Barnard v Minister of Justice: the minister’s verdict - Deciding on parole for offenders serving life sentences
Parole for offenders serving life sentences has ignited questions in media reports and political circles. This complexity becomes a touchy issue when it leaves more questions than answers after the grant or decline to place offenders on parole. This article evaluates the discretion of the minister to decline to grant parole under section 78(2) of the Correctional Services Act 25 of 2008 (CSA). This contribution argues that a minister’s discretion to refuse parole needs to be re- examined in the wake of the decision in Barnard v Minister of Justice, Constitutional Development & Correctional Services and another with regard to its content and context. The paper examines the drafting history to section 78(2) of the Correctional Services Act; evaluates the bounds of the Ministerial powers, and examines its recent application in Barnard. The final step involves recommending a working framework that may reconcile the position.
GE Devenish, K Govender and D Hulme, Administrative Law and Justice in South Africa, Durban: Butterworths Durban 2001).
Hoexter C and Lyster R, The New Constitutional and Administrative Law Vol 2 Cape Town:Juta 2002.
Barnard v Minister of Justice, Constitutional Development and Correctional Services and another 2016 (1) SACR 179 (GP).
Derby-Lewis v Minister of Correctional Services and Others  ZAGPPHC 7, 27.
R v Sussex Justices ex parte McCarthy  All ER 233.
Van Vuren v Minister of Correctional Services and six others (CC) 2012 (1) SACR 103.
Minutes of Correctional Service Portfolio Committee (CSPC) meeting 24 August 2007 https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/8228/ (accessed 5 September 2016).
Minutes of Correctional Service Portfolio Committee (CSPC) meeting 31 August 2007, https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/8259/ (accessed 5 September 2016).
Minutes of Correctional Service Portfolio Committee (CSPC) meeting 4 September 2008, https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/8274/ (accessed 5 September 2016).
Burns Y, Administrative Law under the 1996 Constitution 2nd ed, Durban:LexisNexis 2003.
Dlamini Charles Robinson Mandlenkosi, The right to administrative justice in South Africa: Creating an open and accountable democracy Part 2, (2000) Journal of South African Law 53- 71.
Kotze Louis, The application of just administrative action in the South African Environmental Governance sphere: An analysis of some contemporary thoughts and recent jurisprudence (7) 2 (2004), Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal 58- 94.
Mujuzi Jamil Ddamulira, Unpacking the law relating to parole in South Africa, 14(5) (2011) Porchesfstroom Electronic Law Journal 205- 228.
Mujuzi JD Unpacking the law relating to parole in South Africa (2011) 14(5) Porchesfstroom Electronic Law Journal 205- 228.
Nwauche Enyinna, Administrative bias in South Africa, Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 8(1) (2005), 36 – 74.
Wolf Loammi, Pre and post-trial equality in criminal justice in the context of separation of powers, Porchesfstroom Electronic Law Journal 14 (5) (2011), 58- 240.
Graeme Hosken, State Walus’ parole appeal questioned 31 March 2016, http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2016/03/31/States-Walus-parole-appeal-questioned
SAPA, Minister’s parole decision raises eyebrows, IndependentOnLine, 30 January 2015, http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/ministers-parole-decision-raises-eyebrows-1811375
Constitution Act 108 of 1996.
Correctional Services (Amendment) Act 2008 (Act 25 of 2008).
Correctional Services Act (Act 8 of 1959).
Correctional Services Act, section 75(1) c.
Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
SACQ is licenced under a creative commons licence (CC BY) that allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long a they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. They may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
Copyright for articles published is vested equally between the author/s, the Institute for Security Studies and the Centre of Criminology (UCT).