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Doctoral Degrees (Advanced Criminal Justice)

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    A critical appraisal of Africa's response to the world's first permanent International Criminal Court.
    (2011) Du Plessis, Maximillian.
    Abstract not available.
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    A comparative analysis of the Bophuthatswana bill of rights from an international law perspective.
    (1984) Naidu, Arjuna.; Soni, Ramanlal.
    It is difficult to define "human rights". Is it a political or a legal concept? Notwithstanding this difficulty which is primarily academic, Bophuthatswana has been able to entrench and enforce a justiciable Bill of Rights which is embodied in its Constitution. In Part One there is a general discussion on the concept of human rights together with a general overview of the events leading up to the independence of Bophuthatswana. The nature of the Bophuthatswana Constitution is analysed. The provisions of the Bill of Rights are enumerated and there follows a detailed discussion and analysis of all judicial decisions in which the Bill of Rights was in issue. The general theme of this thesis is to compare the Bophuthatswana Bill of Rights with other instruments, whether national, regional or international. Part Two, therefore looks at the protection of human rights in certain selected countries. These particular countries have been chosen because their Constitutions contain Bills of Rights. Part Two also examines in great detail the judicial protection of the rights guaranteed in each of these countries. For the sake of completeness, Part two concludes with a resume of the position of human rights in each of the other independent international states (that is, Transkei, Ciskei and Venda). Part Three considers the role of regional organisations and regional conventions on human rights of which the most effective is the European Convention. Part Four surveys the international protection of human rights, particularly the United Nations and the many conventions initiated by that body. Part Five comprehensively considers each human right enumerated in the Bill of Rights in a systematic and comparative manner with similar provisions in other national, regional and international instruments. In order that there might be some conception of the kinds of violations involved, decided cases under the European Convention are exhaustively referred to. Part Six concludes this thesis with a brief look at some other important rights (in the author's view) that are excluded from the Bill; and also a discussion on the future trends in Bophuthatswana with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
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    The undefended accused on trial : justice in the lower courts.
    (1986) Steytler, Nicolaas Christiaan.; Olmesdahl, Michael C. J.; McQuoid-Mason, David Jan.
    Due to the party-orientation and professional nature of the adversary mode of criminal procedure, the principles of a fair trial are best observed where the accused is represented by a lawyer. Given the advantages to be gained from legal representation, the principle of equal justice requires that all accused should have access to legal assistance and thus that legal aid should be provided for indigent accused. The South African legal aid scheme cannot yet provide assistance to all indigent accused because of the large number of these accused, the shortage of manpower and the lack of funds. There are, however, few legislative provisions to safeguard the rights of the vast majority of accused, arraigned in the lower courts, who remain undefended. The Supreme Court, in order to ensure that these accused are fairly tried, has imposed the following types of duties on judicial officers: (a) a duty to facilitate the accused's participation in the proceedings by advising him of his rights and duties and assisting him in their exercise; (b) a duty to control the prosecutor in the exercise of his powers; and (c) a duty to conduct an enquiry before arriving at administrative-type decisions. These duties are, however, inadequate to achieve the Court's, objective because, firstly, not all, rights are made accessible to the accused, and secondly, the duties are inadequate to ensure that the accused's guilt is reliably established. The failure of the legislature and the Supreme Court to incorporate the principle of equal justice into the legal process, has resulted in court proceedings that are characterized by unjust practices and outcomes. To ensure the more equitable prosecution of undefended accused it is suggested that an activist judicial officer should be responsible for the enforcement of all the principles of a fair trial (which would be concretized in clear legal rules) in an impartial manner, with his decisionmaking routinely supervised by the Supreme Court.
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    The rights of prisoners under the South African constitution : compatibility with international norms and standards.
    (2001) Mubangizi, John Cantius.; Nadasen, Sundrasagaran.; Devenish, George Edwin.
