Language Proficiency in the Legal Profession

Topics: Law, Common law, Lawyer Pages: 2 (649 words) Published: February 27, 2013
The retention of Latin as a requirement for admission to legal practice has been quite controversial among legal academics and practitioners over the last few years. No less controversial has been the recent decision of the General Council of the bar to recommend the abolition of Latin as the requirement. This decision has given rise to conflicting reactions and lots of speculation on its implications. Language proficiency in the legal profession

There are no statutory language requirement for the practice of law , and the completion of a courses in Latin is no longer a requirement for the LLB degree at the Universities, the language is, however, very important for the study and practice of law in South Africa . Prospective lawyers are encouraged, therefore to study English. In terms of the constitution, the language encouraged as the official language for the course is English. It will be noted that in the past the languages required to be passed by a law student were English and Afrikaans in addition to Latin. although section 6 of the Constitution makes mention of eleven(11) language as being official in south Africa, it is an unwritten requirements that English be the language of the court as I stated above. Therefore English as a language should be made compulsory at universities in the curriculum for the studies of law. There is general concern by all stakeholders in legal fraternity that the language proficiency in the practice of law has dramatically dropped. It is against this background, that I am of the view emphases should be placed on the proficiency in English to enable those practicing the law to be able to convey the arguments in a clear and acceptable expression of the language. Latin for Law in South Africa

The issue of Latin as a language to be studied as a requirement for the studies of law has a great local significance. South Africa is a unique on its application for Roman Dutch legal system. An ability to interpret correctly...
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