Should Western Cape judge president John Hlophe participate in the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC’s) interviews of potential judges for appointment to the Western Cape High Court on Friday it will be a travesty of justice, but in a sense an entirely fitting end to the JSC’s two weeks of interviews for judicial appointments.

The JSC, tasked with the appointment and disciplining of judges, including their removal, is required both to uphold the independence of the judiciary and ensure accountability of judges. Ultimately, it is in the business of overseeing justice. Yet, as any number of prominent legal commentators have already pointed out, it has been hard to spot justice in these two-week proceedings. Unless, far from that glittering, noble star we imagined it to be, justice is in fact a worn, grubby thing...

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