Current Institutional Affiliation
Coordinator, Unit for Applied Law

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Unit for Applied Law, University of the Western Cape
The Paralegal: Access to Justice and the Transformation of the Legal Profession in South Africa

TOPIC:THE PARALEGAL: ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA The Post-apartheid government in South Africa has introduced various measures to enhance access to justice for the most vulnerable communities in the country. However, poverty, unemployment and inequality remain the biggest threats to South Africa's democracy. Measures to remove the barriers to access to justice are mainly focused on the classical definition and the private legal profession, although the paralegal practitioner has rendered a crucial service since before 1994. Insufficient research has been done to inform policy makers about the role of the paralegal in the South African legal landscape; hence, its exclusion from the legal profession to date. This proposed study will use a synthesising literature review to analyse the content and scope of the right to access to justice in South Africa, the legal historical method to track the legal reforms in the legal profession and conduct a comparative analysis of the regulatory framework in a selection of foreign legal systems, in order to draw conclusions and make recommendations to policy makers for the regulatory framework for paralegals.