n Without Prejudice - The Oscar Pistorius trial - some of the issues explained : the law

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1681-178X



Part 3 - Competent verdicts

Oscar Pistorius was charged with a number of offences. The main charge (and the one everybody was intrigued with) was murder. What follows will indicate, however, that one should be alert to all aspects of the law. Even though the indictment in that trial, for example, did not mention culpable homicide , this did not detract from the fact that both prosecutor and defense lawyer had to be alert, at all times, to certain "hidden" charges, even if not mentioned specifically. In law, this is termed "competent verdicts". Part 3 and Part 4 of this series of articles will deal with this principle of our law to demonstrate why Mr Pistorius was ultimately discharged on the murder charge, but convicted of culpable homicide.

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