EUSEBIUS McKAISER | The JSC should tell us whether white men must stop applying

Race and gender are important for candidacy, but with the likes of David Unterhalter require a more nuanced approach

06 October 2021 - 07:16

It is grossly unacceptable for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to be so coy about what the criteria genuinely are for eligibility to be elected as a Constitutional Court judge. More precisely, the JSC must be blunt about any exclusionary threshold requirements so potential candidates do not waste their time throwing names into a hat from which theirs could never be drawn.

The most obvious elephant in the JSC room is the racialised elephant. Does being white or a white male exclude someone a priori? If so, why not tell the likes of judge David Unterhalter and adv Alan Dodson to not bother applying at all. But once you invite them for an interview, the operating assumption has got to be that they are in with a chance. At that point, the quality of their interviews provides a final set of observations that should go into the deliberative process afterwards...

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