Justice and Constitutional Development

National Department Budget for 2017-18

Vote purpose

Uphold and protect the Constitution and the rule of law, and render accessible, fair, speedy and cost-effective administration of justice in the interests of a safer and more secure South Africa.


The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development derives its mandate from a number of acts, in addition to the mandate it derives from the Constitution. These acts and the constitutional framework assign functions to the department such as: the establishment of magistrates’ courts, and the appointment of magistrates and other judicial officers; the establishment and functioning of the Special Investigating Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority, including the asset forfeiture unit; the conducting of criminal proceedings; the prosecution of organised crime and corruption, and the forfeiture of assets obtained through illicit means; the provision of witness protection to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and their related persons in judicial proceedings; the establishment and functioning of bodies responsible for legal aid, law reform and rule making; the appointment of masters of the high courts, and the administration of the Guardian’s Fund and deceased and insolvent estates; the regulation and provision of legal advisory services to government departments; the promotion, protection and enforcement of certain human rights; the protection of vulnerable groups; the management of third-party funds; and the provision of support to chapter 9 institutions.

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