South African public law has been transformed since the transition to democracy and the introduction of the new Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The Constitution is the supreme law. The validity of legislation, and of acts performed by organs of state and by certain private bodies, depends on their compliance with the Constitution and with common-law and statutory rules of administrative law. In particular, legislation must conform to the fundamental rights entrenched in the Bill of Rights, and all administrative action must be lawful, rational and procedurally fair.
Bowman Gilfillan has extensive experience in advising corporate clients and governmental bodies on the interpretation and application of laws and on administrative action. We regularly represent clients in proceedings before statutory bodies that regulate diverse areas of economic and social activity. These include the Competition Commission and Tribunal, the Financial Services Board, the Takeover Regulation Panel, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Medicines Control Council, the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights, the Department of Health’s Pricing Committee and various gaming and gambling regulatory bodies. Decisions made by these regulatory bodies may be reviewed in order to ensure their compliance with the applicable legal principles. Our collective expertise in constitutional and administrative law makes us leading practitioners in judicial review proceedings.
Bowman Gilfillan’s public and regulatory lawyers also advise clients on matters such as requests for access to information held by governmental and private bodies, and on the procurement of goods and services by organs of state, which is governed by the Constitution and by tender legislation. In addition, we provide a public interest service by assisting clients, where appropriate on a pro amico basis, in pursuing meritorious public-law cases.
Bowman Gilfillan’s public procurement practice area advises on supply chain management requirements and government contracting.