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Barring foreign nationals from being admitted to legal profession not unconstitutional - ConCourt

Source: News24, 03/08/2022

• In September 2021, the Free State High Court declared Section 24(2) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 unconstitutional and invalid.
• The matter was brought by foreign nationals who wanted to be admitted and enrolled as legal practitioners in South Africa.
• On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court declined to confirm the constitutional invalidity.
A group of foreign nationals, who were fighting to be admitted and enrolled as legal practitioners in South Africa, but lack permanent residency, lost their bid in the Constitutional Court on Tuesday.
The court dismissed the group`s leave to appeal against a Free State High Court judgment.
It also declined to confirm that Section 24(2) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (LPA) was unconstitutional and invalid to the extent that it did not allow foreigners to be admitted and authorised to enroll as non-practising legal practitioners.
In September last year, the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein declared that section unconstitutional and invalid, but found the discrimination in Section 24(2)(b) of the LPA was fair.
One of the applications was brought by Relebohile Cecilia Rafoneke and Sefoboko Phillip Tsuinyane, both Lesotho nationals, who wanted to practice in South Africa.
Another was brought by Zimbabwe nationals Bruce Chakanyuka, Nyasha James Nyamugure and Dennis Tatenda Chayda, as well as an asylum seeker refugee and migrant coalition, all facing the same issues as Rafoneke and Tsuinyane.
The respondents were the justice and correctional services minister and the Legal Practice Council.
Rafoneke and Tsuinyane both studied at the University of the Free State, where they obtained LLB degrees.
They entered into contracts of articles of clerkship, completed vocational training, and passed the practical examination for attorneys.
When they applied to be admitted and enrolled as attorneys of the high court, their applications were dismissed because they were neither South African citizens nor lawfully admitted to this country as permanent residents.


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