    Prisoners' rights are human rights first. Any investigation of such rights has to have regard to that fact. In order to clearly understand the context within which prisoners' rights are provided for and protected or abused, a holistic approach is necessary. Accordingly, chapter one deals with introductory and histor ical perspectives. The magnitude of the problem under investigation is highlighted, the objectives of the study are outlined and the hypothesis is stated in these terms: The rights of prisoners under the South African Constitution are protected, observed and compare well with international norms and standards. A brief indication of the methodology of research is given and a literature survey undertaken. The chapter also deals with definitions and classifications wherein prisons and prisoners are defined and classified. An overview of the various justifications (purposes) of imprisonment is given and the chapter concludes with a survey of the origins and history of prisons and prisoners ' rights. As with all other human rights, the protection of prisoners' rights takes place at two levels: the domestic and the international level. A study of prisoners' constitutional rights necessitates a basic understanding of certain aspects of international human rights law. Chapter two begins with an overview of international protection of human rights and proceeds to explain how international human rights norms can be enforced in domestic law. The larger part of the chapter is dedicated to the law governing international human rights protection for prisoners . The instruments providing for such protection are outlined and discussed. The application and interpretation of such instruments are also examined. It is then concluded that, in spite of the problems inherent in the enforcement of human rights standards through international mechanisms, international law plays an important role in the protection of prisoners' rights. Chapter three provides a detailed discussion of the rights of prisoners as provided for under section 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996). The discussion is enhanced and reinforced with case law illustrating the approach taken by the courts in interpreting and applying the said rights. Other constitutional rights relevant to prisoners are also discussed together with the pertinent case law. It is then concluded that the introduction of a Bill of Rights in the Constitution has brought a new dimension and challenge to the protection and realisation of prisoners' rights in South Africa. It is also concluded that the courts, especially the Constitutional Court, have risen to the challenge in attempting to give some effect and meaning to the rights of prisoners brought about by the new constitutional order. In an effort to place South Africa in a regional context, chapter four adopts a comparative approach. The rights of prisoners in various African countries are discussed. The countries include Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Uganda. Prisoners' rights under the constitutions of each country are first outlined. This is followed by a discussion of the approaches taken by the courts in interpreting those rights and then the views of observers regarding the protection of prisoners' rights in those countries are outlined. The conclusion is that at least on paper and in terms of judicial practice, the rights of prisoners in South Africa enjoy more constitutional protection than in other African countries. The focus of chapter five is on the investigation regarding the extent to which prisoners' rights in South Africa are implemented and protected in actual practice. The chapter contains an analysis of the statistical data obtained through field study based on prisoners' perceptions of the realization of their constitutional rights. In analysing the data, statistical illustrations are used. Statistical methods are also used in testing the hypothesis. The main conclusion of the study is that the constitutional rights of prisoners in South Africa are not sufficiently protected and implemented. This and other conclusions and recommendations are set out in chapter six. The thrust of the conclusions and recommendations is that something has to be done regarding police brutality, prison conditions and overcrowding, juvenile offenders, mentally ill prisoners , ratification and incorporation of relevant international human rights instruments and access to courts. Suggestions on how to address these issues are made. Other recommendations include abolishing the privilege system in prisons, increasing the role of NGO's, provision of education and public awareness, privatization of prisons and legislative intervention .
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    Defences available to battered women who kill their abusers : a comparative analysis.
    (2009) Krause, Samantha.; Hoctor, Shannon Vaughn.
    Private defence is the civilized remnant of the ancient system of private vengeance as redress for wrong done. The Romans, in permitting self-help formulated the principle moderatio inculpatae (moderation in self-defence) which the European jurists later relied upon to develop a coherent doctrine of private defence. Certain types of intentional killings were no longer regarded as unlawful and therefore are not punished as murder. South African recognizes that killing is justifiable and therefore not murder. Despite the sound rationale underlying the defence, namely the upholding of justice theory where people acting in private defence perform acts where they assist in upholding the legal order, and despite the fact that the defence is established in both criminal law legal theory and practice, there are threshold problems with this rationale which has been subject to much academic criticism. Such criticism must be seen in the context of the wider debate surrounding the circumstances in which battered women kill their abusers - normally in circumstances where the threat is not imminent and therefore the need to uphold justice is not necessary. The purpose of this enquiry is to examine the development and functioning of the defence and more particularly to do so in light of a comparison with the means currently utilized to criminalize conduct falling outside the bounds of self-defence: one of the parent systems of South African law, namely English law and the United States, where battered woman syndrome originated and a profound influence on the way in which the elements of the defence are interpreted in that jurisdiction. For instance, in American law subjective tests for self-defence have been developed such as the particularizing standard. This standard asks whether a reasonable person with the accused’s particular non-universal characteristics would have both perceived the situation as the accused perceived it and would have