Criminal Procedural Law Analysis

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Introduction The traditional underpinnings of criminal adjective law, statutes, common law and case, regulate South African criminal proceedings. The point of departure for the construction and application of all the rules of criminal adjective law has become the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution). This ramification results from the categorical superiority of the Constitution, as proclaimed in the preamble as well as sections 1(c) and 2 of the Constitution. Furthermore, section 2 of the Constitution dictates that any criminal procedural rule in opposition to constitutional precepts is invalid. Thus the analysis of any criminal procedural law rule must account for influence stemming…show more content…
The substantive nature of the constitutional right to a fair trial marks a departure from the common law position. Thus the condemnation of the blameless, the arbitrary postponements of criminal proceedings or the denial of legal representation offend these values. Not only is a fair trial a prerequisite before the pronouncement of guilt but the prosecution must perform duties impartially. The wording of section 35(3) of the Constitution indicates that the precept is extensive and not limited to the section’s explicit…show more content…
In Hudson the court argued that the operation of this right was unaltered by its inclusion in the Constitution. In Mathebula the inclusion of the right to a fair trial in the Constitution, the highest law of the nation, was held to have transformed the construction and operation of this right. In agreement with Mathebula, this essay presents an argument that constitutional superiority and the constitutional entitlement of a right to a fair trial has changed the pre-constitutional consequences of section 174 of the CPA. The general operation of section 174 of the CPA The phrasing of section 174 of the CPA remains essentially unaltered from its analogous section in the preceding Criminal Procedure Act. Section 174 of the CPA stipulates that the trial court may exonerate the accused at the conclusion of the presentation of the prosecution’s argument if the court’s view is that there is no support indicative that the accused committed either crime specified in the charge sheet or indictment or any other competent

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