Legal practice bill could be challenged - Mogoeng

2013-12-04 20:45
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The legal practice bill could be challenged in court, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Wednesday.

"My suspicion is there may even be litigation about the legal practice bill because there are concerns about the role of the [justice] minister. There are concerns about how that bill is going to operate," he said in the Western Cape High Court.

Mogoeng said it would be improper for him or others in the judiciary to comment on the effects the bill would have on the legal profession.

"Now if the judge president or any of the judges present here, including myself, are to comment on it, you run the risk of having to be forced to recuse yourself when the matter comes before your court. So I think we would do well as judges to reserve any comment we would have."

Mogoeng said "tempers are running high" in the legal profession, after the National Assembly approved the bitterly-contested bill last month.

The proposed law has far-reaching implications for the legal profession. It will bring an end to the long tradition of self-regulation by the legal fraternity.

It will replace bar associations with a single council, which the minister of justice can dissolve if he loses confidence in it.

Many advocates and attorneys have expressed opposition to the bill, saying it would interfere with the independence of the legal profession.

Opposition parties also objected to the bill, but it was passed by the ANC majority.

The ruling party said the bill was needed to ensure transformation in the profession.

The legislation makes provision for community service for law graduates, establishes an ombudsman for legal services, and sets out more transparent disciplinary processes for legal practitioners.

The Law Society of SA has pleaded for ministerial powers to be limited, and has warned that if the legislation curtails the profession's independence, the courts will lose their independence.

Read more on:    anc  |  mogoeng mogoeng  |  cape town

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.