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State Attorney Amendment Act in Effect Soon

February 4, 2020

The Presidency

The State Attorney Amendment Act of 2014 comes into effect on 7 February 2020.

The presidency published Proclamation 6 in Government Gazette 42989.

The act aims to amend the State Attorney Act, 1957, so as to:

• provide for the establishment of offices of State Attorney;
• provide for the appointment of a Solicitor-General and State Attorneys;
• provide for the powers of the Minister relating to the functions of the offices of State Attorney;
• provide for the powers and functions of the Solicitor-General; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The State Attorney Amendment Bill was tabled in parliament at the end of 2013.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence in February 2014.

The NCOP passed the bill in March 2014 and it was sent for assent.

The bill flowed from the Policy Framework for the Transformation of the State’s Legal Services published for comment in 2012.

Speaking at the time, the then justice minister, Jeff Radebe, stressed that the framework is an important part of the overall transformation agenda of the department. Other proposals under discussion included the transformation of the judicial system and the role of the judiciary in the developmental South African state.

The plan was to enhance access to justice in South Africa.

The minister explained that the policy framework aims to “develop legal skills in the private sector through the equitable outsourcing of legal work to previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI) in order to redress the imbalance of past discriminatory practices in the legal profession and the state”.

Another priority was to consolidate and integrate services within the department so that litigation against and on behalf of the state is well managed.