News & events


Judges Are not Elected – An Anomaly in Political Theory About the Exercise of Power

19 July 2017
12:30 - 13:30

Date: 19 July 2017 | Time:  12:30-13:30 | Venues: Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town 

Presenter: Mandla Seloane, LCM – Labour Relations Concultancy

Chair: Rachel Adams, HSRC  Respondent: Chris Oxtoby, UCT’s DGRU

Political theory suggests that a human being is a self-governing entity and that it is therefore necessary to justify the exercise of power by one person over another. That is the reason for having regular elections, so that citizens can give a mandate to those who rule over them. The judiciary, on the other hand, exercises power over citizens without their consent. Whereas there have been revolutions in different parts of the world as a result of politicians exercising power over people without their consent, it raises no eyebrow that judges exercise power over citizens without their consent. Why is that so? What are the trade-offs which made this arrangement possible? What do these trade-offs mean for the manner in which the judiciary does its work? These and related issues will be canvassed in the seminar.

Kindly RSVP by 18 July 2017

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein  as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town : HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street Cape Town, Cape Town. Contact: Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban : 
The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail