The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) on Friday welcomed the signing into law of the Legal Practice Act (LPA).
“The coming into law of the LPA is a major step towards the transformation of the legal profession, which… is very important because the transformed legal profession paves the way for the total transformation of the judiciary,” it said in a statement.
President Jacob Zuma signed it into law on Tuesday.
The BLA said one of its innovations was that attorneys and advocates would be brought under the authority of one regulatory body. It would further ensure that the office of the ombudsman in the legal profession looked after the interests of the public.
“The fact that the act has been in the public domain since 1998 is an indication that the appropriate considerations had been put in place in order to produce an act which will drastically redress, to a larger extent, the imbalances experienced in the past, within the legal profession,” the BLA said.
Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj said on Tuesday: “Transformation of the legal profession is a constitutional imperative. The legal profession constitutes part of the judicial machinery that provides services aimed at promoting access to justice.” SAPA