Law Society condemns criticism of Masipa

2014-09-17 11:02
Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/Pool)

Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. (Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/Pool)

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Johannesburg - The Law Society of SA (LSSA) on Wednesday expressed concern at the threats and personal attacks made against Judge Thokozile Masipa following her judgment in the trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

"As the attorneys' profession we join our colleagues at the Legal Resources Centre, Section 27, and the Centre for Child Law in condemning the personal and inappropriate comments made regarding the judge's race and gender, as well as alleged threats against her security," LSSA co-chairs Max Boqwana and Ettienne Barnard said.

"Judicial officers - judges and magistrates - and legal practitioners must be allowed to perform their duties without fear of attacks on their persons, safety, or work environment, as has been the case also by the recent spate of shootings in courts."

The LSSA said court judgments were not above scrutiny, but the judgments had to be respected and scrutiny had to be informed, constructive, and based on sound legal principles.

"For that reason we have an appeal procedure in our courts which allows parties, who are of the view that a different judge or court may come to a different conclusion, to apply for leave to appeal," it said.

"However, personal attacks on the judicial officer and the legal practitioners are not acceptable or appropriate in a country where the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession are paramount," Boqwana and Barnard said.

Read more on:    lssa  |  oscar pistorius  |  thokozile masipa  |  pistorius trial  |  judiciary

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