oa De Rebus - A step closer - oral hearings on the Legal Practice Bill : feature

Volume 2013, Issue 529
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



On 19 and 20 February the Justice Portfolio Committee (the committee) held public hearings on the Legal Practice Bill (B20 of 2012), which is set to radically change the regulation and governance of the legal profession.

Those granted an opportunity to address the committee were:
  • The Competition Commission.
  • The Independent Association of Advocates of South Africa (IAASA).
  • The Legal Resources Centre (LRC).
  • The Black Lawyers Association (BLA).
  • The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA).
  • The Attorneys Fidelity Fund (AFF).
  • The General Council of the Bar (GCB).
  • The Cape Bar Council (CBC).
  • Advocate Izak Smuts.
  • The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
  • The Association of University Legal Aid Institutions (AULAI).
  • The employees of the LSSA.
In addition, the committee received written submissions on the Bill from a number of bodies, including the National Association of Democratic Lawyers; law firms Adams & Adams and Webber Wentzel; the Legal Expenses Group Africa; the South African Institute of Race Relations; the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices and the National Task Team on Community-based Paralegals; the Centre for Constitutional Rights; the Constitutional Literacy and Service Initiative; the University of the Witwatersrand Law Clinic; Eskom; the Association of Paralegals Practitioners; as well as several individuals (see p 38).
A number of representatives from the Justice Department attended the hearings, including chief state law adviser Enver Daniels; deputy chief state law adviser responsible for policy development, JB Skosana; chief director of legislative development, Lawrence Bassett; and acting deputy director-general of legislative development and secretary for the Rules Board for Courts of Law, Raj Daya.
Chairperson of the committee, Luwellyn Landers, opened the hearings by referring to the genesis of the Bill. He noted that there had been approximately 15 drafts of the Bill, which he said was 'understandable' due to the nature of the proposed legislation.
'We are expecting robust debate on the Bill and we encourage this. We do not expect you to agree with every single thing. Let us see if we can make this the best product,' Mr Landers concluded before the various bodies began making their oral submissions to the committee.
A synopsis of each of the oral submissions, in the order that they were made, is set out below.

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