The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha, that the elections for the Legal Practice Council (LPC) will commence with the nomination of Council members to the LPC, which starts at midnight on 5 September 2018. All practising legal practitioners are urged to participate fully in the elections.
An independent body, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), will manage and oversee the elections. Nominations must reach the LPC’s election agency, EISA, by midnight of 14 September 2018. Voting via the ballot papers distributed will start at midnight on 19 September 2018 and will close by midnight on 30 September 2018. Results will be released by 4 October 2018.
The attorneys’ profession affirms the comments by the Minister and will continue to support the objectives of the Legal Practice Act (LPA) and specifically the ones highlighted at the media briefing, namely:
· a uniform regulatory body for all legal practitioners;
· transformation of the legal profession to reflect the demographics of the country;
· to consider gender representation specifically in the advocates’ profession;
· the establishment of the Office of the Legal Services Ombud;
· to increase access to justice by the introduction of community service for candidate and practising legal practitioners; and
· transform the dispensation for the conferral of senior counsel (silk) status.
The LSSA acknowledges the work and sacrifices made by the legal practitioners and other members who worked tirelessly on the National Forum to guide the profession to this historic moment when a transformed and unified regulatory body will take the legal profession forward.
The LSSA will continue as the unified, independent, representative voice of the attorneys’ profession, acting in the interest of the public and the profession; and defending the Rule of Law.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA,
MVUZO NOTYESI AND ETTIENNE BARNARD