This week’s Judicial Service Commission interviews have concluded with the recommendation of two senior counsel to serve as judges on the Eastern Cape bench. One of the issues aired on the final day of interviews was the reluctance of both private practice and government to appoint black lawyers to appear for them – which experts say continues to delay transformation in the judiciary as well as the legal profession.
Grahamstown aocate Gerald Bloem, interviewed for one of two Eastern Cape High Court judge positions on Wednesday, was frank: “We do have a problem where the appointment of black counsel is concerned.”
Bloem told the JSC that in his experience, work was much less frequently passed on to black legal practitioners than to their white counterparts.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng stressed that this was a serious problem. “Nobody talks about briefing patterns,” he said.
You don’t have to be intimately involved in the South African legal scene to have noticed that in some of the most high-profile court cases over the last few years, black senior counsel has been invisible – even when the client being represented is the government. This year, Parliament has thus far been represented…
Source : Daily Maverick