The recent ruling of certain sections of the Sexual Offences Act unconstitutional as related to consensual sex between minors, by Judge Pierre Rabie, illustrates the need for independence for our judiciary.
Imagine a situation where a child in need could not go to a nurse or doctor or counselor or even a parent, without their contact of choice being obliged to report their sexual activity to the police because not to do so is a criminal act. That is almost unimaginable yet that was the situation under the Sexual Offences Act. It took a cool look from a member of the judiciary to understand that this was untenable and unconstitutional.
Why do we need this independence? If our judiciary were mere servants of our politicians and were unable to toss out bad legislation or reverse bad or illegal convictions, your daughter found kissing the boy next door could end up in a prison cell. The habit of judicial conflict with legislators is not unheard of in South Africa. Even in the apartheid era, judiciary had a habit of overturning bad convictions obtained by overzealous prosecutors in lower courts based on bad law written by overzealous ideologues.
This tradition of judicial independence is a tradition we need to encourage and applaud.
The Direct Democracy Forum support this judicial independence with DDF judicial policy. Not to have that skilled and thoughtful check and balance on the side of sanity and social justice is simply unthinkable.
The buck stops at the ballot box.