National Forum on the Legal Profession

National Forum on the Legal Profession was established by the Legal Practice Act, 2014 (Act 28 of 2014), as a body corporate with full legal capacity.

The role of the National Forum is 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 Country as set out in the Legal Practice Act.

The Forum is expected to level the playing field for the establishment of the Legal Practice Council and Provincial Councils.


Administration and Human Resource Committee

SigogoChairperson: Ms Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu (LSSA, Black Lawyers Association)

Members:

Terms of Reference of the Committee

 

WHAT THE NF IS REQUIRED TO DO

WHAT THE COMMITTEE MUST DO

ACT

1

Determine  HR requirements for all structures

  • Consider structures and costing recommendations by Governance committee.
  • Develop job descriptions and organogram:  line and support.
  • Draw up HR policy for appointment.

 

S97

2

Determine admin system requirements pertaining to resources and tasks relating to all structures with reference, inter alia to

  • Finance
  • Staff
  • Communication
  • Other support functions
  • Consider structure and costing recommendations by Governance committee.
  • Consider appropriate systems for functions Inter alia, contracts, outsourcing etc.
  • Consider ICT requirements
  • Ensure readiness of database for full functionality, including
  • Member registration
  • Regulatory data
  • Accreditation
  • Pro bono
  • Education

 

 

3

Transfer of records, databases, work in progress, assets, liabilities and staff from law societies to new structures.

Determine inventory of all and monitor effective transfer

 

4

Negotiate with law societies with regard to staff and systems

  • Investigate suitability of existing staff for functions in new structures:  line and support.
  • Develop basis for negotiation inter alia posts, key performance areas, remuneration and other conditions.

 

S97(2)(a)

5

Negotiate with staff of non-regulatory entities

  • Investigate suitability of existing staff for functions in new structures:  line and support.
  • Develop basis for negotiation inter alia:   posts, key performance areas, remuneration and other conditions.

 

S97(2)(b)

6

Recruit and appoint CEO

Consider requirements, conditions and recruitment process.

 

7

Conclude agreements with law societies, staff and system providers and appoint.

Recommend basis and terms of agreement.

S6(2)(a)

8

Conclude agreements for infrastructure that is required.

  • Consider structure and costing recommendations by governance committee.
  • Identify needs for premises and other infrastructure
  • Consider terms for method and cost of procurement

 

S98(3), S22

9

Finalise interim administrative policies, protocols and guidelines, for transition

Identify areas that require such and draft

 

10

Negotiate retrenchment of staff of law societies that are not transferred

  • Identify posts that will not exist in new structures or staff who do not accept transfer requirements
  • Determine terms for negotiation

 

S97(3)(4)

11

Dispose or otherwise deal with assets of law societies that are not transferred.

Determine what should be dealt with and on what basis.

 

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Governance Committee

SigogoChairperson: Mr Jan Stemmett (LSSA, Law Society of Northern Provinces (LSNP))

Members:

Terms of Reference of the Committee

 

WHAT THE NF IS REQUIRED TO DO. 

WHAT THE COMMITTEE MUST DO

ACT

1

LPC: structure/ organogram

 

S97

2

LPC: Election procedure for purposes of constituting the Council

No express requirement in the LPA but the other terms of reference of the NF makes it necessary to consider the structure

S7,9,18-22

3

Method for conducting a cost analyses of the operation of the LPC and PCs

Make recommendations to the MoJ on the funding of the operation of the LPC and PCs

S98(3)r/w Chapter2

4

Funding of LPC and PCs

Making recommendations to the MoJ on funding of the operation of the LPC and PCs

S98(3)r/w Chapter2

 

PROVINCILA COUNCILS

 

 

5

Establishment of PCs- the number and their areas of jurisdiction- factors in s23(2)(a)

Make recommendations to the MoJ on the number of PCs to be established and their areas of jurisdictions

S97(1)(a)(iii) r/w s23

6

Composition of PCs

Make recommendations to the MoJ on the number of PCs

S97(1)(a)(iii) r/w s23

7

Elections of the PCs

Make recommendations to the MoJ on the manner which the PCs must be elected(note anomaly: s23(4) provides the LPs must determine the procedure in the Rules)

S97(1)(a)(iii) r/w s23

8

Powers and functions the PCs(to be delegated by the LPC to PC)

Make recommendations to the MoJ  on the powers and functions of the PCs (to be delegated by LPC to PCs)

S97(1)(a)(iii) r/w s23

 

Abbreviations used:

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Education, Standards and Accreditation Committee

SigogoChairperson: Mr Jan Maree (LSSA, Law society of the Free State)

Members:

Terms of Reference of the Committee

 

WHAT THE NF IS REQUIRED TO DO

WHAT THE COMMITTEE MUST DO

ACT

1

 Practical vocational training requirements

Make recommendations to the Minister on all practical vocational training Requirements that candidate attorneys or pupils must comply with before they can be admitted by the Court as a legal practitioner

Note the following definitions
“Candidate attorney” –
means a person undergoing practical vocational training with a view to being admitted and enrolled as an attorney
“Pupil” – means a person undergoing practical vocational training with a
view to being admitted and enrolled as an advocate Note however all persons
are admitted and enrolled as a legal practitioner (both attorneys and advocates)
Section 97(1)(a)(v)
Section 26(1)(c)
In respect of conversion: Section 32

2

The right of appearance of candidate legal practitioners in Court

Make recommendations to the Minister on the right of appearance of a candidate legal practitioner (either as a candidate attorney or as a pupil) in Court or any other institution

Section 97(1)(a)(vi)
Section 25(5)(a) & (b) – Candidate attorneys
See Section 21,
Magistrates’ Courts Act 32 of 1944
No provision in respect of pupils

3

Quality of the LLB degree

No provision in respect of NF. The LPC, with regard to education in Law and legal practice may conduct visits to a faculty of Law, and may advice the Council on Higher Education on the LLB curriculum.
No provision is in chapter 10 of the Act which necessitate the National Forum to express a view on the quality of the LLB degree.
The Committee should therefore consider whether it is appropriate to further Section 6(5)(a)(b) & (c) discuss the quality of the LLB degree.

