SERI welcomes Legal Aid SA’s announcement that it will fund the legal representation of the arrested and injured miners at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, even if it decides ultimately to seek to appeal the High Court judgment on certain matters of principle concerning the scope of its mandate.
On 14 October 2013, the Pretoria High Court ordered Legal Aid SA to fund the legal representation of the miners. The Court found that Legal Aid SA’s decision to fund the legal representation of the families and not the miners “cannot be justified on any rational basis” and refusal to provide funding to the miners was unlawful.
On 14 October 2013, the Pretoria High Court ordered Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid) to fund the legal representation of the arrested and injured miners at the Marikana Commission. The court recommended to Legal Aid that that the miners’ current legal team – consisting of two counsel and a firm of attorneys – be maintained. The court found that Legal Aid’s decision to fund the legal representation of the families and not the miners “cannot be justified on any rational basis” and refusal to provide funding to the miners was unlawful.
SERI welcomes the judgment, and wishes to confirm that lawyers for the families of the deceased miners and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will continue to participate in the Marikana Commission’s proceedings from 15 October 2013.
On 11 October 2013, SERI hosted Courtenay Griffiths QC at our monthly SERI seminar. Griffiths spoke to SERI staff members about his experiences at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, his views on the current system of international criminal justice, and his support for the African Union's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
SERI has been admitted as amicus curiae in Kubyana v Standard Bank Ltd, to be heard in the Constitutional Court on 7 November 2013. The case raises issues relating to the proper interpretation of the decision in Sebola and the notice requirements embodied in sections 129 and 130 of the National Credit Act (NCA). The case clearly affects the rights and interests of consumers of credit, many of whom approach SERI for assistance and representation.
SERI senior researcher Jackie Dugard has co-edited a new book entitled Climate Talk: Rights, Poverty and Justice together with Asunción Lera St. Clair and Siri Gloppen. The book is published by JUTA Law and attempts to fill some of the gaps in climate change scholarship by focusing on the climate narratives emerging in and around South Africa.
The book explores how these narratives relate to broader issues of social justice and resource allocation, and the role of rights talk and legal strategies in the framing of the problems and solutions. In doing so, the book contributes to developing rights- and justice-based strategies for translating knowledge into action. Read more on the book here.