The impact of the Mental Health Act No. 18 of 1973 and related legislation on sentencing practices at the Cape Town Supreme Court, 1964-1980

Kruger, Wilanda (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study will empirically analyse whether the Mental Health Act of 1973 had an impact on sentencing practices for murder and murder related crimes at the Cape Supreme Court from 1964-1980. It contextualises the various discussions and debates that were taking place in the judiciary and mental health fields, and demonstrates that the said Act had little significant impact on sentencing practices after 1975, when the Act was finally ascended into law. Furthermore, analysis of the courtroom testimony not only reveals how debates on criminology, psychiatry, psychology and politics unfolded during the period under investigation, but it is argued that these very debates, rather than any legislation, had a more significant impact on the sentencing practices for the crime of murder in the Cape Supreme Court.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie sal op ʼn empiriese wyse die Wet op Geestesgesondheid van 1973 analiseer om te bepaal of die wetgewing van 1973 wel ʼn impak gehad het op vonnisopleggingspraktyke vir moord en moord verwante misdade by the Hooggeregshof in Kaapstad tussen 1964-1980. Dit sal die verskeie gesprekke en debatte wat plaasgevind het onder lede van die regbank, en in geestesgesondheidsvelde kontekstualiseer, en addisioneel sal hierdie studie demonstreer hoe die wetgeweing van 1973 eintlik ʼn minimale impak gehad het op vonnisopleggingspraktyke na 1975, toe die wetgewing uiteindelik as wet aanvaar was. Verdere analise van getuienisse van die hof wys nie net hoe debatte in Kriminologie, Psigiatrie, Sielkunde en in die politici ontvou het nie, maar dat die einste debatte ʼn meer beduidende invloed gehad het op vonnisopleggingspraktyke as enige ander wetgewing op moord en moord verwante misdade by die Hooggeregshof in Kaapstad.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108298
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