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Rule-making and consultation process on Uniform Rule 70(5)(b)

The Rules Board for Courts of Law ('Rules Board') received a representation wherein the representor indicated that:
(a) When the new tariff structure for party and party recovery for attorneys was introduced in 1996 to Uniform Rule 70, the wording in Uniform Rule 70(5)(b) was not updated in line with the new tariff structure; and
(b) Uniform Rule (5)(b) still refers to tariff items that no longer exist or to items in the tariff, that are not intended to be departed from.
2. The representor proposes that Uniform Rule 70(5)(b) should be amended to allow for a departure from the provisions of the tariff for:
(a) Items 1 to 9 of Section A;
(b) Items 1 and 2 of Section C; and
(c) Item 2 of Section D.

Comments and/or suggestions must be submitted on or before 30 August 2024, and may be delivered to the Secretariat of the Rules Board in any of the following ways:
Physical: 2nd Floor, East Tower, Centre Walk, 266 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
E-mail: TRamantsi@justice.gov.za

Enquiries may also be directed to Mrs. C. Kemp via e-mail at ChKemp@justice.gov.za


Proposed amendments to Magistrates' Courts Rule 6(1) - (Rules relating to Pleadings Generally)

During March 2024 the Rules Board received representations from a former Rules Board member pertaining to a lacuna in rule 6. In view also of certain legislative developments, such as those reflected in the provisions of Section 34 of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014, the Rules Board intends amending rule 6(1).

The rule amendments are aimed at avoiding potential injustices or a lacuna which could occur in the rules.

As part of its consultative process, the Board hereby invites your comments on the proposed amendments, for submission to the Secretariat by no later than 31 July 2024.

Submissions can be sent via hand delivery or email as follows:
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 2nd Floor, Centre Walk East Tower, 266 Pretorius Street, PRETORIA.
EMAIL: Zintle Mbombo (ZMbombo@justice.gov.za).


Proposed amendments to Magistrates' Courts Rule 64-(Procedure for securing the attendance of Witnesses in Criminal Cases); coupled with the proposed insertion of Form 61 - (Subpoena in Criminal Proceedings)

The Rules Board recently amended rule 64 concerning the procedure for securing the attendance of witnesses in criminal cases in the Magistrates' Courts. Initial rule 64 amendments were gazetted on 12 May 2023 ( Government Gazette number: 48571 R. 3399 of 12 May 2023) and commenced on 19 June 2023.

During November 2023 representations were received from the National Director of Public Prosecutions pointing-out to a potential problem concerning the practical implementation of certain provisions of the recently gazetted rule 64 amendments. The National Director of Public Prosecutions further indicated that some of these recent amendments, such as those contained in sub-rules 64(7)(d) and (8) are seemingly in conflict with the provisions of section 158 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977).

Further, communication was received from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ) recommending the incorporation of the departmental J32 form (subpoena in criminal proceedings) into the court rules for practical considerations. The Rules Board considered the submissions and resolved to amend rule 64 accordingly and introduce form 61 into the rules, which form is designed along the lines of DoJ's J32 form, with variations. It is essentially intended that the new form 61 will substitute the departmental J32 form.

The proposed amendments are aimed at avoiding potential injustices and problems or a lacuna which could occur in the rules. The efficient administration of justice is also essential.

As part of its consultative process, the Rules Board hereby invites your comments on the proposed rule and form amendments, for submission to the Secretariat by no later than 31 July 2024.

Submissions can be sent via hand delivery or email as follows:
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 2nd Floor, Centre Walk East Tower, 266 Pretorius Street, PRETORIA.
EMAIL: Zintle Mbombo (ZMbombo@justice.gov.za).


Proposed new Uniform Rules 51A (Bail appeals from Magistrates’ Courts by an accused) and 51B (Bail appeals from Magistrates’ Courts by the Director of Public Prosecutions)

The Rules Board for Courts of Law (Rules Board) has considered introducing new Rules for the High Court to regulate the procedure for bail appeals from the Magistrates’ Courts.

Section 65 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977) makes provision for an appeal by an accused with regard to bail and section 65A of the aforesaid Act provides for an appeal by the attorney-general (Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)) against the decision of court to release the accused on bail.

As part of its rule review function, the Rules Board has considered that it is desirable to codify the procedure for bail appeals in the Uniform Rules of Court to promote access to justice, enhance the administration of justice and provide for uniformity in the application of the rules of court.

For the reasons mentioned above, the Rules Board has considered introducing Uniform Rule 51A, to regulate bail appeals from Magistrates’ Courts by an accused and Uniform Rule 51B to regulate bail appeals from Magistrates’ Courts by the DPP.

The Rules Board also considered that the proposed new Rules 51A and 51B should follow upon Uniform Rule 51 which regulates Criminal Appeals from Magistrates’ Courts.

Your comments and inputs should be submitted to the Secretariat of the Rules Board by no later than 30 August 2024 and may be sent via hand delivery or email to:
Physical: 2nd Floor, Centre Walk East Tower, 266 Thabo Sehume (Andries) Street, Pretoria
Email: AmSebola@justice.gov.za

Dated: 03 July 2024


Review of Uniform Rule 35 (Discovery, Inspection and Production of Documents) and Magistrates Courts’ Rule 23 (Discovery of Documents)

The Rules Board for Courts of Law is initiating a review of Uniform Rule 35, Magistrates Courts’ Rule 23 and the associated Forms in the First Schedule to the Uniform Rules and in Annexure 1 to the Magistrates Courts’ Rules. The review will encompass an evaluation of inter alia whether the rules mentioned above cater adequately for the discovery process and the discovery of electronically stored information (e-mails, web pages, word processing files, information stored on a computer or other electronic device).

Your comments and inputs should be submitted to the Secretariat of the Rules Board by no later than 30 August 2024 and may be sent via hand delivery or email to:
Physical: 2nd Floor, Centre Walk East Tower, 266 Thabo Sehume (Andries) Street, Pretoria
Email: MoSetshedi@justice.gov.za

Dated: 30 May 2024