The functions of the Judicial Service Commission are set out in section 4(1) of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1995 (act. no. 18 of 1995).
These are as follows:
- Make recommendations to the President with regard to (i) the appointment of persons to judicial offices, in a permanent or acting capacity, and the (ii) removal from office of persons holding or acting in such offices.
- Review or make recommendations on the terms and conditions of service, including retirement benefits of persons holding or acting in judicial offices.
- Conduct disciplinary investigations into the conduct of persons holding or acting in judicial offices. It also receives and investigates complaints from the members of the public concerning the conduct of such persons or the administration of justice at superior court level;
- Make recommendations to the Minister concerning any matter which by law pertains to the Judiciary or the administration of justice with a view to making improvement thereof
- Perform any other functions assigned to the Judicial Service Commission under the law or by the President.’
Article 83 of the Namibian Constitution, as amended by the insertion of sub-Article (2), stipulates the creation and mandate of the Magistrate’s Commission as follows:
A Magistrates Commission, responsible for the transfer, discipline, removal, remuneration and other conditions of service of Magistrates, under the Constitution, shall be established by Act of Parliament which Act shall further describe its powers, functions and duties
The Magistrate’s Commission, as pictorially presented below, comprises seven members, appointed on a 3- year term. The Magistrates Act of 2003 and the Regulations thereto provide further details to the operations of the Magistrate’s Commission. In essence, the Commission is the policy maker and the Chief Magistrate is responsible for the interpretation and implementation of the policies.