Democracies are characterised by the separation of functions and powers between the three branches of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The three branches check each others’ powers.

The judiciary is the third branch of the democratic government system. The judiciary interprets the law, decides disputes and applies the Constitution in the name of the state. The judicial authority of the RSA is vested in the system of courts, as well as judges and magistrates who sit in these courts.

The judiciary is tasked with ensuring equal justice under the law. The branch must be strictly independent, impartial and non-political as the principle of the separation and balance of powers commands.