Recently, Judge Mandlenkosi Motha of the Pretoria High Court caused something of a stir when he directed legal practitioners – all white – who appeared before him in a black economic empowerment case to explain the lack of race diversity in their legal teams.

The outrage is, in my view, misdirected, tone deaf, shortsighted and lacks discernment in many fundamental respects. I discuss these in this paper, citing observations made in the past by the Constitutional Court, the Judge President of the busiest courts in South Africa, and other eminent jurists on the subject of Transformation and its Legitimacy.

I submit that skewed briefing patterns that favour white legal practitioners are a legitimate concern that should be addressed expeditiously and sustainably because of the deleterious effects they have on the development of our jurisprudence and on the legitimacy and competence of the Judiciary in the long run, and the explicitly racist stereotype they reinforce in the legal profession.

I then offer some solutions and invite legal practitioners to engage with this content so that we can arrive at a solution that is sustainable and to the benefit, ultimately, of the country.

Read Full paper here: The Long Term Consequences of Skewed Briefing Patterns in SA & Some Solutions

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Legitimacy, Transformation and Need for Change at the Bar