An acting magistrate since 2015, Richard Lawrence has worked as an attorney for most of his career. He has not acted in any of the divisions of the high court.
He was nominated for a position at the Electoral Court by the Port Elizabeth branch of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel). He has completed the basic Aspirant Judges Training Course in 2013 and the Advanced Aspirant Judges Training Course in 2014.
Lawrence holds a B.Proc from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and a Masters of law from the University of South Africa.
April 2018 Interview Synopsis:
Richard Lawrence told the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that while he had been a member of the South African Student Congress and the ANC Youth League in the early 1990s, he made a decision in 1993 that “I would better help my community through the practise of law … I am certainly not a politician”.
So he gave up membership of political organisations and pursued lawyering.
He said while he was no longer actively involved in politics he still kept abreast of political events and current affairs which, together with his experience of working as an election observer would stand him in good stead if he were appointed as a member of the Electoral Court.
Lawrence conceded that being a pale male his appointment would not enhance transformation but he did believe he was “ready” and the “ideal candidate”.
Despite spending 40 straight months acting as a magistrate, the JSC did not agree with Lawrence’s view that he was the best person for the job. He was not recommended for appointment.