Should there be any hierarchy amongst the judges?
- Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, (first referred to as the President of the Court), would preside and his deputy would sit on his right.
- The Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice would always sit in the middle of the bench whilst the rest of the judges would have different seats in each term which would be randomly assigned to show that there is no special hierarchical arrangement to the seating outside that of the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice.
- The Chief Justice would be referred to as the first amongst equals, symbolising that no special distinction sets the Chief Justice apart from the Deputy Chief Justice and the other nine Justices other than additional and important administrative duties.
- The distinctive appointment process for the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice signifies that their duties require them to represent the judiciary and to act on its behalf in dealings with the other arms of government.
- When it comes to deciding on the cases before the Court, the views of all of the judges would count and their voices would be heard equally.
- Like all the other judges, the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice have one vote when deciding on the outcome of cases.
- The judges found it important in the design of the Court’s chamber for the bench to be at eye level with the legal counsel’s lectern, so that there would be no hierarchical reverence for the judiciary like it is in other apex courts around the world.