The final Code of Conduct for all legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) as well as all candidate legal practitioners has been published by the South African Legal Practice Council (LPC). The Code is effective from 29 March 2019. Please note that there are various old versions on the Internet. We are dealing with the final version here – don’t make the mistake of looking at an old version or draft.
We believe that this is a very important document and it is crucial that all legal practitioners know what is in it. The public will also be interested in knowing what conduct is expected from legal practitioners and will want to hold them accountable if they do not act appropriately. It is crucial that people can access a copy of it and understand it. The Code of Conduct for all legal practitioners is different to the Michalsons Code.
Do you find this code of conduct to be clear and understandable? We’re interested to hear your views.
The code of conduct sets out the standard of conduct for legal practitioners.
Which parts apply to whom?
The Code of Conduct consists of the following parts:
- Code of conduct: general provisions
- Conduct of attorneys
- Conduct of advocates contemplated in section 34(2)(a)(i) of the Act
- Conduct of advocates contemplated in section 34(2)(a)(ii) of the Act
- Conduct of legal practitioners and candidate legal practitioners in relation to appearances in court and before tribunals
- Conduct of legal practitioners not in private practice
It is really hard to work out who must comply with which part, so we have created a table to help you. We also created the image above which tries to visually show you who is who.
Download the Code of Conduct for all legal practitioners
The Code of Conduct was published under Section 36(1) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 on 29 March 2019. You can download the final version in searchable pdf format.
Are you a legal practitioner wanting to know what conduct is acceptable?
As a legal practitioner, do you know what you can and cannot do? If you fail to adhere to the Code of Conduct, the LPC may take disciplinary action against you under the Rules. If you are found to have breached (or transgressed) the conduct, your conduct will be misconduct.
What to lay a complaint against a legal practitioner?
If you are a member of the public and you’re not happy with how a legal practitioner has conducted themselves, you can read the code of conduct and if you feel that the practitioner has breached the code, you can lodge a complaint with the Legal Practice Council.