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General Council of the Bar of South Africa v Jiba and Others (CCT192/18) [2019] ZACC 23

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General Council of the Bar of South Africa v Jiba and Others (CCT192/18) [2019] ZACC 23

27th June 2019

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Click here to read the full judgment on Saflii

[1] The proper administration of justice may not be achieved and justice itself may not be served unless truthful facts are placed before the courts.  Legal practitioners are a vital part of our system of justice.  Their important role includes preventing false evidence from being presented at court hearings, and by so doing they protect judicial adjudication of disputes from contamination by fabricated facts.  As a result, the law demands from every practitioner absolute personal integrity and scrupulous honesty.

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[2] One of the reasons for holding legal practitioners to this high ethical and moral standard was furnished on these terms in Swain:

“[I]t is of vital importance that when the Court seeks an assurance from an advocate that a certain set of facts exists the Court will be able to rely implicitly on any assurance that may be given.  The same standard is required in relations between advocates and between advocates and attorneys.  The proper administration of justice could not easily survive if the professions were not scrupulous of the truth in their dealings with each other and with the Court.”

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[3] To underscore this requirement, the Admission of Advocates Act[3] (Admission Act) demands that before an advocate may be permitted to practise, she must satisfy the High Court that she meets all conditions, including the qualities of honesty and integrity.  If satisfied, the High Court may admit the advocate into the profession and direct that her name be included on the roll of advocates in the custody of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

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