New legal aid legislation welcomed

2015-03-05 13:12
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Johannesburg - New legal aid legislation will ensure access to justice and the realisation of the right to legal representation, Legal Aid SA said on Thursday.

The Legal Aid Act came into effect on 1 March and would ensure people had access to advice on their legal rights and obligations, spokesperson Mpho Phasha said in a statement.

The act 39 established the body as an entity with a board of directors who had defined powers and functions.

It ensured the organisation's independence as it did not have to seek accreditation from any law society.

The act required all attorneys and candidate attorneys to be members in good standing with the relevant law society.

Phasha said one of the most fundamental changes brought about by the new act was the provision for making regulations and compiling a legal aid manual.

The regulations and manual had to be published within two years of the commencement of the act. In the interim, the 2014 legal aid guide would remain in force.

 

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