Forman A nagging doubt haunts those who file amicus briefs: Once the brief enters the black hole of the appellate court, will its arguments receive serious consideration?
Is the current legislative scheme which limits the right of South African citizens who are registered as voters but who will be out of the country when the elections take place on 22 April consistent with the Constitution?
This is the question raised by the applications before us. Mr Willem Richter, the applicant in both these applications, is a South African citizen and registered voter who is working as a teacher in the United Kingdom.
He intends to return to South Africa at the end of this year. He wishes to vote in the elections but is not permitted to do so because section 33 of the Electoral Act 73 of the Electoral Act restricts the classes of people absent from the country on polling day who may vote.
In seeking to secure the right to vote in these elections, Mr Richter launched two applications — the first in the High Court in Pretoria on 26 January and the second in this Court the following day. In the High Court application, he sought an order declaring certain provisions of the Electoral Act and some of the regulations promulgated thereunder to be inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.
In the application for direct access to this Court, he sought an order that the dispute in the High Court be brought directly to this Court and that the papers in the High Court be transferred to this Court.
On 30 January the Chief Justice gave directions in relation to the application for direct access, affording the respondents until 9 February to lodge answering affidavits and requiring the applicant to lodge a further affidavit on the same day to inform the Court of the status of the High Court application on that date.
On 9 February, Ebersohn AJ handed down a judgment in the High Court application declaring sections 33 1 b and 33 1 e of the Electoral Act to be inconsistent with the Constitution at least in part, as well as declaring regulations 6 b6 e9, 11 and 12 of the Election Regulations, 1 the Election Regulations to be similarly inconsistent with the Constitution, again at least in part.
Ebersohn AJ further ordered that the orders of invalidity be referred to this Court for confirmation. The day after the judgment was handed down Mr Richter launched a second application in this Court seeking confirmation of the order made by the High Court. This brief history explains why there are two applications by Mr Richter seeking the same relief contemporaneously.
As counsel for Mr Richter has conceded, the first application has been overtaken by the second and it is not necessary in this judgment to consider that application further. It must be dismissed. The only issue that arises in relation to it is costs, a matter to which I turn at the end of this judgment.
It is important to stop here and record that by the time Mr Richter launched his application in the High Court in Pretoria, another application by the Democratic Alliance and Mr Roy Howard Tipper, seeking almost identical relief, had been launched in the High Court in Cape Town on 23 January These two applications seek relief similar to that sought by Mr Richter, but in addition seek relief in relation to the right of South African citizens to register as voters abroad.
Finally, I should record that on 12 February, the President proclaimed that the elections would take place on 22 April. Not surprisingly, it, working hard to ensure that the forthcoming elections are free, fair and orderly, was concerned about the flurry of litigation.
On 30 Januaryit wrote to the applicant in this matter as well as to the Democratic Alliance suggesting that both applications be consolidated and heard by the Constitutional Court as a matter of urgency. Unusually the directions also invited any party or litigant in another court that wished to intervene in the confirmation proceedings to lodge an application for intervention by 18 February.
The respondents, being the Minister for Home Affairs the Ministerthe Electoral Commission and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, were given until 23 February to lodge answering affidavits in the confirmation proceedings and in response to any application for intervention.
Five parties lodged applications to intervene. Two sought to be admitted as amici curiae and three as parties in the confirmation proceedings.
Each of those seeking leave to intervene supported in broad terms the relief granted by the Pretoria High Court. Afriforum was one of the parties which sought leave to intervene as amicus curiae.
It is a section 21 company and a civil rights organisation that seeks to encourage and assist skilled South African expatriates to return to South Africa. Before seeking leave to intervene, it had approached both Dr Brigalia Bam, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, as well as the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr K P Motlanthe, to urge them to ensure that South Africans living abroad be permitted to vote.
The Freedom Front Plus also sought leave to intervene as amicus curiae. It is a political party registered in terms of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of It also alleged that as a political party it had a direct interest in the proceedings, in particular because many of its members have, over the past years, spent time abroad and these members wish to be able to exercise their right to vote even if they are absent from the country on polling day.The Century Foundation takes your data security and privacy seriously.
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Holding: As applied to applicants who use a uniform federal form that merely requires them to aver, under penalty of perjury, that they are U.S. citizens, Arizona’s requirement that would-be voters.
A brief (Old French from Latin "brevis", short) is a written legal document used in various legal adversarial systems that is presented to a court arguing why one party to a particular case should prevail..
In England and Wales (and other Commonwealth countries, eg Australia), the phrase refers to the papers given to a barrister when they are instructed. Salinger v. Colting, F.3d 68 (2d Cir.
|How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students||B Opportunity to meet with a disinterested party. C List of qualified mediators.|
) [ BL ] Pagination * F.3d United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. COLLEEN M. SALINGER and MATTHEW R. SALINGER, as Trustees of the J.D.