The high court in Pietermaritzburg has ruled that there should be no distinction between a law qualification obtained from a public institution in South Africa, such as the University of Pretoria, and from an accredited private institution, writes Ernest Mabuza for Times Live.
Law students who complete their studies at accredited private higher education institutions are as qualified to enter the legal profession as those from public universities. The Pietermaritzburg high court recently declared that section 26(1)(a) of the Legal Practice Act was constitutionally invalid because it only allowed LLB graduates from public universities to enter the profession – and excluded students from private institutions from doing so.
The ruling, to be ratified by the Constitutional Court, is suspended for one year in order to give the department of justice and constitutional development an opportunity to change the problematic section
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