oa Codicillus - The accused person's competency to stand trial - a comparative perspective
Umbhali ucubungula ilungelo lalowo osuke ebekwe icala lokuba abambe iqhaza ekuqhubekeni kwecala lelo amangalelwe ngalo. Ngokombono wombhali, ukubamba iqhaza kwalowo osuke ebekwe icala kungenzeka kuphela uma enekhono ngokomqondo lokuba aqondisise ubunjalo balokho amangalelwe ngakho kanye nolimi olusetshenziswa enkantolo. Ukungabinakhono lokwenza lokho kungadalwa ngamaphuzu amaningi njengokusangana, ukuba yisithulu noma ukuba yisimungulu. Umbhali ubeka ukuthi inkantolo kumele yenze uphenyo mayelana nekhono lokwenza lalowo obekwe icala ngaso sonke isikhathi lapho inezizathu ezamukelekayo zokukholelwa ukuthi lowo obekwe icala untula ikhono lokuqondisisa lokho okuqhubekayo kulokho amangalelwe ngakho. Ukuqhathanisa umthetho waseNingizimuAfrika nowezinye izindawo zomthetho kukhombisa ukuthi abantu abangenakhono lokwenza okuthile ngokwengqondo imvamisa bathathwa njengabangakulungele ukumela ukuthethwa kwecala.
The author analyses the right of an accused to participate actively in criminal proceedings. In the author's view, an accused's active participation is possible only if he or she has the mental capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings and the language used in court. Incompetency may be attributed to various factors such as insanity, deafness or dumbness. The author argues that the court should conduct an inquiry into the accused's competency whenever it has reasonable grounds to believe that an accused person lacks the ability to comprehend the proceedings. A comparison with foreign legal systems reveals that mentally incompetent persons are generally regarded as unfit to stand trial.
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