n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Criminal procedure : recent cases




In the context of an adversarial system of law in a constitutional dispensation (where the respective parties and their counsel play the main roles in court in presenting evidence, questioning of witnesses, and arguing their cases), the responsibilities of the prosecutor (also referred to as the 'state') have become more constitutionally grounded. In order to ensure that the accused is afforded a structurally constitutional fair trial, the dynamics of the prosecutorial role have changed owing to the unique role and responsibilities afforded the state in a criminal trial. This entails that such responsibility be approached in a manner combining ability, fairness and detachment so as to avoid partiality whilst still having the overriding objective of establishing the truth. Conduct on the part of the prosecution in a particular case prior to the commencement of the trial proceedings could be construed as unfair and could compromise the legitimacy of the trial.


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