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Policy framework for transforming State Legal Service is published for comment

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has published “A Framework for the transformation of the State Legal Service: Opening the doors of access to equal and affordable justice for all”. The document is open for public comment until 30 November 2012. Comments should be directed to: The Director-General, for the attention of Advocate M Olwage, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by fax to 086 677 7342.

The policy recognises, and aims to address, the limited participation of the majority of South Africans, especially the most marginalised, in the legal system. It aims to contribute to address this inadequacy through the transformation of state legal services. State legal services, which include the litigation and legal advisory services provided to the state in different capacities, are hampered by: a lack of a comprehensive set of rules regarding how litigation services are to be dispensed, acquired, managed and monitored; the absence of a strategy to train or nurture legal skills within government; the lack of a strategic, coordinated approach to defend the state against litigation; and the absence of alternative non-litigious methods to resolve legal disputes involving the state.

The main objectives of the Policy Framework are to: consolidate, coordinate and integrate state legal services across the government spectrum; create processes and infrastructure for the strategic management of litigation; establish a centralised mechanism and structure to coordinate the effective delivery of legal services by the state; enhance in-house state legal capacity; promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; and reorient state legal services to become not only a defender of litigation against departments, but also the initiator or litigation on behalf of the poorest of the poor to advance and protect their rights (for example, compensation for mining disasters).

The goal of the Policy Framework is a transformed, integrated, professional, cost effective, and highly skilled state legal service.

WEB LINKS FOR THIS ARTICLE

Click here to view the policy framework for transforming state legal services.