n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Wederregtelikheidsbewussyn as misdaadvereiste in 'n liberale en plurale regstaat : stel die onderwerping van 'n persoon aan strafsanksies onregmatige uitoefening van staatsgesag daar?

Volume 2003, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



This article investigates the modern status of the maxim in criminal law. It is pointed out that Anglo-American legal systems, with few exceptions, still adhere strictly to this maxim. In German law constitutes a defence only if ignorance of the law was unavoidable. Unavoidability is determined with specific reference to the individual competencies, abilities and circumstances of the accused. Since 1977 is a complete defence on a criminal charge in South Africa. In support of this approach, it is maintained that subjecting a person to criminal sanctions amounts to the illegitimate execution of state power. The approach in German criminal law can therefore be supported only to the extent that unavoidable ignorance of the law covers the same ground as in South African criminal law.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error