High Court of Parliament Act, 1952

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High Court of Parliament Act, 1952
enacted by the Parliament of South Africa
Act No. 35 of 1952. First published on 4 June 1952 in Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 4857, and came into force upon publication. Struck down as invalid by the Appellate Division on 13 November 1952 in the case of Minister of the Interior v Harris. Repealed on 31 May 1961 by the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1961.

Act

To establish a High Court of Parliament and to define its jurisdiction and to provide for matters incidental thereto.



(English text signed by the Governor-General.)
(Assented to 3rd June, 1952.)


Be it enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:―


Definition.

1. In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates, “Act of Parliament” means any instrument which has at any time since the eleventh day of December, 1931, been enrolled of record in the office of the Registrar of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa in terms of section sixty-seven of the South Africa Act, 1909, or which may at any time hereafter be so enrolled, by virtue of the fact that it purports to be an Act of Parliament, and which purports to be enacted by the King, the Senate and the House of Assembly, whether it purports to have been passed by a joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Assembly or by the Senate and the House of Assembly in separate sittings, and irrespective of the subject matter thereof.


Certain judgments and orders of the Appellate Division subject to review by High Court of Parliament.

2. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law contained, any judgment or order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa, whether given or made before or after the commencement of this Act, whereby the said Appellate Division declared or declares invalid any provision of any Act of Parliament referred to in section one or whereby it declared or declares that any such Act is not an Act of the Parliament of the Union, or whereby it refused or refuses to give effect to any provision of such an Act or prohibited or prohibits any person from giving effect to any such provision or in any other manner rendered or renders such a provision inoperative or denied or denies that it has the force of law, shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be subject to review by the High Court of Parliament (hereinafter referred to as the Court) which shall be a court of law constituted as hereinafter provided.


Constitution of Court.

3. (1) Every senator and every member of the House of Assembly shall be a member of the Court and shall, notwithstanding the dissolution of the Senate or the House of Assembly, as the case may be, continue to be a member of the Court until a new Senate has been constituted or, as the case may be, a general election of members of the House of Assembly has been held, or until any matter under review by the Court has been disposed of by it, whichever may be the later: Provided that a member of the Court shall vacate his office as a member of the Court if he ceases to be a senator or a member of the House of Assembly otherwise than in consequence of the dissolution of the Senate or the House of Assembly.

(2) The Governor-General may appoint one of the members of the Court as the President thereof.

(3) The President shall preside at all sittings of the Court and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General: Provided that the President may designate any other member of the Court to preside during his temporary absence from the Court.

(4) Fifty of the members of the Court shall form a quorum at any sitting of the Court.

(5) The Clerk of the House of Assembly shall be ex officio the Registrar of the Court: Provided that the President of the Court may designate any other person to act as Registrar of the Court during the absence of the Registrar.

(6) A person who becomes a member of the Court after the date upon which a sitting of the Court in pursuance of a notice published under section seven has commenced, shall not be competent to take his seat as a member of the Court in connection with the consideration of the application for review of the judgment or order in respect of which that sitting has been convened.

(7)  (a)   No member of the Court shall vote or take part in the discussion of any matter before the Court or a Judicial Committee―
(i)   in which he has a direct pecuniary interest; or
(ii)   which relates to an application for the review of a judgment or order given or made in proceedings to which he was a party otherwise than nomine officii.
(b)   No member of the Court shall be disqualified from sitting as a member of the Court or a Judicial Committee by reason of the fact that he participated in the proceedings of Parliament in his capacity as a Senator or a member of the House of Assembly during the passing of the Act of Parliament which forms the subject matter of the judgment or order under review.
(c)   The President of the Court or the Chairman of a Judicial Committee, as the case may be, shall decide all questions relating to the competency of a member of the Court or a Judicial Committee to vote or take part in the discussion of any matter before the Court or a Judicial Committee, as the case may be, and the decision of the President or the Chairman on any such question shall be conclusive.

(8) The members of the Court shall receive such allowances in respect of their services as members of the Court as the Governor-General may determine.

(9) A member of the Court shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Crown in terms of section fifty-three of the South Africa Act, 1909.


Place of sittings of Court.

4. The Court shall hold its sittings in the Chamber of the House of Assembly or such other place as the Governor-General may determine.


Application for review of judgments or orders of Appellate Division.

