The Jurisdiction of the Regional Courts Amendment Act, 2008: Some implications for child law and divorce jurisdiction

  • J Sloth-Nielsen

Abstract

The promulgation of the Jurisdiction of the Regional Courts Amendment Act, 31 of 2008 (hereafter the JRCAA) in 62 large urban magisterial districts on 9 August 2010 (Women’s Day) heralds a potentially drastic transformation of the practice of civil procedure in South Africa. This article focuses on its implications for family law and, especially, child law proceedings. The various dimensions of jurisdictional reform are first explained with reference to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and the JRCAA, whereafter their import is analysed. It will be questioned whether the provisions of the JRCAA were drafted with sufficient care, and why no reference was made to the provisions of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The potential difficulties occasioned by the new jurisdictional rules will be described. In conclusion, comments are made about the positive and less positive aspects of the JRCAA, and suggestions for reform are provided.

Die inwerkingtreding van die Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Act, 31 van 2008 (voortaan die JRCAA), in 62 groot stedelike landdrosdistrikte op 9 Augustus 2010 (Vrouedag), het die potensiaal vir drastiese transformasie van die praktyk van siviele prosesreg in Suid-Afrika. Hierdie artikel fokus op die implikasies van die Wet vir familiereg, en in besonder, kindderreg verrigtinge. Die verskillende afmetings van die jurisdiksionele hervormings word eerstens beskryf met verwysing na die Kinderwet, 38 van 2005 en die JRCAA, waarna hulle mening geanaliseer word. Dit word bevraagteken of die JRCAA bepalings met genoeg sorg geformuleer was, en hoekom geen verwysing na die Kinderwet verskyn. Die moontlike probleem wat die nuwe jurisdiksionele bepalings mag veroorsaak word beskryf. Gevolglik word daar kommentaar gelewer oor die positiewe and minder positiewe aspekte van die JRCAA, en voorstelle vir hervorming word aanbeveel.

The article is in English.

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eISSN: 0258-252X
print ISSN: 0258-252X