n Law, Democracy & Development - Pre-trial detention : its impact on crime and human rights in South Africa

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



Restriction of liberty of the unconvicted, and accordingly presumed innocent, presents a challenge to every legal system that attempts seriously to balance the concerns of crime control and due process. In any new constitutional dispensation, this balance has to be re-appraised. This is particularly so because constitutions tend to emphasise the right to liberty of the individual and that in itself challenges anew those who wish to restrict this right. South Africa has recently faced this challenge in respect of its regime for criminal suspects on bail and, by enacting the 1997 Criminal Procedure Second Amendment Act, has opted for extraordinarily restrictive bail measures. These amendments were to be the subject of a recent judgment by the Constitutional Court.

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