criminal appeal - Wits Justice Project - Johannesburg - access to justice - South Gauteng High Court

Working with the Wits Justice Project and Eversheds Attorneys, SERI represents 30 inmates incarcerated at Johannesburg Correctional Services Centre. All of the prisoners have been convicted of crimes and are seeking to appeal their convictions. They have been prevented from doing so by inordinate delays in producing the records of their trials. Some have been waiting for their records for as long as 10 years.

As a result of the delay, 30 prisoners at Johannesburg Correctional Facility applied to the South Gauteng High Court as lay litigants seeking an order to compel the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Registrar of the South Gauteng High Court to produce their records. On 9 March 2010, the prisoners – by then represented by SERI and ProBono.Org – obtained an order by consent requiring the Minister and the Registrar to report to Court by 13 April 2010 on the progress made in producing the records. The prisoners are now represented by Eversheds, who have briefed Stuart Wilson from SERI as counsel.