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n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Formulation of charges in a criminal trial : imprecision of language leads to imprecision of thought : regspraak
Essop v S 2014 2 SACR 495 (KZP); 2014 JOL 31934 (KZP)
Kok v S (14552) 2014 ZAWCHC 104 (02-07-2014)
In a criminal trial the charge forms the basis of the case that the prosecution alleges and sets out to prove against an accused person. It is therefore a document of crucial importance in the criminal process and it deserves to be treated as such. In the lower court the charge is contained in a charge sheet whilst it is referred to as an indictment in the high court. The fair trial right of an accused person to be informed of the charge against him with sufficient detail to answer it, is protected in section 35(3)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
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