Solidarity submits PAIA application about LPC’s examination language medium

Request focuses on various aspects of decision to do away with Afrikaans as language medium for examinations

Solidarity submits PAIA application about Legal Practice Council’s examination language medium

23 February 2024

Solidarity submitted an application to the Legal Practice Council (LPC) in terms of the Promotion of Access of Information Act (PAIA) as far as information is concerned about this council’s decision to phase out Afrikaans as language medium for examinations. 

In January the Solidarity Law Network addressed several letters about the matter to the LPC. According to Riaan Visser, head of the Law Network, the LPC has not responded to any correspondence from the network apart from having acknowledged receipt.

This PAIA application, therefore, focuses on various aspects of the LPC’s decision to do away with Afrikaans as language medium for examinations – including the motivation for it, the decision-making processes followed, and the reasons for the decision. In its previous correspondence Solidarity also emphasised the urgency of the application and insisted that the LPC meet with Solidarity to discuss the matter further. The Law Network is most disappointed in the LPC as the requests for information or a meeting have simply fallen on deaf ears.

In terms of the PAIA application, Solidarity requests, among other things, all documentation related to the matter, including records, minutes, agendas of meetings as well as a comprehensive list of stakeholders consulted during the process of phasing out Afrikaans. 

“The Solidarity Law Network wishes to determine the grounds on which the LPC based its decision-making. This includes, among other things, how many legal practitioners wrote the exam in Afrikaans last year, how the Council monitors the language policy and also what the Council does to ensure and expand language diversity,” Visser said.

Solidarity strives to protect the rights and interests of Afrikaans candidates, as well as to ensure the preservation and expansion of multilingualism in legal practice.

“The ultimate goal of this PAIA application is to develop a joint strategy that addresses the interests of all parties involved, while promoting the constitutional principles of language diversity and access to rights,” Visser emphasised.

Statement issued by Riaan Visser, Head: Solidarity Law Network, 23 February 2024