Hate crimes and transformation high on justice ministry's agenda

19 April 2016 - 16:19 By Aarti J Narsee

Finalising a hate crimes bill and tackling transformation in the legal profession are some of the tasks that justice minister Michael Masutha plans to tackle this year. "We must all rise to deal with all forms of intolerance to consolidate our democracy. We will soon introduce legislation which will address racism and in particular hate speech‚" Masutha said ahead of delivering the budget policy statement of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services in Parliament on Tuesday.Deputy justice minister John Jeffreys told reporters: "There is a draft hate crimes bill that was very close to finalisation and we have had close consultation with hate crimes working groups. Due to outrage earlier in the year a decision was made to include hate speech."The department is also prioritising the Traditional Courts Bill and Masutha said the passing of the Maintenance Amendment Act would ensure children received appropriate parental care.In terms of transforming the legal profession‚ Masutha said: "I will be outlining the initiatives of the department aimed at transforming State legal services and consolidating the State litigation account. We will also be forging ahead with initiatives to transform the legal profession through the National Legal Forum."..

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