ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
Admission and Enrolment of Legal Practitioners
Qualifications and Admission
3. Qualifications for practising as legal practitioner
4. Qualifications for admission of citizen
5. Qualifications for admission of Commonwealth citizen
6. Qualifications for admission of non-citizen
7. Admission of foreign advocates
8. Qualifications for practising as notaries and conveyancers
9. Qualifications for admission as notaries and conveyancers
10. Application for admission and enrolment
11. Admission and enrolment
12. Oath to be taken before enrolment
13. Keeping the roll
14. Entry of name and restoration of name
15. Removal or restoration of name of practitioner
16. Rights of advocates and attorneys
17. Restriction on practice of advocates
18. Contract of pupillage
19. Service of pupillage
20. Contents of contract of pupillage
21. Registration of contract
22. Termination of contract
23. Provisional practising certificate
24. Award of certificate of pupillage
25. Exemption from contract of pupillage
26. Prohibition of issue of practising certificate
27. Application of Part III
28. Remuneration of pupil
29. Application for practising certificate
30. Issue of practising certificate
31. Fees payable on issue of practising certificate
32. Date and expiry of practising certificate
Fidelity Guarantee Fund
33. Establishment of Fund
34. Fund to vest in Board of trustees
35. Appointment of Board of trustees
36. Application for fidelity fund certificate
37. Issue of fidelity fund certificate
38. Contribution to Fund
39. Investment of Fund
40. Accounts to be kept
41. Professional indemnity
42. Moneys to the credit of Fund
43. Application of Fund
44. Payment of compensation for loss due to dishonesty
Trust Accounts and Notaries, Protocols
45. Trust accounts
46. Examination of protocol and registers of notaries
47. Appointment of Disciplinary Committee
48. Secretary of Disciplinary Committee
49. Complaint against legal practitioner
50. Investigation of complaint by Disciplinary Committee
51. Suspension or removal of name from roll
52. Definition of misconduct
Power to make Regulations
The Law Society of Botswana
Establishment of Society
55. Establishment of Society
57. Annual subscription
58. Cessation of membership
59. Functions of Society
60. Council of Society
61. Powers of Council
62. Appointment of committees and delegation of powers
64. Officers of Society
65. Ordinary general meeting
66. Special general meeting
67. Convening and procedure of meetings
68. Common Seal
Minutes, Accounts and Reports
70. Accounts to be kept
71. Annual report
73. Regulations to be made by Minister
75. Transitional provision
76. Pending proceedings
77. Continuance of regulations
First Schedule - Exempted Persons
Second Schedule - Specified Universities
Third Schedule - Formalities
Fourth Schedule - Fees Payable on Admission and Enrolment
Fifth Schedule - Annual Fees for Practising Certificates
Act 34, 1967,
Act 10, 1969,
Act 45, 1969,
Act 44, 1970,
Act 17, 1972,
S.I. 36, 1975,
S.I. 5, 1976,
Act 23, 1977,
S.I. 73, 1978,
Act 17, 1982,
Act 30, 1982,
Act 27, 1983,
Act 13, 1996,
Act 14, 2005,
S.I. 3, 2014.
An Act to re-enact with amendments the law relating to the admission, enrolment and practice of legal practitioners in Botswana and matters ancillary thereto.
[Date of commencement: 1st January 1997,
except s 30(1)(d), (e) and (f): 1st February, 1997]
Preliminary (ss 1-2)
This Act may be cited as the Legal Practitioners Act, 1996.
In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-
"advocate" means any legal practitioner duly admitted to practise as an advocate in Botswana;
"the annual contribution" has the meaning assigned to it under section 38;
"attorney" means any legal practitioner duly admitted to practise as an attorney-at-law in Botswana;
"certificate of pupillage" has the meaning assigned to it under section 24;
"conveyancer" means any legal practitioner duly admitted to practise as a conveyancer in Botswana;
"the Council" means the Council of the Society established under section 60;
"court" means the Chief Justice or any judge of the High Court;
"courts of Botswana" means the Court of Appeal, the High Court and magistrates' courts and all tribunals to which legal practitioners have a right of audience, but subject to the provisions of any other written law and the Constitution, does not include any customary court or any customary court of appeal established under the Customary Courts Act;
"the Disciplinary Committee" means the Disciplinary Committee established under section 47;
"enrolment" means the entry of a name in the roll of legal practitioners;
"foreign advocate" has the meaning assigned to it under section 7;
"the Fund" has the meaning assigned to it under section 33;
"legal practitioner" means any person entitled to practise under this Act as an advocate, attorney, notary or conveyancer;
"Master" means the Master of the High Court;
"notary" means any legal practitioner duly admitted as a notary public in Botswana;
"practising certificate" means a certificate issued under section 30;
"pupil master" has the meaning assigned to it under section18(2);
"the Registrar" means the Registrar of the High Court;
"the roll" means the list of legal practitioners kept by the Registrar under section 13;
"the Society" means the Law Society of Botswana established under section 55.
Admission and Enrolment of Legal Practitioners (ss 3-17)
Qualifications and Admission (ss 3-12)
(1) No person shall be qualified to practise as a legal practitioner unless-
(a) he has been admitted as a legal practitioner;
(b) his name is on the roll; and
(c) subject to subsection (2), he has in force a practising certificate issued by the Registrar under section 30.
(2) The persons specified in the First Schedule shall be exempted from applying for a practising certificate:
Provided that the exemption shall not apply to any person specified in the Schedule who engages in private practice on his own account.
