Draft Magistrates Bill on Track

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

A revised Draft Magistrates Bill is likely to be submitted to the justice and correctional services minister within the next two months.

The deputy minister of justice and constitutional development, John Jeffery, announced this during a briefing in parliament on the department’s political overview.

This follows a specialist task team meeting in July 2018 on the proposed legislation.

According to the deputy minister, a revised Draft Magistrates’ Courts Bill should be ready for discussion early in 2019.

The deputy minister also indicated that a Draft State Legal Services SA Bill has been developed.

“It is envisaged that we will conclude it within this 4th quarter where after it will be submitted to Cabinet for in principle approval to initiate the formal consultation process.”

The merging of the State Attorneys offices and the State Law Advisers offices is being proposed.

In terms of the draft Sexual Offences Regulations, input from stakeholders are being evaluated and amendments to the draft regulations will be made where necessary.

A final set of draft regulations will then be submitted to the chief justice.

“We envisage finalising the draft Regulations during the first quarter of next year. The regulations will contain a minimum set of standards for Sexual Offences Courts.”

As regards draft regulations dealing with the leave of magistrates, they were recommended by the Magistrates Commission and published for further comment.

“It will again serve before the Magistrates Commission at the end of November 2018 and it is envisaged that it will gazetted with effect from 1 January 2019.”

In a separate matter, the department announced, in a statement, the members of the South African Law Reform Commission.

The members will serve a five-year term.

In a statement, the National Forum on the Legal Profession announced the attorneys and advocates that will serve on the Legal Practice Council.

The Council replaces the four statutory provincial law societies.

Sabinet Cape Town Office