The Prevention of Organised Crime Act 1998: The Need for Extraterritorial Jurisdiction to Prosecute the Higher Echelons of Those Involved in Rhino Poaching

Keywords: Extraterritorial jurisdiction, higher echelons, National Strategy, Prevention of Organised Crime Act, prosecution, rhino poaching

Abstract

The continuous rising levels of rhino poaching in South Africa require smart strategies that move beyond prosecuting the actual poachers to engaging the transnational criminals who deal with the rhino horn after it leaves the country. In this regard, South Africa has a number of laws that deal with the poaching of rhino horns. The Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) does not provide for the adequate prosecution of offenders outside South Africa. It is argued that the POCA has to be amended to provide for extraterritorial jurisdiction to deal with the prosecution of the higher echelons of those involved in rhino poaching. While the POCA provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction in some respects, the application of these provisions still presents challenges in their implementation. To substantiate this claim, this article first discusses the international networks that support the trade in rhino horn. A critique of the available statistics on rhino poaching follows, as does a suggestion that attention must be paid to the details in the statistical records to understand how desperate the situation is. Thereafter, an evaluation of South Africa's legislative framework and other interlinking factors that affect rhino poaching is performed This demonstrates the need for extraterritorial jurisdiction with regard to rhino poaching.

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Published
2019-10-11
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