Monday, February 29, 2016

The new uniform, national rules, governing all attorneys in South Africa.

Effective as of 1 March 2016, the Rules of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces [LSNP] (issued in terms of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979), have been repealed, and replaced with the new uniform Rules of the Attorneys' Profession.

The Rules of the other three statutory law societies (Cape Law Society [CLS], KwaZulu Natal Law Society [KZNLS], and Free State Law Society [FSLS] ) have also been repealed in terms of the same government gazette. The new rules are intended to govern all attorneys and candidate attorneys in the Republic of South Africa, regardless of which of the historic jurisdictions they practise in.

To quote the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA):

'The Rules for the Attorneys' Profession have been gazetted in Government Gazette 39740 of 26 February 2016 and come into effect on 1 March 2016.

'Historically, the four statutory provincial law societies have had four disparate sets of rules that apply to practitioners in their respective jurisdictions.

'Over the past few years, the LSSA has facilitated discussions and the process to unify the rules into one uniform set of rules that will apply to all attorneys and candidate attorneys on a national basis, irrespective of where in the country they may be practising. The uniform National Rules for the Attorneys' Profession were approved by all the Judges President and the Chief Justice in 2015 after being adopted at the AGMs of the provincial law societies in October and November 2014.

'The process to unify the rules of the attorneys’ profession took some seven years. The LSSA appreciates the ongoing support of all constituents, the level of debate and the fact that the interests of the profession and the public were prioritised in the process.' (Press Release | http://www.lssa.org.za/legal-practitioners/policy-documents/misc/uniform-rules-for-the-attorneys--profession )

The applicable government gazette, GG 39740 of 26 February 2016, which contains the new rules to which the profession is to be bound, may be viewed at the link:

http://www.lssa.org.za/upload/Rules%20for%20the%20Attorneys%E2%80%99%20Profession%20GG39740%20of%2026%20February%202016.pdf

Please see NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION NOTICE 2 OF 2016 on page four of the said gazette, which contains the new rules.

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