Legal Practice Amendment Bill Sent to NCOP

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The Legal Practice Amendment Bill has been passed by the national assembly and sent to the national council of provinces for concurrence.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2017.

It aims to amend the Legal Practice Act of 2014 in order to:

•    further regulate the prescription of the areas of jurisdiction of the Provincial Councils;
•    provide that only practising legal practitioners may perform certain acts or render certain services;
•    further regulate the duties of banks in respect of trust accounts;
•    further regulate the duration of the National Forum on the Legal Profession;
•    further provide for the functions of the National Forum on the Legal Profession;
•    further provide for the dissolution date of the law societies; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services introduced amendments to the bill including a new clause stating that the Legal Council will only take jurisdiction over all legal practitioners when section 120(4) comes into operation and a new section 120(3) provides that chapter 2 comes into operation on any date fixed by the president.

The select committee on security and justice will now process the bill.

Meanwhile, the justice and constitutional development department has provided responses to submissions on the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill.

The bill was tabled in February 2017.

The proposed legislation aims to:

•    To create offences and impose penalties which have a bearing on cybercrime;
•    To criminalise the distribution of data messages which is harmful and to provide for interim protection orders;
•    to further regulate jurisdiction in respect of cybercrimes;
•    to further regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes;
•    to further regulate aspects relating to mutual assistance in respect of the investigation of cybercrime;
•    to provide for the establishment of a 24/7 Point of Contact;
•    to further provide for the proof of certain facts by affidavit;
•    to impose obligations on electronic communications service providers and financial institutions to assist in the investigation of cybercrimes and to report cybercrimes;
•    to provide for the establishment of structures to promote cybersecurity and capacity building;
•    to regulate the identification and declaration of critical information infrastructures and measures to protect critical information infrastructures;
•    to provide that the Executive may enter into agreements with foreign States to promote cybersecurity;
•    to delete and amend provisions of certain laws;
•    and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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