A legal researcher is revolutionising things at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), innovative thinking that capitalises on technological advances is called for,
believes legal researcher Ayanda Mdletshe (29).
His job involves ensuring that the court’s judges have updated and accurate information, which helps inform their judgments.
This includes advising the SCA’s judges on the latest changes in the law and which publications have the latest amendments.
The job also requires Mdletshe to analyse cases that go through the courts so he can acquire the relevant legal books for the library of the Bloemfontein-based court.
He describes his job as having ‘to ensure that our judges have access to relevant, quality and updated information when they write their judgments’.
With the court making 40 to 55 judgments per term,
Mdletshe has to ensure that he keeps up with all the cases that come before the court
and that he updates the judges of any changes to applicable legislation by supplying them with the appropriate books and updated information.
“When we receive a particular case and it’s about that legislation,
they [the SCA judges] need to apply the law in the context of the legislation that has changed,” he said.
Mdletshe serves on a panel, made up of judges and the court’s management team, that determines which books need to be bought and for what reason.
“I have to make sure that I buy books that are relevant and speak to their needs,” he said.
“When judgments are finalised, they need to be disseminated to various people.
I have to assign a number to all judgments that come from here. A judgment cannot be disseminated without its specific ZASCA number.
“If you are looking for a judgment, you can go to our website
and use the ZASCA number to do an online search or we can just fetch the documents for you on receipt of the ZASCA number,” Mdletshe said.
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