(1) A person who is a citizen of Botswana shall be qualified to be admitted as a legal practitioner if he satisfies the court that-
(a) he is a fit and proper person;
(b) he has obtained by examination-
(i) the degree of LL.B. from the University of Botswana, University of Lesotho, University of Swaziland or the former University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland or Botswana and Swaziland referred to in section 8 of the University of Botswana Act; or
(ii) a bachelor's degree in law from any of the universities specified in the Second Schedule or such other prescribed university together with such additional qualifications, if any, as may be prescribed; and
(c) he has passed such practical examinations as may be prescribed.
(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) may be exempted from the provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1) if he satisfies the court that he is qualified to practise in any prescribed country having a sufficiently analogous system of law and that his qualifications are such as to render him suitable for admission and fulfils such conditions whether as to status or proficiency, as may be prescribed.
A person who is a citizen of a Commonwealth country (including a citizen of Botswana) shall be qualified to be admitted as a legal practitioner if he satisfies the court that-
(a) he is a fit and proper person;
(b) he has been admitted, has done his pupillage and is entitled to practise as a barrister in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or as an advocate in the Court of Session in Scotland; or
(c) he has been admitted, has done his pupillage and is entitled to practise as an advocate in any Division of the Supreme Court of the Republic of South Africa or in the High Court of Zimbabwe; or
(d) he has been admitted, has done his pupillage and is entitled to practise as an attorney or solicitor of any of the courts of Record in London, Belfast or Dublin, or being a Writer to the Signet or a solicitor or law agent admitted to practise in the Court of Session of Scotland; or
(e) he has been admitted, has done his pupillage and is entitled to practise as an attorney or solicitor in any Division of the Supreme Court of the Republic of South Africa or in the High Court of Zimbabwe; and
(f) he is ordinarily resident in Botswana or intends to reside permanently in Botswana; and
(g) there is a reciprocal provision in the law of the Commonwealth country of which he is a citizen to permit a citizen of Botswana qualified in terms of the laws of that country to be admitted to practise in that country.
(1) A person who is not a citizen of Botswana shall be qualified to be admitted as a legal practitioner if he satisfies the court that-
(a) he is a fit and proper person;
(b) he has complied with the educational requirements specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of section 4(1);
(c) he is ordinarily resident in Botswana or intends to reside permanently in Botswana; and
(d) there is a reciprocal provision in the law of the country of which he is a citizen to permit a citizen of Botswana qualified in terms of the laws of that country to be admitted to practise in that country.
(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) may be exempted from complying with the provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1) of section 4 if he satisfies the court that he is qualified to practise in a prescribed country having a sufficiently analogous system of law and that his qualifications are such as to render him suitable for admission and fulfils such conditions, whether as to status or proficiency, as may be prescribed.
(1) An advocate who is not a citizen of Botswana and is not permanently or ordinarily resident in Botswana but is qualified to practise as an advocate in a superior court in a Commonwealth country or a country prescribed by Parliament in accordance with the provisions of section 96(3) or 100(3) of the Constitution (in this section referred to as "a foreign advocate") may, on an application to the Chief Justice with notice of the application to the Society, be admitted to practise as an advocate for the purpose of any specific cause or matter of importance and complexity in or regard to which he has been instructed either by the Attorney-General or an attorney in Botswana for the duration of the hearing of that cause or matter.
(2) The foreign advocate shall, on completion of the hearing of the cause or matter, or on the hearing of the final appeal therefrom, cease to be entitled to practise in Botswana.
(3) No foreign advocate shall be entitled to practise in Botswana until he has paid such fees as may be prescribed under section 73, to the Registrar.
(4) The Registrar shall pay half of the fee paid under subsection (3) to the Society.
No person shall be admitted to practise as a notary or as a conveyancer unless he is admitted and enrolled as an attorney.
Subject to section 8, a person shall be admitted as a notary or as a conveyancer, as the case may be, if he satisfies the court that-
(a) he is a fit and proper person;
(b) there is no order of court removing his name from the roll;
(c) there are no pending proceedings to remove his name from the roll; and
(d) he has passed such examinations as may be prescribed-
(i) in the case of a notary, in the practices, functions and duties of a notary public;
(ii) in the case of a conveyancer, in the practices, functions and duties of a conveyancer.
(1) Any person who holds the requisite qualifications in terms of section 4, 5, 6 or 9 may apply to the court by petition in writing to be admitted and enrolled as a legal practitioner in the capacity mentioned in the application.
(2) Every application shall be accompanied by a documentary proof of the possession by the applicant of the qualifications prescribed in section 4, 5, 6 or 9, as the case may be.
(3) A copy of every application, together with copies of supporting affidavits and certificates shall be served upon the Attorney-General and the Society not less than 28 days before the hearing of the application, and such service may be effected personally or by registered post:
Provided that the Attorney-General or the Society may, after consulting each other, accept service for a lesser period and, if they agree to do so, then the Attorney-General shall notify the Registrar in writing thereof.
(4) The Attorney-General, the Society or any legal practitioner may request the leave of the court to appear as amicus curiae to oppose the granting of such application.
The court may, if it is satisfied that a person who has applied under section 10 possesses the prescribed qualifications to be admitted and enrolled as a legal practitioner, admit and, subject to section 12, enrol him as an advocate, attorney, notary or conveyancer, as the case may be:
Provided that a person who has previously acted as an advocate shall not be admitted and enrolled as an attorney unless he satisfies the court that he has not practised as an advocate for a period of three months immediately preceding his application for admission and enrolment as an attorney under this Act.
No person shall be enrolled as a legal practitioner unless he has taken before the Registrar the oath or affirmation of office as set out in Form A in the Third Schedule.
The Roll (ss 13-17)
(1) The Registrar shall continue to keep a list of all legal practitioners in Botswana, called "the roll".
(2) The roll shall be in the form of separate alphabetical lists recording the names of advocates, attorneys, notaries and conveyancers respectively, entitled to practise by reason of having been admitted to practise under this Act with the dates of such admission and the names and addresses.
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