5. (1) One or other Minister of State shall―

(a)   in the case of a judgment or order referred to in section two given or made prior to the date of commencement of this Act, within six months of the said date; or
(b)   in the case of a judgment or order referred to in section two given or made after the date of commencement of this Act, within six months of the date of the judgment or order,

lodge with the President of the Court an application for the review by the Court of the said judgment or order and shall cause a copy of the application to be transmitted to the Registrar of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and to the persons who were the parties to the proceedings in which the judgment or order was given.

(2) An application lodged with the President of the Court in terms of sub-section (1) shall he accompanied by two copies of the relevant record of the proceedings which were lodged with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and of the judgment or order of the said Division and of the reasons given by the judges of the said Division.

Consideration of application for review by a Committee of the Court.

6. (1) Within thirty days after an application for review has been lodged with him in terms of section five, the President of the Court shall refer it to a committee of the Court (hereinafter referred to as the Judicial Committee) constituted as hereinafter provided.

(2) The Judicial Committee shall consist of ten members of the Court appointed by the President by notice in the Gazette one of whom shall be designated by the President as the chairman thereof.

(3) Four of the members of the Judicial Committee shall form a quorum.

(4) The Clerk of the Senate shall be ex officio the Secretary of the Judicial Committee: Provided that the President of the Court may designate any other person to act as Secretary of the Judicial Committee during the absence of the Secretary.

(5) A decision of the majority of the members present shall be the decision of the Judicial Committee.

(6) The Judicial Committee shall hold its sittings in the Committee Rooms of the Senate or such other place as the President may determine.

(7)  (a)   A person who was a party to the proceedings in which the judgment or order under review was given or made, may lodge with the Secretary of the Judicial Committee, in the manner prescribed by the rules made under section nine, written representations relative to the application for review for the consideration of the Committee and the Court.
(b)   A party who has in terms of paragraph (a) lodged written representations with the Secretary of the Judicial Committee, shall be entitled to appear before the Committee either in person or ‘by Counsel and may, subject to the rules made under section nine, address the Committee on any matter relevant to the application for review.

(8) After the Judicial Committee has considered the relevant record of the proceedings and the reasons given by the judges of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and the representations (if any) of the persons who were the parties to the proceedings in which the judgment or order under review, was given or made, the Judicial Committee shall make a report to the Court and may make such recommendations on the application for review as it may deem fit.


Convening of Court.

7. As soon as practicable after the Judicial Committee has concluded its proceedings, the President shall by notice in the Gazette convene a sitting of the Court for the consideration of the report and the recommendations of the Judicial Committee.


Jurisdiction and decisions of the Court.

8. (1) The Court may at any sitting convened in terms of section seven and after consideration of the report and the recommendations of the Judicial Committee on any legal ground by resolution confirm, vary or set aside any judgment or order referred to in section two or make such other order or such order as to costs as the Court may deem fit.

(2) A decision of the majority of the members present shall be the decision of the Court.

(3) A decision of the Court shall be final and binding, and shall be executed in every respect as it it were a decision of the Provincial or Local Division of the Supreme Court in which the matter was originally heard.

(4) Any order of costs made by the Court shall be taxed by the Registrar of the Provincial or Local Division of the Supreme Court in which the matter was originally heard as if it were an order of costs made by that Division and shall for all purposes of the taxation thereof be deemed to be an order of that Division.


Rules.

9. (1) The Governor-General may make rules as to―

(a)   the order and conduct of the proceedings of the Court or a Judicial Committee; and
(b)   generally, any matter which he considers it necessary or expedient to prescribe in order to enable the Court or a Judicial Committee to perform its functions properly and without unnecessary delay.

(2) Rules made under sub-section (1) may incorporate with or without amendments any rule or order made by the House of Assembly under section fifty-eight of the South Africa Act, 1909, for the order and conduct of its business and proceedings, or any rule made by the Chief Justice of South Africa and the Judges of the Supreme Court under section one hundred and seven or one hundred and eight of the said Act for the conduct of the proceedings of the Appellate Division or of the several provincial or local divisions of the Supreme Court.


Short title.

10. This Act shall be called the High Court of Parliament Act, 1952.

This work is in the public domain because it was created and first published in South Africa and it is an official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or an official translation of such a text.

According to the Copyright Act, 1978, § 12 (8) (a), "No copyright shall subsist in official texts of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or in official translations of such texts."