Candidate Legal Practitioners Requirements Challenged by Members of LPC

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In a notice published in the government gazette, the Legal Practice Council (LPC) challenged the requirement by employers for candidate legal practitioners to be licenced drivers and have their own access to a vehicle saying that it is anti-transformative.

In their proposed amendments to the Legal Practice Act, the LPC said that it will be regarded as misconduct should employers require candidates to have their licence and access to their own vehicle. Employers will also not be able to ask for this information during the interview process.

The Council says that this requirement slows down transformation and is discriminatory towards candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds.

President of the Black Lawyers Association, Mashudu Kutama, welcomes the action by the LPC and says that it addresses one of the counter-transformative practices in the legal sector.

Furthermore, Kutama says that it is exclusionary to require candidates to be fluent in Afrikaans as English is the language of the courts, indicated by the Chief Justice. There are also complaints about the low stipends, some as low as R3 000pm, paid to graduate candidates.

Members of the legal sector are allowed to comment on the proposed amendments until 10 August.