n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - The inclusion of inevitably discoverable evidence

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



In 2004 the Supreme Court of Appeal adopted the doctrine of inevitable discovery in the case of . In terms of this doctrine unconstitutionally obtained real evidence that would inevitably have been discovered by alternative means should not be excluded. It is submitted that it was wrong and unnecessary to allow this speculative and arbitrary doctrine to gain entrance into our law. Although an application of this doctrine might be possible in limited circumstances, it is essential to place this doctrine in its proper context. If this is not done, the potential is created to oversee serious violations of the Bill of Rights by effectively sidestepping the exclusionary rule. It should not be forgotten that the exclusionary rule embodied in s 35(5) of the Constitution is mainly there to prevent or deter the violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights. Even if exclusion is not a perfect remedy, it is the optimal one to ensure police respect for constitutional rights.

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