By Barbara Whittle
The Code of Conduct for legal practitioners, candidate legal practitioners and juristic entities, that will govern the legal profession in the Legal Practice Act dispensation, was gazetted on Friday, 10 February (GenN81 GG40610/10-2-2017).
The code is not in force yet, but will apply to all legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) as well as candidate legal practitioners and juristic entities when the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (LPA) comes into operation. This is envisaged to be in 2018.
The National Forum of the Legal Profession adopted the Code of Conduct, prepared by its Rules Subcommittee in terms of s 97(1)(b) of the LPA, at its meeting in November 2016.
The Code of Conduct will be taken up by the Legal Practice Council (LPC) when it comes into operation in 2018. In terms of s 36 of the LPA, the LPC must publish the draft of the Code of Conduct and call for comment in writing. The final code must then be gazetted. The Code of Conduct will serve as the prevailing standard of conduct for legal practitioners, candidate legal practitioners and juristic entities under the LPA dispensation. Failure to adhere to the code will constitute misconduct.
The Code of Conduct can be accessed on the LSSA website at www.LSSA.org.za under the ‘Legal Practice Act’ section.
Barbara Whittle, Communication Manager, Law Society of South Africa, email@example.com
This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (March) DR 9.