The policy recognises, and aims to address, the limited participation of the majority of South Africans, especially the most marginalised, in the legal system. It aims to contribute to address this inadequacy through the transformation of state legal services. State legal services, which include the litigation and legal advisory services provided to the state in different capacities, are hampered by: a lack of a comprehensive set of rules regarding how litigation services are to be dispensed, acquired, managed and monitored; the absence of a strategy to train or nurture legal skills within government; the lack of a strategic, coordinated approach to defend the state against litigation; and the absence of alternative non-litigious methods to resolve legal disputes involving the state.
The main objectives of the Policy Framework are to: consolidate, coordinate and integrate state legal services across the government spectrum; create processes and infrastructure for the strategic management of litigation; establish a centralised mechanism and structure to coordinate the effective delivery of legal services by the state; enhance in-house state legal capacity; promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; and reorient state legal services to become not only a defender of litigation against departments, but also the initiator or litigation on behalf of the poorest of the poor to advance and protect their rights (for example, compensation for mining disasters).
The goal of the Policy Framework is a transformed, integrated, professional, cost effective, and highly skilled state legal service.
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