Certain sections of Legal Practice Act in effect

legal practice act
29 May 2023

Certain sections of the Legal Practice Act came into effect last week.

The presidency published the proclamation in Government Gazette 48659.

The Act, signed in 2014, aims to put a framework in place that facilitates the transformation and restructuring of the legal profession.

The act aims to:

  • provide a legislative framework for the transformation and restructuring of the legal profession in line with constitutional imperatives so as to facilitate and enhance an independent legal profession that broadly reflects the diversity and demographics of the Republic;
  • provide for the establishment, powers and functions of a single South African Legal Practice Council and Provincial Councils in order to regulate the affairs of legal practitioners and to set norms and standards;
  • provide for the admission and enrolment of legal practitioners;
  • regulate the professional conduct of legal practitioners so as to ensure accountable conduct;
  • provide for the establishment of an Office of a Legal Services Ombud and for the appointment, powers and functions of a Legal Services Ombud;
  • provide for a Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund and a Board of Control for the Fidelity Fund;
  • provide for the establishment, powers and functions of a National Forum on the Legal Profession; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith.

The Act unites the legal profession and ensures regulation under a single statute.

The Legal Practice Council is designed to put “norms and standards for all legal practitioners” in place.

An Office of Legal Services Ombud will also be set up to protect lawyers’ clients.

Section 37(5)(e)(ii); section 40(1)(b)(ii) and (7)(b); and section 41 of the Act came into effect on 26 May 2023.

They focus on disciplinary committees and appeal against conduct or finding of disciplinary committees.

See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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