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n Journal for Juridical Science - Prosecuting "hate" : an overview of problem areas relating to hate crimes and challenges to criminal litigation

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Abstract

Several calls, from a wide spectrum of sectors for the enactment of hate-crime legislation in South Africa, suggest that there is limited knowledge about the theoretical underpinnings of this area of criminal law and of the practical problems associated with the implementation of hate-crime laws. This submission briefly examines the origins of hate-crime laws and attempts, by using existing American sources, to provide a conceptual framework for hate crimes. The different models of hate-crime laws, definitional issues and the controversies associated with hate-crime laws are considered. These controversies include disagreements about the use of the term 'hate', the inclusion of victim categories, and the consideration of motive as a requirement of hate crimes. The article also considers practical problems associated with the implementation of hate-crime laws. These problems could commence at the complaint stage when evidence of bias has to be established by law-enforcement officers, and extend to the trial stage, when the role of victims must be considered, when plea bargaining is a possibility and when bias has to be proved in court.


Verskeie beroepe wat vanuit 'n wye spektrum ontvang is vir die daarstelling van Suid-Afrikaanse wetgewing op haatmisdaad veronderstel dat daar beperkte kennis is oor die teoretiese grondslae van hierdie area van strafreg, asook oor die praktiese probleme wat met die implementering van wetgewing op haatmisdaad verband hou. Hierdie bydrae ondersoek bondig die ontstaan en pogings van wetgewing op haatmisdaad deur gebruik te maak van bestaande Amerikaanse bronne ten einde 'n begripsgrondslag vir haatmisdade daar te stel. Die verskillende modelle van haatmisdaadwetgewing, omskrywingskwessies, asook die twispunte wat met hierdie wetgewing verband hou word oorweeg. Hierdie polemiek sluit verdeeldheid in oor die gebruik van die terminologie 'haat', die insluiting van kategorieƫ van slagoffers, asook die oorweging van motief as 'n vereiste vir haatmisdade. Hierdie artikel oorweeg ook praktiese probleme wat verband hou met die implementering van haatmisdaadwetgewing. Hierdie probleem mag ontstaan op die stadium waarop die aanklag aanhangig gemaak word wanneer wetstoepassers getuienis van vooroordeel moet vasstel. Dit kan ook uitgebrei word na die verhoorstadium wanneer die rol van die slagoffers oorweeg word, waar pleitonderhandelinge 'n moontlikheid is, asook wanneer vooroordeel in 'n hof bewys moet word.

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/content/juridic/41/1/EJC190480
2016-01-01
2016-12-08
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