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- South African Journal of Criminal Justice
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- Volume 17, Issue 3, 2004
South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Volume 17, Issue 3, 2004
Volume 17, Issue 3, 2004
The Bloemfontein Court for Sexual Offences : perceptions of its functioning from the perspective of victims, their families and the professionals involvedSource: South African Journal of Criminal Justice 17, pp 289 –309 (2004)More Less
The current study investigates the degree to which various parties perceive the Court for Sexual Offences in Bloemfontein to be making good on its commitment to reduce secondary victimization and provide improved justice for the victims of sexual offences. The article provides a general overview of the socio-political context in which the court was established and continues to function. The perceptions of the victims of sexual offences, their family members and various professionals involved with the court are then elicited in order to evaluate its functioning. The court was found to be successful in reducing secondary victimization and providing improved justice for those affected by sex crimes. However, a shortcoming was identified with regard to the system's ability to deal effectively with the victims following the conclusion of their trials. Directions for further research in this area are also explored.
Source: South African Journal of Criminal Justice 17, pp 310 –324 (2004)More Less
This article critically addresses the manner in which accurate information from child witnesses is obtained in criminal proceedings. Although establishing the truth is a primary objective in criminal proceedings, young children are often excluded from the criminal justice system by being characterised as unreliable witnesses. The cognitive development of young children is explained and the article emphasises the crucial need for the proper training of judicial officers in the various developmental changes in the cognitive development of young children. The Appeal Court's decision in S v B is discussed and welcomed as it is envisaged that this decision will bring justice to victims of child sexual abuse. The inability of a young witness to understand the oath should be clearly distinguished from such a child's reliability as a witness. Finally, the recommendation is put forward that no distinction should be made between sworn and unsworn evidence and the Sexual Offences Draft Bill's recommendation for the abolition of the competency test, is supported.
Author B.C. NaudeSource: South African Journal of Criminal Justice 17, pp 325 –346 (2004)More Less
Under South African law a spouse called as a witness can only be compelled to testify against an accused spouse when the latter is charged with a crime falling in a specific category. In addition, a witness spouse may claim marital privilege when asked to reveal a communication made to him or her by the accused spouse during their marriage. The justification for these rules rests on concerns for the institution of marriage, since marriage is seen as the basis for organisation in society. It is submitted that this justification is not only unfounded, but that the effect and outcome of the current rules leave much to be desired. Moreover, it is submitted that these rules are no longer constitutionally sound, particularly in view of the reality of a modern society that dictates a richer understanding and recognition of other forms of familial relationships. Spouses should be subject to the normal obligations to give evidence, but the court must have a discretionary power to excuse spousal witnesses where the public interest so requires.
Author Stefan D. CassellaSource: South African Journal of Criminal Justice 17, pp 347 –367 (2004)More Less
This article provides a brief overview of asset forfeiture law in the United States. It is not intended to treat the subject or any of its sub-parts in depth. Rather, its purpose is to acquaint the reader with the various purposes for which asset forfeiture is employed as a law enforcement tool, with the types of property that can be confiscated, and with the procedures that are available under federal law. It concludes with a comparison of the relative merits of civil forfeiture versus criminal forfeiture.
`Let's talk about sex, baby' - but not in the Constitutional Court : some comments on the gendered nature of legal reasoning in the Jordan case : commentSource: South African Journal of Criminal Justice 17, pp 368 –378 (2004)More Less
Justice Gained? Crime and Crime Control in South Africa, edited by Bill Dixon and Elrena van der Spuy : book reviewAuthor Boyane TshehlaSource: South African Journal of Criminal Justice 17, pp 402 –405 (2004)More Less