Paia application submitted on Legal Practitioners Council examination language


Solidarity submitted an application in terms of the Act on the Promotion of Access to Information (Paia) to the Legal Practitioners Council (RPR) regarding this council’s decision to phase out Afrikaans as an examination medium.

In January, the Solidarity Legal Network addressed several letters to the RPR on this matter. Apart from acknowledgments of receipt, however, the RPR did not respond to any writings from the network, according to Riaan Visser, head of the Legal Network.

The Paia application aims to obtain information on various aspects of the RPR’s decision to delete Afrikaans as an examination medium, including the motivation, the decision-making processes that were followed, and the reasons for the decision.

In previous letters to the RPR, Solidarity emphasized the urgency of the matter, and insisted on a meeting with the RPR to discuss the matter.

“The Legal Network is extremely disappointed in the RPR as the request for information or a meeting simply fell on deaf ears,” says Visser.

Through the Paia application, Solidarity requests, among other things, all documentation related to the matter, including records, minutes and business lists of meetings, as well as a comprehensive list of stakeholders involved in the process.

“The Solidarity Legal Network would like to determine on what grounds the RPR based its decision-making. This includes, among other things, questions about how many legal practitioners sat the exam in Afrikaans last year, how the council monitors the language policy and also about what the council is doing to ensure and expand language diversity,” says Visser.

“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 common strategy that addresses the interests of all parties involved, while promoting the constitutional principles of linguistic diversity and access to rights.”