reacted to that perception by committing the accused’s self-defensive act. If the answer is yes, then the act is considered reasonable. It assumes that individuals freely choose how to perceive and respond to a threatening situation but also acknowledge that certain kinds of nonuniversal characteristics (such as battered woman syndrome) exercise such a powerful causal force on individuals perceptions and actions that it would violate the voluntary act requirement when holding that individual who possess such a characteristic to a standard of conduct that does not take that characteristic into account. The study concludes with an assessment of the form the defence ought to take. In South African law the defence consists of the conditions relating to an attack which includes: an attack, and protected interest and the attack must be unlawful. In respect of the conditions relating to the defence, the defence must be reasonably necessary to avert the attack and the defence must be directed against the attacker. Aspects of these elements have proved to be controversial. In particular, the condition of reasonably necessary to avert the attack has been called into question. Furthermore the requirement of imminence has been rendered especially controversial especially when viewed from the battered woman’s perspective where battered woman syndrome plays a role i.e. the woman’s internal makeup having an influence on the way she views the situation as opposed to an objective test is used to establish if the threat was imminent. While the English and American law elements of the duty to retreat, proportionality and reasonableness approximate the equivalent condition of reasonably necessary to avert the attack, the focal point of this defence in these jurisdictions has similarly been the imminence requirement and the test utilized for self-defence i.e. objective or subjective standard. Prior to evaluating the utility of these elements, the various rationales posited as a justification for the defence will be examined. It is submitted that while various rationales have been posited to form the basis of selfdefence, the autonomy theory (narrowly circumscribed) should be followed in South African law and that the traditional elements for self-defence should remain in force. Regarding the requirement that the attack be reasonably necessary, it is submitted that the traditional mechanism for distinguishing justified from unjustified self-defensive acts should remain an objective test. This is so because by taking account of the knowledge the defender has of her attacker the legal requirements of private defence will eventually be equated with those required for putative self-defence. If putative selfdefence goes to the issue of culpability, which is seen as a particular mental attitude or state of mind - South African law will be evincing a move toward a normative concept of fault. Such an approach has not proved unproblematic in South African law. Both early and modern common law as well as modern case law has expounded a coherent statement of the elements of self-defence which include imminence as a core feature. The problem is that traditional imminence rules do not cater adequately for the battered woman’s situation and for this reason theorists have advocated its abolition. The obvious problem with such a recommendation is that something must stand in its stead to distinguish legitimate cases from illegitimate cases of self-defence. In respect of the imminence requirement, the problems created by this standard cannot be solved by replacing imminence with necessity or by claiming priority for necessity or by demanding that imminence means pacifist rather than the libertarian version of necessity. These positions pose the question but do not answer it. Furthermore, if the imminence question cannot be answered by assuming one side of the necessity debate, then it cannot be answered by referring to the distinction between justification and excuse. It is submitted that “instead of viewing objectivity as not being able to account for battered woman’s situation – the opposite conclusion should be reached – that by rethinking certain situational factors as a set of relatively innocuous and perhaps necessary normative propositions then the abused woman’s situation is consistent with some very standard propositions in the law of self-defence. If the abused women is being attacked and the threat is imminent (in the traditional sense), then she should be able to avail to herself of self-defence, although it should be noted that the court should also consider the fact that the battered women placed herself in this dangerous situation. However, the court would also have to take into consideration the difficulty that the abused woman faced in extricating herself from this position. On the basis of a discussion of the various construals that inform the question of whether proportionality should form a necessary requirement for self-defence, including (i) the liberal aspiration to neutrality, (ii) constitutional norms and (iii) a duty of social solidarity to the state, it is submitted that proportionality should form an integral part of the requirements for self-defence. The test can be set out as follows: not only must the defence be necessary but also the means used by the accused for the purpose of averting the attack must be reasonable in the circumstances. This is in accordance with the autonomy theory. Therefore, would an “ordinary, intelligent and prudent person in the accused’s situation would react to establish if the self-defence claim was justifiable. However, it is submitted that not all the characteristics of the accused should be taken into account. Only those “characteristics which have the most (or direct) bearing on the accused’s situation” should be considered. Despite the rationales underlying self-defence, it has not been entirely clear whether an abused woman is expected to flee. It is submitted that there should be a duty to retreat. In the case of the abused woman, her situation is adequately catered for within the reasonableness neutrality perspective. In respect of the defence of provocation, Roman and Roman-Dutch law did not regard anger, jealousy or other emotions as an excuse for criminal conduct, but only as a factor which might mitigate sentence, if the anger was justified by provocation. South African law with its parent system in Roman-Dutch law might have followed this lead had it not result of the Transkei Penal Code of 1887, it envisaged a type of a partial excuse: even if been for the introduction of the mandatory death penalty for murder in 1917. In 1925 as a killing was intentional, homicide which would otherwise be murder maybe reduced to culpable homicide. The test for provocation was thus an objective one. By 1949 in R v Thibani it was held that provocation was not a defence