The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) urges all legal practitioners - attorneys and advocates - to respect the dignity of the courts and of judicial officers.
‘Although the LSSA will not comment specifically on the incident in the Western Cape High Court involving Mr Ballem and Judge Bozalek as we understand the Cape Bar Council is dealing with the matter, it is important to stress that legal practitioners must conduct themselves with courtesy and respect towards all participants in legal proceedings so as to ensure compliance with the rules and procedures for the fair conduct of such proceedings,' say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Nano Matlala and Praveen Sham
‘Attorneys and advocates must, at all times, maintain the highest standards of professionalism in the performance of their duties, and must extend to all colleagues, judges, academics, professionals and litigants, including persons from foreign jurisdictions, cordiality and respect at all times. Any lesser conduct is unacceptable in the legal profession,' say Mr Matlala and Mr Sham.
The client's right to access to justice and a speedy resolution of his or her matter should not be prejudiced by unacceptable behavior by legal practitioners, whether they be advocates or attorneys.
The LSSA would, however, like to use this opportunity to refer to the difficult and stressful conditions which legal practitioners are often obliged to work under in our courts.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA, NANO MATLALA AND PRAVEEN SHAM
by Barbara Whittle
Communication Manager, Law Society of South Africa
Tel: (012) 366 8800 or 083 380 1307