Prosecuting sexual abuse of children : enhancement of victims rights vs protection of constitutional fair trial rights

Fourie, Melanie (2005-04)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In 2002 the South African Law Commission published a report in which amendments to the existing rules of criminal procedure and evidence were proposed. A number of these recommendations have since been included in a Bill that was tabled before Parliament in 2003. The proposed amendments largely reflect values which underlie the "Victims' Rights" movement. The aim of this thesis is to consider the possible influence of these amendments on the constitutionally guaranteed fair trial rights of the accused. The study focuses on those amendments that play a role in the prosecution of alleged sexual offences against children, and shows that although the recognition of victims' rights is important, it should not be done at the expense of a fair trial. Dangers inherent to the proposed amendments are therefore highlighted. The rights of the accused are used to test the desirability or not of the proposed amendments. Foreign authority is used to support the argument made in the thesis.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In 2002 het die Suid-Afrikaanse Regskommissie 'n verslag gepubliseer waann veranderings aan die huidige strafprosesreg- en bewysregreëls voorgestel word. 'n Aantal van hierdie voorgestelde wysigings is intussen opgeneem in 'n Wetsontwerp wat in Augustus 2003 voor die Parlement gedien het. Die voorgestelde wysigings reflekteer tot 'n groot mate waardes wat die "Victims' rights" beweging onderlê. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om die moontlike invloed van hierdie wysigings op die grondwetlik verskanste billike verhoor regte van die beskuldigde te ondersoek. Die ondersoek fokus op daardie veranderinge wat 'n rol speel in die vervolging van beweerde geslagsmisdade teen kinders. Daar word aangetoon dat alhoewel die erkenning van regte vir slagoffers belangrik is, dit nie ten koste van 'n regverdige verhoor gedoen kan word nie. Gevare verbonde aan die voorgestelde wysigings word dus uitgewys. Die regte van die beskuldigde word deurgaans gebruik om die wenslikheid al dan nie van die voorgestelde wysigings aan te toon. Buitelandse gesag word aangewend om die betoog te ondersteun.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50431
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