Welcome To The South African Medico-Legal Association

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News from SAMLA and announcements

  • SAMLA membership elected a new Board at the AGM on 27 November 2021. Congratulations to all the new members of the Board. The Board information will be replaced on the website in January 2021. Prof Ethelwynn Stelleberg was elected as the National Chairperson, with Adv Johanni Barnardt and Dr Sharon Munyaka as the deputy Chairpersons (legal and health respectively).
  • Congratulations to the newly elected chairpersons of the SAMLA provincial branches:
    Mr Renier Jacobs: Chairperson of the Western Cape Branch
    Ms Gugu Gopfert: Chairperson of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch
    Ms Stacey Aires: Chairperson of the Gauteng Branch
    Mr Thabiso Rapapali: Chairperson of the Free State Branch
    Ms Desiree David: Chairperson of the Eastern Cape Branch.
  • 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.


SAMLA's Education and Training

As of the end of the final Workshop in 2021, SAMLA's National Courses are 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 SAMLA cannot continue to provide lectures that are increasingly outdated.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 important Interest Groups that hold regular sessions including discussions and talks on (i) Fund management and (ii) Quantifications. Please e mail us at info@samla.org.za and we'll put you in touch with the relevant convenor.

Mrs Leigh de Souza-Spagnoletti has taken over from Dr Hans Enslin the steering wheel to drive the SAMLA RAF Committee


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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