Process of the SALRC

PROCESS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REFORM COMMISSION

The following is the process normally followed by the SALRC. It shows there was nothing irregular in the instance of the euthanasia bill, and the Minister of Health and Parliament did nothing that warranted judicial interference to correct it – as was implied at the Stransham-Ford April 2015 trial and in subsequent media reports.

The process which is usually followed by a Law Reform Commission investigation is as follows:

i. Proposal for law reform (various sources i.e. Ministry, Parliament, member of the public)
ii. Consideration by Commission for inclusion on the program
iii. Submission of program to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services for his consideration and approval
iv. Research towards an Issue Paper
v. Submission of draft Issue Paper to the advisory committee appointed by the Minister for consideration and approval
vi. Submission of draft Issue Paper to Commission or Working Committee of Commission for consideration and approval
vii. Publication of Issue Paper for comment
viii. Consultation process (public workshops, expert meetings etc)
ix. Research towards Discussion Paper and collation of submissions to the Issue Paper
x. Submission of draft Discussion Paper to advisory committee for consideration and approval
xi. Submission of draft Discussion Paper to Commission or Working Committee of Commission for consideration and approval
xii. Publication of Discussion Paper for comment
xiii. Consultation process (public workshops, expert meetings etc)
xiv. Research towards Report and collation of submissions to the Discussion Paper
xv. Submission of draft Report to advisory committee for consideration and approval
xvi. Submission of draft Report to Commission for consideration and approval
xvii. Submission of approved Report and proposed Bill to the Minister for his consideration

At this point the SA Law Reform Commission’s process is concluded. However the Commission may be called upon to provide assistance to the relevant Department which administers the legislation. This is particularly in respect of the content of the research which gave rise to the legislative recommendations.

From this point the process is generally as follows:
i. If the recommendations are supported by the Minister the relevant Department is tasked with considering the recommendations and to advise the Minister
ii. Submission to the State Law Advisors for provisional certification regarding constitutionality
iii Submission to Cabinet for approval that the Bill be introduced in Parliament ( this process involves circulating the Bill to all relevant Ministers and recommendation by the relevant Cabinet Committee)
iv. Final Certification by the Chief State law Adviser
v. The Department will then table the Bill in Parliament with or without changes
vi. The Bill will then be allocated to the appropriate Parliamentary Committee who will consider the Bill and follow the normal processes which may include publication of invitation in the media for interested persons/organisations to submit written comments and thereafter public consultation in the form of presentations or public hearings or considering of written comment
vii. The Bill will then be revised in accordance with the instructions of the Portfolio Committee – this follows a clause by clause consideration of the Bill by the Portfolio Committee
viii. Tabling of the Portfolio Committee/Select Committee report as the case may be, and voting in both the National Council of Provinces and the National Assembly depending on the tagging of the Bill ( the 2nd reading debate)
ix. Submission to the President for consideration/assent and signature.