Legal Practice Bill process underway

March 1st, 2014
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By Mapula Sedutla – acting editor

It was announced that the final day for Bills to be passed is 14 March before Parliament rises for elections on 7 May. By the time you receive this issue of De Rebus, public hearings on the Legal Practice Bill would have been held. The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) made submissions on the Legal Practice Bill to the National Council of Provinces. The submissions were a collective position of LSSA’s six constituents (the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers).

The submissions, inter alia, dealt with:

  • The fact that the objects of the Legal Practice Council should also strive to protect the interests of the legal profession to promote a profession that serves the public with integrity, the highest standard of service delivery and ethics.
  • The imperative that independence of the legal profession be protected at all times by ensuring that the majority of the members of the interim National Forum are legal practitioners.
  • The fact that, in opening the practice of law to foreign legal practitioners, the Minister should be cognisant of the saturation of the market in South Africa and the need to protect the interest of the South African practitioner, while at the same time protecting the public.
  • The issue of fees against the context of access to justice; the commitment by the attorneys’ profession to engage fully in investigations by the South African Law Reform Commission, and that, in the interim, the National Forum possesses sufficient expertise and practical experience to design fair, just and equitable fee guidelines.
  • See also www.LSSA.org.za

Three months to publish

Late last year we reduced the limit on the number of words of articles that can be submitted to 2 000. This was well received by our contributors, which then meant that we could publish more articles in one issue and still keep to our budgeted number of pages. This also meant that the editorial staff can edit and process articles quicker and that articles are published at a faster rate meaning the turnaround time between the time articles are sent to the journal and the time they are published is shorter. De Rebus can now promise that any article sent and approved for publication will be published within three months.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2014 (March) DR 3.

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