Calling for the punishment to fit the crime: Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in South Africa

  • Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi
Keywords: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, sentence, imprisonment, prison, Criminal Law Amendment Act, law reform, South Africa

Abstract

A person found guilty of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity is liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment. However, in terms of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, a person guilty of murder or rape in certain circumstances has to be sentenced to life imprisonment unless there are substantial and compelling circumstances in which case the court has to impose a lesser sentence. This article argues, inter alia, that there is a need to amend South Africa's Implementation of the Rome Statute Act so that courts are obliged to impose life imprisonment on a person found guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity unless there are strong reasons to impose a lesser sentence. This would show South Africa's commitment to punish severely those convicted of such international crimes.

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Published
2009-03-08
Section
Research articles