Section 6(5)(a)(b) & (c)

4

for a competency based examination or assessment for candidate legal practitioner

A. National Forum
B. LPC

Section 109(2)(a)(i) Compare Attorneys Act - Section 14 Admission of Advocates Act- No provision
Section 6(5)(d)
Section 95(1)(p), (q) & (r)

5

 Rules for a competency based examination or assessment for conveyancers

 

Section 109(2)(a)(i)
Section 26(2)

6

Rules for a Competency based examination or assessment for notaries

 

Section 109(2)(a)(i)
Section 26(3)

7

Rules for the Minimum conditions and procedures for the registration and administration of practical vocational training

A. Duel obligation on LPC and NF.

B. Ministerial Regulations after consultation with LPC

NF - Section 109(2)(a)(ii)
LPC - Sections 27(1) & (2)
Section 95(1)(o) Compare Attorneys Act
• Section 2 – duration of service under articles
• Section 2(a) exemption from service under articles of Clerkship
• Section 3- by whom candidate attorneys may be engaged
• Section 4 – information to be submitted to the society before articles are entered into
• Section 5 – lodging,
examination and registration of articles
• Section 6 – supervision over candidate

B. Ministerial Regulations after consultation with LPC attorney
• Section 7 – absence of candidate attorney
• Section 9 – restriction of pecuniary interest of candidate attorney
• Session of articles
• Termination of articles
• Section 13 – exemption from service under articles and certain examinations and powers of Court in
respect of irregular service Admission of Advocates Act–

8

The procedure and directions pertaining to the assessment of persons undergoing practical vocational training

Duel obligation on LPC and NF

NF - Section 109(2)(a)(iii)
LPC - Section 6(5)(d)
Section 28(1) – (4)
Section 95(1)(n) & (p)
Attorneys Act - no provision
Admission of advocates Act
No provision

9

Rules for the criteria for a person, institution, organisation or association to qualify to conduct an assessment

Duel obligation on LPC and NF

NF - Section 109(2)(a)(iv)
LPC -Section 28(3) & (4)
Attorneys Act – no provision
Admission of advocates Act
– no provision

10

Enrolment with LPC

A. Application to LPC
(i) as determined in Rules
(ii) indicate intention to practice as attorney or advocate
(iii) format of application to be determined in Rules
B. Register with LPC right of appearance in High court

Section 30(1)(a)
Section 30(1)(b)(ii)
Section 30(1)(b)(iii)
Section 30(3)(h)
(No provision for Rules – need to be developed)

11

Transitional provisions - prior learning and vocational training

Prior learning (qualifications obtained is acknowledged)

Section 112(1)(a)(i) & (ii)
Section 112(1)(b)

12

Foreign qualifications

No provision in respect of NF

 

13

Mobility between branches of the profession - conversion

Duel obligation on LPC and NF.

NF – Section 97(1)(a)(v)
LPC - Section 30(3)(f)
Section 32(1) – (3)
No provision in Chapter 10
See however Section 97(1) (a)(v)

14

Compulsory post qualification professional development

No provision in respect of NF Transitional provisions – Section 119(1) & (2)

LPC - Section 5(h)
Section 6(5)(e)
Section 6(5)(f)(ii)
Section 6(5)(g)(ii)

15

Compulsory practice management training

Currently no provision as a prerequisite for admission

NF - Section 97(1)(a)(v)
Section 26(1)(c)(ii) – as qualification for admission

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Rules and Code of Conduct Committee

SigogoChairperson: Mr Jan Stemmett (LSSA, Law Society of Northern Provinces (LSNP))

Members:

Terms of Reference of the Committee

 

WHAT THE NF IS REQUIRED TO DO

WHAT THE COMMITTEE MUST DO

ACT

1

Prepare Code of conduct for LPs, Candidate LPs and juristc entities

Publish the Code of conduct for LPs,Candidate LPs and juristic entities

S97(1)b)

2

Make rules iro  the procedures to be followed by disciplinary bodies

Make Rules by publication in the Gazette(for comment first)

S97(1)© r/w
S109(2)(a)(vi)

3

Make rules iro the manner and form in which complaints of misconduct must be lodged with council

Make Rules by publication in the Gazette(for comment first)

S97(1)© r/w
S109(2)(a)(vii)

4

Make rules relating

Make Rules by publication in the Gazette(for comment first)

S97(1)© r/w
S109(2)(a)(vii)

5

Negotiate with staff of non-regulatory entities  to any other matter in respect of which Rules must ito Chapter 10

Subject to amendment of the LPA, the NF should make Rules by publication in the Gazette(for comment first)

S95

6

Makes rules currently allocated to the Council to make, but will be needed to place before the Council can function. An amendment to LPA will be necessary 

Subject to amendments of the LPA, the NF should make the recommendations to the MOJ on the Regulations to be made

S94

7

Draft and recommendations the; Regulations currently allocated to the MOJ to make, but will be needed to be in place before the Council can function. An amendment to the LPA will be necessary

Make recommendations to the MOJ on amendments required

 

8

Amendments to the LPA which are crucial for effective functioning of the new governing structures and a smooth transition from the existing structures

 

S98(3), S22