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Chief Justice: Transformation of judiciary must start at university level

Mogoeng Mogoeng says the entire legal profession should ensure there’s adequate transformation.

FILE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says it’s the responsibility of the entire legal profession to ensure there’s adequate transformation and a change in counsel briefing patterns.

The chief justice made the comments after meeting with representatives from the heads of court and the Justice and Correctional Services portfolio committee in Midrand on Monday.

It was reported last week that the High Court in Pretoria would start recording the race and gender of counsel appearing in the courts, in order to gather data on briefing patterns.

The chief justice referred to numerous black senior council and judges who, in their careers, had never once been briefed by white clients.

“You can’t attribute that to incompetence because their performance as senior counsel and judges have demonstrated beyond question that they have more than what is required to execute any mandate.”

He puts this down to unconscious bias but says to transform the judiciary, one must start at university level.

“Make it your business to sponsor these students who are pursuing law and make it your business to ensure that as they complete their law degrees, they have work to build their capacity.”

Mogoeng says too few people, including the State, support the young professionals required to transform the profession.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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