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No 69 (2020): SACQ 2020

From 2020 onwards, articles in South African Crime Quarterly appear in a single edition per year, published on a continuous publication model.

The collection  includes an article by Kirstin Hagglund and Franaaz Khan on the so-called legal 'enigma' of dolus eventialis. Using German and American law for guidance, the authors examine the test for dolus eventualis in the case of murder and determines whether it can be more clearly distinguished from culpa, in the case of culpable homicide.

Shimon Barit, Lorraine du Toit-Prinlsoo and Gert Saayman examine deaths due to police action and deaths in custody through a retrospective descriptive audit of cases admitted at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory. Compared with other countries, the authors find a high number of firearms-related fatalities in the deaths resulting from police action, and an absence of deaths due to conditions like excited delirium or deaths associated with illicit drug intoxication. They argue that there is a need for for objective, impartial and competent medico-legal investigation into deaths of this nature.

Sheena Swemmer presents evidence from a set of 102 rape cases in South Africa, showing how prosecutors and presiding officers problematically use evidence of previous sexual history during rape trials, despite the protections to the contrary. Providing examples from cases, the author argues that comprehensive training for prosecutors and presiding officers to address the social context of rape, gender stereotyping and rape myths, as well as on the questioning of witnesses can help to remedy the problem. She argues that the prejudiced and biased practices in the courts continue to undermine the credibility of the complainant.

Edwin Cameron discusses what he terms a controversial and often overlooked crisis in the criminal justice system – the minimum sentencing regime. He argues that the minimum sentencing regime is  not well-suited to curbing crime and making South Africans safe, but instead is a misdirected, hugely costly and ineffective way of punishing criminals and dealing with crime.

Elrena van der Spuy pays tribute to Mike Brogden, who passed away in 2019. Brogden's work on on crime, criminal justice and policing in the context of social history shaped converstations on police reform and the field of criminology in South Africa.

Published: 2020-09-28
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