With the COVID-19 pandemic advancing and the national lockdown now extended in South Africa, legal practitioners will be among the myriad of professionals facing the challenges of working remotely and outside of standard working conditions.
Advocates, law firms and the judiciary may be struggling to access the latest legal research and information needed to navigate legal practice over this period, with law libraries and offices being closed. Legal technology company, LexisNexis South Africa, has responded to these needs with various initiatives designed to support and advance the Rule of Law.
“We realise that business must continue – albeit not business as usual – and that unrestricted access to legal resources is essential if we are to continue to support the Rule of Law during this time,” says CEO and Chairperson of the Board of LexisNexis South Africa, Videsha Proothveerajh.
“This is a #ThumaMina moment for us all, and as such we would like to offer all legal professionals exceptional support in the form of unlimited access to our online legal resources, Lexis® Library and Lexis® Practical Guidance, until 30th April 2020. This will allow the South African legal community to continue to access superior legal content online throughout this unprecedented period, where previously they may have relied on traditional print copies in a library or shared resources at the office,” she added.
Non-clients will be allowed free access until 30 April, while for existing Lexis Library and Lexis Practical Guidance clients the company will create additional, separate user accounts for use during this period to enable them to access additional content if required.
Lexis Library is a user-friendly online portal offering the latest legislation, case law and in-depth analysis from industry experts in over 40 research areas. LexisNexis also recently launched a new research area, National State of Disaster (COVID-19), which provides access to the latest regulations, directives and other information relating to the COVID-19 state of disaster, as well as current Lexis Library content relevant to the legal implications thereof.
Lexis Practical Guidance is an online solution focused on the practical application of the law, covering hundreds of topics across 30 legal practice areas and including guidance notes, checklists, workflows, forms and precedent documents.
While LexisNexis is unable to deliver print titles due to the lockdown, e-book versions of LexisNexis textbooks and mobile versions of loose-leaf publications are easily accessible in the company’s online bookstore or via account managers.
LexisNexis has also drawn upon its global expertise to launch a COVID-19 Free Resource Centre aimed at informing the public of its rights and responsibilities during this period, as well as the rights and obligations of employers, employees and businesses.
The COVID-19 Resource Centre housed on the LexisNexis website, provides free access to a convenient online platform with resources and information that cover a variety of general public themes such as Labour Law, Immigration, Property and Planning, as well as Notices, Court Directives and Regulations pertaining to COVID-19.
“This COVID-19 portal is one of our responses as a good corporate citizen that is committed to upholding the Rule of Law and ensuring that the country survives this difficult period,” said Proothveerajh.
The company is also calling on industry experts and thought leaders to make a difference during the 21-day lockdown by providing practical insight and advice around COVID-19 matters to assist businesses, entrepreneurs, legal practitioners and fellow South Africans during this global crisis.
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