaiting judgment’.

The judicial norms and standards state that except for ‘exceptional cases where it is not possible to do so, every effort shall be made to hand down judgments no later than three months after the last hearing’.

GroundUp started reporting on late judgments in 2017 and have used a more lenient six-month benchmark to classify a reserved judgment as late.

According to the last available Reserved Judgment Report for the Chief Justice, as of 31 December 2022, 181 judgments were outstanding for at least six months in courts across the country.

In total, 901 judgments were reserved.

GroundUp has also started tracking the list of late judgments. Of judgments reserved by the Constitutional Court since August last year and that have since been handed down, 10 were late using the six-month criterion and 19 were delivered late using the judicial norms and standard’s three-month criterion.

After GroundUp asked the Office of the Chief Justice last week about the 21 matters listed as ‘still awaiting judgment’ on the Constitutional Court’s website, it seems to have been updated.

The site now lists 18 outstanding judgments.

But some of the cases listed are years old even though they have been finalised, and other matters where judgments have already been delivered still feature on this list.

Full GroundUp report