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Determined to get its law degree re-accredited by next year, Walter Sisulu University (WSU) has roped in internationally acclaimed human rights scholar, academic and lawyer Professor Vinodh Jaichand. A DispatchLIVE report notes Jaichand – previously head of the law school at Wits University – was appointed professor of law in the Department of Legal Studies with effect from 1 November.
The justice system needs to find ways to combat a court system that is ‘frustrating, slow and technologically backward’. In an editorial on the GroundUp site its editors suggest tardy lawyers and judges should be penalised for delaying justice, and say our courts need ‘to go digital and get organised’.
The SA Post Office (Sapo) has again missed its self-imposed deadline to sort through its backlog from the two-week strike in July and still has about 7.8m items to dispatch in order to catch up, says a Business Day report. CEO Mark Barnes has previously said that the Post Office would get back to normal at the end of September and then again at the end of October.
The magistrate in the trial of extortion accused Nafiz Modack and three others has ruled that no photographs of legal practitioners may be taken during the court proceedings in light of the assassination of Advocate Pete Mihalik. Magistrate Bruce Pedro made the ruling on the first day of the trial in the Cape Town District Court yesterday, reports TimesLIVE.
Concerned at the confusion created by reports that the new Legal Practice Council has replaced the Law Society of SA (LSSA), the society points out it continues to exist under the Legal Practice Act dispensation as a voluntary, representative, professional interest body for attorneys.
Discovery has moved swiftly to seal the document to contain possible fallout after hundreds of its clients had personal information such as names, ID numbers and contact details disclosed in court papers that have been accessed by third parties. Discovery said yesterday the data was never publicly disclosed and it had taken steps to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act, notes BusinessLIVE.
The net is closing in on lawyers who are allegedly swindling hundreds of millions from the Eastern Cape Department of Health and the Road Accident Fund. A Daily Dispatch says Zuko Nonxuba and Milile Mpambaniso are among the attorneys who have lodged millions of rands worth of claims on behalf of victims, some of whom are apparently not even aware of the claims.
The inevitability of death doesn’t detract from the shock and distress that it brings to the grieving survivors, and much as we don’t like to plan for these things it will help at least a little to know what to do in practice after a death.
Applications brought by banks are clogging up the High Courts, leading to long delays in the delivering of judgments. GroundUp says the situation was highlighted in a case before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) which ruled that Magistrate's Courts should be the first port of call for banks seeking judgments against their clients.
Varsity College has approached the courts to have wording in the Attorneys Act and the Legal Practice Act declared unconstitutional, says a report in The Mercury. This follows an impasse with the KZN Law Society over the body’s refusal to have the institution’s LLB graduates admitted for articles. The institution has filed a Rule 16A notice with the High Court asking that it declare the use of the word ‘university’ in both Acts unconstitutional.
From February next year, litigants – especially big corporates and financial institutions – will no longer simply be able to haul the public before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) when it is convenient for them. A Pretoria News report says a full Bench – led by Pretoria Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba – ruled that from 2 February, civil actions, where the monetary value claimed was within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Courts, should be instituted in those forums.
Council members of the Law Society of SA (LSSA) have called for lawyers to balance public and professional interests when voting for candidates for the new Legal Practice Council. The council members reaffirmed their commitment to transformation in the sector and are confident that the Legal Practice Act would bring about necessary change, notes Legalbrief.
Controversial attorney Ronald Bobroff claims that fleeing SA had nothing to do with wrongdoing and everything to do with his and his son’s lives being in danger. Bobroff and his son, Darren, fled to Australia at a time when they were facing arrest by the Hawks and possible prosecutions by the NPA.
Pietermaritzburg attorney Rashid Patel has appealed to the KZN Law Society to assist in rooting out the problem of magistrates acting inappropriately. The Witness reports Patel has written to the society wanting it to engage with its members to find out their experiences in the lower courts. This follows an article published at the weekend by Sam Sole, for the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, about KZN’s Regional Court President, Eric Nzimande.
Varsity College has found itself in a quagmire because the KZN Law Society refuses to allow its LLB students to register to serve their articles, says a report in The Witness. The college contends it has all the relevant accreditation to offer the degree but the society maintains that ‘only a university’ may do so. This follows amendments to relevant legislation last September which no longer classifies Varsity College as a university.