A race and gender row is rocking the legal fraternity because of a “one size fits all” policy that dictates how many white and black men and women can sit on new provincial watchdog bodies.
Elections for the new Legal Practice Council (LPC), which replaced the Law Society of SA and provincial law societies, were held in March. The regulatory body covers advocates and attorneys, and each provincial council has four advocates and six attorneys.
In the Western Cape, the “unintended, perverse result” of strict race and gender rules is that a black woman has been left out in the cold in favour of a black man, even though she got almost three times the number of votes.
Now the Cape Bar has launched an urgent high court application seeking to have the quota rules declared unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The targets of the litigation are the justice minister, who is responsible for promulgating the Legal Practice Act, and the LPC.[source: Times Live]