CHURCH SQUARE ASSOCIATION OF ADVOCATES
(CHURCH SQUARE BAR)
WHEREAS there are a number of advocates practicing independently at Standard Bank Chambers; and
WHEREAS a need has arisen to ensure the upholding of common law customs and conventions legally acknowledged and accepted amongst advocates; and
WHEREAS a need has arisen to ensure honest practice in order to maintain and safeguard the ethics and professionalism of the advocacy; and
WHEREAS the aforementioned number of advocates are of the opinion that the above stated goal can be achieved by the way of association;
NOW THEREFORE the aforementioned number of advocates consent as follows:
This is an association of advocates; who practice independently with legal personality, represented by a committee, and for the purpose set out hereinafter.
Each associate of the association is responsible for his/her own administration and expense of their practice, except in so far as he/she has an agreement with any other associate to share expenses, with the reservation that it does not result in a partnership.
Each associate commits him-/herself to honest practice and maintaining the common law customs and conventions acknowledged and accepted between advocates, in order to ensure the reputation of the associates of the association who have taken up chambers, and the advocacy in general.
In order to discuss matters of common interest and to promote such on behalf of the association, it is agreed as follows:
- The association will be managed and administered by a committee, consisting of four associates selected at a general meeting of the association with a majority of one, under chairmanship of a chairman selected by a majority of associates present at such a general meeting of the association.
- Matters of internal order and common interest, also of external order, will be discussed in committee and decided on the basis of a majority of votes, and in case of a tie of votes, the chairman has a deciding vote.
- For purposes of all meetings of the committee a quorum will consist of three associates.
- For external purposes such steps will be taken as the committee has decided and consented to, and an ad hoc representative will be appointed to oversee it, if necessary.
- For internal purposes directives are given to associates, without placing any obligation on the associates, on condition that associates will still be subject to the professional standards as enunciated in paragraph 3 hereinbefore.
- The committee accepts responsibility, as far as possible, for the training of new and potential associates, to ensure that service of a high professional standard is rendered.
- All expenditures in connection with the administration and management of the association will be borne by the associates, on a basis determined by the committee.
Whenever the committee deems it meet, a special meeting of the association will be called in order to discuss and reach a decision.
The votes of those who do not agree with a decision, will be recorded.
Minutes are kept of all meetings, and a secretary is appointed for this purpose.
Thereafter a general annual meeting is held on the first Friday of February, or such other date as determined by the committee, for the election of office bearers.
Vacancies arising in the interim will be decided by the committee by a majority of votes.
Whenever the behaviour or conduct of an advocate in the association is of such a nature that it impugns the prestige of the profession and/or the association, and is regarded as unacceptable, having regard to paragraph 3 hereinbefore, the committee will take such steps a sit deems meet, including an application for disbarment from the roll, while applying the principle of audi alteram partem.
Taking into account paragraphs 4 (introduction) and 5.1 hereinbefore, the Judge President, the Law Society, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Legal Aid Board, the Pretoria Bar Council, the General Bar Council, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Black Lawyers Association and the Department of Justice, will be informed by the chairman that all communications for the attention of the association should be addressed to him.
When any complaint regarding the conduct of any associate is lodged, it is referred to the chairman for consideration by the committee, who can appoint a sub-committee to investigate and report thereon, or the committee may investigate it.
The committee may then decide on a suitable sanction, which includes a warning or a suspension from practice, and in an extreme case, apply for disbarment from the roll.
The chairman must thereafter inform the complainant of the finding and result of the investigation.
After acceptance of the constitution, it can only be amended if such amendment is approved by at least two thirds of the associates present at the annual general meeting, or if expedient, by an extraordinary general meeting.
As soon as possible after acceptance of the constitution it will be incumbent on the chairman to apply for affiliation with the General Bar Council.
The association is constituted by those whose signatures appear hereunder.
A meeting will be held thereafter to elect office bearers as envisaged herein.
Associated membership may be awarded by the committee in a meritorious case.