23 Aug

How Can The Legal Profession Tackle Corruption?

When Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng spoke at this year’s SADC’s Lawyers Association conference in Cape Town he mentioned how lawyers and other legal professionals are ultimately responsible for weeding out corruption in government, public and private sectors. He also mentioned how lawyers and judges should refrain from taking part in a corrupt system of rule, an unfortunate common occurrence in South Africa’s municipal governance. But what Chief Justice Mogoeng did not mention was how the legal profession will go about making this nation-wide change.

Legal Strategies To End State Corruption 

  • By getting legal professionals involved in the auditing of government spending more often, instead of leaving the process largely internalised within municipal and national departments is key to ending corruption. Many countries post lawyers within government departments to audit on an ad hoc basis, rather than systematically auditing departments at a set time and date in the year.
  • International corruption conventions should be arranged to facilitate dialogue between governments that both suffer or have successfully tackled corruption. By integrating said dialogue between governments and international legal organisations, such as the SADC’s Lawyer Association, actual, tangible policy may be drafted to eliminate corruption.
  • When it comes to tackling corruption within the courts, legal professionals are very limited when it comes to using certain evidence against officials who may otherwise be found guilty of corruption. Corrupt officials are often one step ahead of legal professionals in their use of technology such as mobile devices, messaging platforms and the like, knowing full-well that some evidence cannot effectively be used in court. Much of this, as well as a considerable amount, of red tape needs to be eliminated if lawyers and public protectors are to have any success against corrupt politicians and officials.

Although there is much room for improvement, Ivan Zartz Attorneys supports the sentiments of the Chief Justice, and we all look forward to a transparent and well-governed future in South Africa.

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