In 1994 a group of 50 advocates gathered in Pretoria to discuss the shortcoming in the structure of the advocates profession as well as the legal profession as a whole. The main issues discussed were the accessibility of the legal profession to the public, the provision of support to advocates who were not members of any Bar and the provision of a flexible yet structured environment for those advocates who did not want to become members of an existing Bar.
With the above in mind, it was decided to form a new organization called IAASA, with the following principles:
IAASA was invited by then Minister of Justice, Mr. D Omar, to attend the National Legal Forum to discuss changes to be made in the legal system. Since then IAASA has tirelessly campaigned for change in the profession, and also served on the Ministerial Task Team on the proposed Legal Practitioners Bill. Although the Courts have not accepted the principle of direct briefing, this principle has been accepted by the Ministerial Task Team on the proposal Legal Practitioners Bill as well as by the Minister and may be achieved in the near future.
It is no coincidence that IAASA was formed in 1994, the year of our new democracy, as IAASA strongly supports the principles espoused first in the interim constitution and then in the 1996 constitution, and will continue to fight for an accessible legal profession to serve the public and the freedom of members to choose the form of their practice.
IAASA is now known as the National Bar Council of South Africa, or NBCSA.
National Bar Council of South AfricaSuite 800A, 8th Floor, Salmon Grove Chambers,407 Smith Street, DurbanTel: (031) 304-6825
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