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Access to Courts

Everyone has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum.



In South Africa, the judiciary is independent, subject only to the Constitution and the law. The right of access to courts is secured in the Bill of Rights which forms part of the Constitution. This right is protected by the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa, and its decisions on the Constitution are binding in all the other courts.

Other courts in South Africa include the Supreme Court of Appeal, High Courts, Magistrates Courts, Community Courts, and other courts established or recognised in terms of an Act of Parliament.

The Southern African Legal Information Institute (SALII) holds a database containing legal materials collected from Southern and Eastern Africa, including decisions from South Africa.

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