HIGH COURT

These are Decisions of the High Courts of South Africa from the 70’s to date and are updated on weekly basis.

Then there are High Courts which used to be called “The Supreme Courts”. They listen to any case which is too serious for the Magistrate’s Court or when a person or organization goes to the court to change a decision of a Magistrate’s Court, which means appealing a case.Cases of the High Court are listened to by one judge, meaning a person with many years of practical experience. But if it is a case on appeal, then at least two judges must hear the case.

Sometimes if the case is about a very serious crime then a judge and two experienced people in law who are usually advocates or magistrates who have retired, will listen to the case. The two people are called assessors. Even if there are assessors, the judge does not have to listen to what they believe, but they usually help the judge make a decision.

The High Court divisions have “jurisdiction” – the right to hear a case – over defined provincial areas in which they are situated, and the decisions of the High Courts are binding on Magistrate’s Courts within their areas of jurisdiction. They usually only hear civil matters involving more than R100 000, and serious criminal cases. They also hear any appeals or reviews from lower courts (Magistrates’ courts) which fall in their geographical jurisdiction. The High Court usually hears any matter involving a person’s status (for example, adoption, insolvency etc.)—DOJCD.

Currently, there are fourteen provincial divisions of the High Court, which are located in the following:

  • Eastern Cape High Courts-Bhisho, Grahamstown, Mthatha, &East London local Court, Port Elizabeth;
  • Kwazulu Natal High Courts- Durban, &Pietermaritzburg.
  • Limpopo High Courts- Polokwane & Thohoyandou.
  • High Courts – Gauteng, South Gauteng High Johannesburg, &North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
  • Northern Cape High Court, Kimberley.
  • North West High Court, Mafikeng.
  • Free State High Court, Bloemfontein
  • Western Cape High Court (Cape Town)

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