Welcome To The South African Medico-Legal Association

CONGRATULATIONS to Prof Henry Lerm who has been appointed as the Non-Executive President of SAMLA at the Board meeting on 17 July 2021. He was also awarded an Honorary Life Membership by the Board.

We also congratulate Adv Johanni Barnardt on her appointment as the Deputy Chairperson (legal) of SAMLA.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: SAMLA regards the information of its Members to be private and confidential. The information pertaining to our Members that is obtainable on this website has been approved by SAMLA members. Some members are not visible, and some information is visible to members only. If you are a member of SAMLA, you can log into your profile and change your own privacy settings. Alternatively, please contact us at info.samla.org.za.

SAMLA is an independent, transparent, neutral, and educational organisation not for profit, funded by membership contributions, donations and funds generated through seminars.

As stated in SAMLA's mission statement, the goals are to advance the inter-relationships between medicine and law, and to promote excellence in medico-legal practice by promoting dialogue and mutual understanding between members of the involved professions, guided by justice, ethical practice and Constitutional values. Hence, we are an association of like-minded persons from all professions and sectors whose primary goals are to communicate with one another and learn from one another and in so doing, promote competent and ethical medico-legal practice.

SAMLA is independent and neutral. SAMLA does not represent any group of persons, and does not take an advocacy role. SAMLA does not advertise on behalf of any member except to make available on its website the names of its members.

SAMLA is inclusive and has at the core of all its function, a transformative ideology.

SAMLA is not, nor does it strive to be, a regulatory body.

Membership of SAMLA includes any persons who work in or who are interested in medico-legal practice. All individuals who hold a primary professional registration with a professional body (legal, health and allied) as well as students and academics, may apply for membership. In addition, all persons who work within the medico-legal sphere but who do not hold a primary professional registration may apply for membership. Our members include a wide range of professionals including but not limited to judges, academics, legal practitioners including advocates and attorneys as well as candidate attorneys, medical practitioners in all branches of medicine, dentists in all branches of dental health, occupational therapists, speech-language therapists and/or audiologists, occupational therapists, nursing practitioners, psychologists in all branches of psychology, mobility specialists, actuaries, case managers, medico-legal mediators as well as forensic scientists. 

Read our MOI by clicking here.

Notice board

News from SAMLA and announcements

  • ​​​​​​Don't forget to keep looking under 'articles' for new judgements, journal articles etc.
  • SAMLA is pleased to annonce that Mrs Leigh de Souza-Spagnoletti is the new convenor of the SAMLA RAF Committee. She has taken over from Dr Hans Enslin who ran this group for many years.

  •  As you all know, SAMLA lost  Judge Neels Claassen recently. If you worked with him, werre taught by him, were friends with him, please send us a photo or a message which we can include in the  memorial booklet that SAMLA is producing. Please send it to info@samla.org.za.

  • Have you joined one of the SAMLA Interest Groups? There's an RAF Group, a Quantifications Group, a an interest group on the management of funds after they are awarded; and more... look under 'interest groups' and if you want to join, send us an e mail at info@samla.org.za and we'll hook you up....


SAMLA's Education and Training

As of the end of the final Workshop in 2021, SAMLA's National Courses will no longer be available.The Board made the decision that unfortunately, the Foundations Course and the Workshops are no longer viable. The Foundations Course was developed in 2017 and presented live in 2018 and online after that. By now, there have been enormous changes in the science and law of medico-legal practice. SAMLA cannot continue to provide lectures that are increasingly outdated. To update and re-create the Foundations Course is not possible at this stage  - remembering that everything that is done by SAMLA is done by its Board and committee members on a voluntary basis. It is too expensive and too big a project for SAMLA as a small organisation to maintain.

However, and this is a big 'however', SAMLA's Education and Training Committee is actively re-designing SAMLA's seminars and workshops so that we will be able to provide on-going lectures, seminars and case discussions, as well as mock trials. We aim to provide education and training in foundational aspects and also aim to provide more advanced education for the more experienced Members. We will post a calendar of events early in 2022.

GAUTENG Branch of SAMLA holds monthly "Fireside Chats", which involve case discussions, panel discussion and are CPD accredited.  Please go to the regional seminars page to book.

SAMLA has three important Interest Groups that hold regular sessions including discussions and talks on (i) Fund management (ii) RAF (iii) Quantifications. Please e mail us at info@samla.org.za and we'll put you in touch with the relevant convenor.


Professionalisation and registration as a medico-legal practitioner

All Members of SAMLA who are registered with a professional regulatory body are invited to apply to appear on SAMLA's Register of Medico-Legal Practitioners.

Note that one cannot simply register as a medico-legal practitioner. You may register as a Member but to be a SAMLA-recognised Medico-Legal Practitioner, you need to apply for accreditation first.

A Medico-Legal Practitioner is an individual who works in the medico-legal space, who is in good standing with his or her primary professional regulatory body  and who  has volunteered him/herself to peer review, and who  has committed him/herself  to SAMLA’s unique code of conduct in medico-legal practice. For more details, you can read our MOI in which these details are specified. 

To appear on the SAMLA Register of Medico-Legal Practitioners,  one submits one’s credentials to SAMLA’s Credentialling Committee which comprises senior members of the legal and healthcare professions who have extensive experience in medico-legal practice. If the applicant’s credentials satisfy the requirements specified, then that applicant may register as a Medico-Legal Practitioner.  All Members of SAMLA who appear on the register of Medico-Legal Practitioners commit themselves to SAMLA’s code of professional conduct. 

The proposed tiers of registration as Medico-Legal Practitioners have been circulated to the broader membership for consideration, but not yet been established. We envision three tiers - an entry level, a senior level and an advanced level, to reflect experience and seniority, and to promote a development trajectory.

What is really important is that SAMLA is not, and does not intend ever to be a regulatory body. We do not, in any way, see our role as supervisory. The registers are simply lists of persons in the medico-legal field who voluntarily show that they have pursued learning in this field, demonstrate competency,  are willing to demonstrate on-going learning in the medico-legal sphere by earning specific points in medico-legal CPD annually, and are willing to commit themselves to a code of conduct. 

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SAMLA Review, Issue 3

The SAMLA Review is the newsletter of SAMLA that is produced three times per year. Issue 3, May 2021, is now available here.

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SAMLA SEMINAR ON INFORMED CONSENT. Don't miss this seminar presented by Prof Henry Lerm and Desiree David

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About Us

The SAMLA is an independent, neutral, educational and transparent organisation not for profit, funded by membership contributions, donations and funds generated through seminars.

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