The Office of the Chief State Law Adviser provides legal advice, representation and legislative drafting services to the Executive, all state departments at both national and provincial levels, municipalities, parastatals and independent or autonomous bodies that may refer work to it. It supports the government to achieve its objectives of transforming South African society and redressing past imbalances by providing efficient and cost-effective legal advice, legislative drafting and translation services of high quality.
OCSLA Virtual Stakeholder Engagement Session (SES) Report, May 2022
It is an honour to present a Report on the outcome of the proceedings of the Virtual Stakeholder Engagement Session (SES) between legal advisers in government departments and other organs of state and the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser (OCSLA). The purpose of the coming together was to strengthen synergies with the view of improving service to the government and, ultimately, the people of South Africa by ensuring that the legal advice we give consistently guardrails and strengthens constitutional democracy.
The OCSLA in the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development has always remained pivotal in providing legal opinions and scrutinising Bills for Parliament, subordinate legislation and international agreements for consistency with the Constitution and other law.
MISSION: To provide reliable legal advice, representation, legislation and legislative drafting services to the State in a cost effective and efficient manner.
VISION: To ensure that the services rendered are improved in accordance with the mission and that of the Chief State Law Adviser is responsive to the needs of its clients in a globalised and highly industrialised world in which information technology plays a vital role.
PRINCIPLES AND VALUES: Constitutional Values; Batho Pele principles; Professionalism and continuous improvement; Integrity and Ubuntu
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE: Improved provision of legal services to the state organs.
The core functions of the office include:
The State Law Advisers are tasked with the solemn responsibility of ensuring that the state is able to deliver on its obligations, promote the rule of law and give effect to the values enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The State Law Advisers do this by providing legal advice and guidance to the state on its proposals, legislation and international agreements and by ensuring that potential litigation against the state, on constitutional and other legal grounds, is considerably reduced. The State Law Advisers scrutinise, develop, draft and certify all primary legislation before it is introduced in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. It is the responsibility of the State Law Advisers to ensure that it is compatible with the Constitution and other legal instruments and that it will withstand constitutional muster. In this way, the State Law Advisers make a significant contribution towards the development of our constitutional jurisprudence.
The office of the Chief State Law Adviser provides legal advice to the Executive, all state departments at both national and provincial levels, municipalities, parastatals and other organs of state on various matters.
Draft Subordinate Legislation
Certification of Bills
The certification process involves the following steps:
Drafting, scrutinisation and review of municipal bylaws
The process is the same as for Certification of Bills.