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Retired judge Siraj Desai. Picture: RUVAN BOSHOFF
Retired judge Siraj Desai. Picture: RUVAN BOSHOFF

The office of the legal services ombudsman (Olso) will provide a platform for the public to lay complaints and report unethical behaviour against legal practitioners.

Olso is headed by retired judge Siraj Desai, who was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

It aims to promote an accountable legal profession in SA, justice minister Ronald Lamola said in a statement at its official launch on Thursday.

“It will achieve this by safeguarding the constitution and the rule of law, protecting and promoting the public interest in relation to the rendering of legal services, ensuring fair, efficient and effective investigation of alleged misconduct by legal practitioners, promoting high standards of integrity in the legal profession and upholding the independence of the legal profession.”

The ombud will provide oversight of attorneys and advocates, candidate attorneys, candidate legal practitioners and those undergoing pupillage.

The office will not hear cases involving judges, magistrates or prosecutors as these are already handled by other entities including the Judicial Service Commission, Magistrates Commission and National Prosecuting Authority.



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