For example, we consider cases that could create new legal precedent that may be used for similar litigation into the future. We call this our Impact Litigation programme and it covers:
- class action lawsuits or
- the litigation of a small number of matters that resolve a large number of disputes and help broader communities.
Legal Aid South Africa not only considers cases for Impact Litigation that are brought to us, but we may also propose cases for consideration too.
- Silicosis Class Action - Legal Aid SA, has through its Co-operation Agreement with the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), funded the Silicosis Class Action. The LRC, assisted by Leigh Day and Associates of the United Kingdom, is representing a group of ex-gold-miners who were employed at the President Steyn Gold Mine situated in the Free State. These ex-gold-miners who currently reside in Lesotho, the Free State and the Eastern Cape have contracted Silicosis, which is a lung disease that proves untreatable once contracted, and predisposes the sufferer to tuberculosis infection. More about this case.
- Mooketsi Hawkers – Because of this case similar communities can use this case as a model on how the state, poor communities and the private sector can work together to create opportunities for vulnerable communities, especially women, to acquire a source of income. It can also be used as a model on how to “formalise” informal trading, and as a result, give more security to the traders and give women the opportunity to spend time with their families at night knowing their goods are safe.
- Masiya v DPP, Pretoria and Another 2007 – Because of this case, the Constitutional Court confirmed a broader and more inclusive definition of rape. This has allowed for more appropriate sentencing in similar cases.
How to get Impact Litigation assistance
Legal Aid South Africa prefers proposals that are aligned with our strategic priorities, which we publish annually. We will also consider other proposals that improve the lives of the poor.
Every proposal must include a merit report, as set out in paragraphs 7.3.2 and 11.3 of the 2009 Legal Aid Guide. A proposal for the rendering of Impact legal services must be in writing and set out the following:
- The nature and extent of the proposed legal services as well as evidence that the services offered will benefit a substantial number of indigent people.
- Sufficient facts, expert opinion (where appropriate) and legal submissions to enable an assessment of whether the proposed litigation (litigious services) has a reasonable prospect of success, or whether the proposed legal services (non-litigious legal services) will enable a beneficial strategic intervention that will significantly affect the lives of a group or a sizeable portion of a group.
- A detailed budget setting out details of each of the stages of litigation and the total expenditure planned at each stage, including cash flows and when the said funds would likely be required.
- Clear deliverables, key performance indicators and time frames for each of the various stages of litigation, as well as the legal representative’s experience in the area of impact litigation.
Finding out more
If you would like to know more about our Impact Litigation programme, you can read our Impact Litigation booklet:
- Impact Litigation Booklet – All pages - 5.04 MB pdf
- 1 – Contents – Pages 1-2 - 801 KB pdf
- 2 – Foward by Chairperson – Page 3 - 655 KB pdf
- 3 – Message from CEO – Pages 4-5 - 648 KB pdf
- 4 – Introduction Pages – Pages 6-9 - 727 KB pdf
- 5 – Messages of Support – Pages 10-12 - 652 KB pdf
- 6 – Making the Constitution a Living Document – Pages 13-14 - 634 KB pdf
- 7 – Case Studies – Pages 15-25 - 1.4 MB pdf
- 8 – Contact Details – Page 26 - 604 KB pdf
You may also contact us and an advisor will guide you on the way forward.