but a special kind of material from which in association with the rest of the evidence the court should decide whether the accused had acted involuntary or without intent to kill. This introduced a subjective test for provocation. But a number of crucial issues remained unresolved; could intense provocation or emotional stress serve to exclude criminal capacity or voluntary conduct. After the decision in Chretien, the question arose, if severe intoxication could exclude these basic elements of liability then could it not also exclude provocation or emotional stress. At this point, the notion of criminal capacity came to the fore. This notion was unknown in South African common law and was adopted from Continental Legal systems, specifically Germany. The notion took hold with the Rumpff Commission of Inquiry into the Responsibility of Deranged Persons and Related matters, the recommendations of which gave rise to the provision of section 78 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act. In S v Mahlinza set out that criminal capacity of actor is an essential requirement necessary to establish criminal liability. Criminal capacity consists of cognitive component i.e. ability to distinguish between right and wrong and conative capacity i.e. the ability to act in accordance with the distinction. If either was lacking no liability would ensue. In S v Van Vuuren, the court expressed in unequivocal terms that the accused could not be held liable where failure to comprehend what he is doing is attributable to a combination of factors such as provocation or emotional stress. The very idea of allowing provocation to function as a defence excluding an accused’s criminal liability is inherently controversial. From a moral and ethical perspective people are expected to control themselves, even under provocation or emotional stress. To allow it to function as a complete defence as opposed to mitigating factor means that it gives credence to the belief that retaliation is justified in the eyes of the law and this is the very thing criminal law guards against. Despite the well established nature of the defence of non-pathological incapacity, the law has been thrown into flux by the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in S v Eadie which constituted a serious erosion of the notion of criminal capacity, with a concomitant “ripple effect” on other topics within the general principles of criminal law. The question this case has highlighted for South African law of non-pathological incapacity is whether the boundaries of the defence have been inappropriately extended. This is so since the court held not only that there is no distinction between the defence of automatism and nonpathological incapacity, and that it would have to be established that the accused acted involuntarily in order for her defence of lack of capacity to prevail, but furthermore held that the court should assess the accused persons evidence about his state of mind by weighing it against his actions and surrounding circumstances, thereby introducing an objective test. Theorists such as Burchell have considered this move “bold” and “encouraging” for its emphasis on objective norms, and the fact that it brings it into line with both the English and American jurisdictions, where not only is an objective element introduced into the enquiry, but where loss of self-control is not totally excusable since the law assumes that provoked party was not totally incapable of controlling anger. If an accused was unable to control himself, a full excuse would be defensible. The notion of capacity has its approximate equivalent in the English and American law of provocation where the jury must consider the subjective question of whether the accused was actually provoked to lose self-control, the defence requires that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have lost-self control and acted as the accused did. The South African notion of capacity is examined with reference to the way provocation is treated in these jurisdictions. Should non-pathological incapacity be equated with automatism, the established precedent in provocation and other cases of non-pathological incapacity would have to be revised by implication, and would have serious implications for the principle of legality and restricting the scope of the defence for battered women. Furthermore, it is submitted that a move towards an objective test should not be followed. This is so since such an approach does not extend to encompass the battered woman’s mental and emotional characteristics including recognized psychological disorder symptoms. This results in the court not having any meaningful way to determine whether the battered woman lost self-control and furthermore it will lead to increasing attention being directed at how far the objective test be tailored to fit the capacity of the accused. The problem with the capacity test is that it has created via the Criminal Procedure Act a new element of liability by drawing from both the general physical and the mental liability enquiries. Therefore, by duplicating the voluntary act requirement under mens rea, the courts have asked the same question twice. Once the accused is shown to be acting voluntarily, there will be a measure of goal-directed conduct. Where goal-directed conduct is present, it necessarily implies that here must be a level of capacity present in the case of the defence of non-pathological incapacity. In other words, the question is not whether capacity is present, but to what extent it is present. This point is not acknowledged by our courts: the concept of psychological fault underlying South African law offers no explanation for the fact that culpability is capable of gradation. The effects of battering could be used to support a defence of diminished capacity, which focuses not on mitigating circumstances of the act, but rather on the actor’s inability to form the requisite mens rea for the offence charged. However, the introduction of such a defence could only be achieved by returning to the rules relating to provocation followed in South Africa prior to 1971. According to the specific intent doctrine, policy considerations require that an accused should not be completely acquitted. However, these considerations require that an accused should not be completely acquitted. However, these considerations also require that an accused not be convicted of murder but of culpable homicide. This compromise solution (of culpable homicide) can only be reached by treating provocation as a special defence, one which is not strictly adjudicated in terms of the general principles relating to culpability (mens rea). Furthermore, it is submitted that a subjective test must be applied, since Snyman’s objective-subjective test leads to an illogical confusion between the subjective and objective elements.