South African Criminal Justice System

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The criminal justice system is that subsystem of the national legal system which determines the circumstances in which and the procedure according to which individuals may be punished by the state for conduct that is defined as a crime. For the sake of convenience, a distinction is normally drawn between the substantive aspects of the criminal justice system and its procedural aspects. The study of criminal law generally focuses on substantive law; namely, the principles of law according to which criminal liability (guilt) is determined, whilst the law of criminal procedure, together with the law of evidence, focuses on the manner in which this is done, together with the way in which offenders and suspected offenders are to be treated by the…show more content…
In criminal law, we study crime purely from a legal perspective. Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behaviour from psychological and sociological perspectives, seeking to understand the underlying causes and effects of such behaviour, as well as how to control or prevent it. 2. THE SOURCES AND ORIGINS OF SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW South African criminal law is essentially a common-law system of law, although the range of available crimes has been significantly extended through the creation of statutory offences and, in some cases, legislation has replaced the former common law. South African criminal law has never been codified, however. As with most South African common law, South African criminal law stems principally from Roman-Dutch law, together with (in this case) a large measure of influence from English law and, to a lesser extent, German law. Roman-Dutch law was largely an amalgamation of the Germanic customary law of the Netherlands and Roman law, pursuant to the ‘reception’ of Roman law in Western Europe, between the 13th and 15th centuries. Canon law (the law of the Christian Church) also played a significant role in the shaping of Roman-Dutch criminal…show more content…
The court also played the dominant role in conducting the trial, questioning the witnesses and interrogating the accused. Methods of interrogation commonly included the use of torture to extract
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