Monday, 24 June, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalGauteng Deputy Judge President calls for courtroom COVID-19 lockdown

Gauteng Deputy Judge President calls for courtroom COVID-19 lockdown

Gauteng Deputy Judge President Roland Sutherland has circulated a plan to restrict access to the courts to only vaccinated people into courts. And Legalbrief reports that there are plans to establish pop-up vaccination sites in the provincial courts. The Department of Health has been notified.

The proposal is contained in a circular addressed to other judges of the Gauteng Local Division (Johannesburg) from the Office of the Deputy Judge President and obtained by Legalbrief.

“The probability is strong that a decision will be made that access to the courthouse is restricted to the vaccinated,” Sutherland said. The move comes as the Gauteng Command Council warns that a fourth wave of the coronavirus may hit the province as soon as next month. The Premier’s Advisory Committee member Professor Bruce Mellado said the festive season was a high-risk period:”The risk of the fourth wave is very high. We predict it is likely to happen between November and January as we expect quite a number of super spreader events to follow in a row.”

A report on the EWN site notes that Mellado said with the fourth wave fast approaching, it was critically important to increase the rate of vaccination.

The circular, which is being widely distributed among lawyers, could not be independently verified, notes Legalbrief.

Sutherland writes that many large organisations and universities are adopting a no-vaccination-no-access policy. “There has been, as yet, only a mild protest that this violates freedom of choice etc.” But he adds that this is not the real question. “The proper question is whether or not an individual is sufficiently civic-minded to appreciate that a duty of care is owed to colleagues and others with whom contact is made to safeguard them from harm. If one wishes to be an active member of a community then the incontrovertible legitimate interest of the community must trump the preferences of the individual.”

He has therefore urged judges as leaders and guardians of society to set an example. Sutherland said those judges who haven’t been fully vaccinated yet or who chooses not to vaccinate, must be guided by his circular and “continue to isolate”. He noted that as Deputy Judge President he had a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the entire Bench and support staff.




Legabrief article – Top judge calls for courtroom Covid lockdown (Restricted access)




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SAHRC says mandatory vaccination constitutional but not desirable


The debate over a mandatory vaccine policy for South Africa


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