Criminal Justice

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Courses

PBL3801W: Criminal Law

Intermediate level, whole course, 72 lectures and tutorials.

Course convenor: Professor Jonathan Burchell

Course Outline:
The course covers the general principles of criminal law. Students are introduced to these principles by a brief examination of the nature pf criminal law and punishment, the principle of legality and the operation of the Bill of Rights on the rules of criminal law. A brief overview of the general principles places each of the elements of criminal liability in context and demonstrates its role in deciding criminal liability.

Analysis of principles:

Selected specific offences:
Essential elements of crimes such as murder, culpable homicide, assault, rape, theft, robbery, and fraud are considered.

DP requirements: Please refer to course handout.

Assessment:

Optional essay/moot/opinion 20%
June test 20%
Assignment/test 10%
November examination (2 hour) 50% (if essay/moot/opinion)
70% (if no essay/moot/opinion)


PBL3802H & PBL4802H: Criminal Procedure

Intermediate & Final level, half course, whole year. Three tutorials and 36 lectures.

Course convenor(s): Associate Professor D Smythe

Course Outline:
The general principles of criminal procedure both in Magistrates' Courts and in the High Court. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of constitutional rights on criminal procedure. The course deals inter alia with the following topics: criminal procedural models and the nature of the South African criminal procedural system, the composition of the South African judicial authority and jurisdiction of the criminal courts, the national prosecuting authority, various pre-trial procedures, such as arrest, search and seizure and bail, all aspects relating to the trial, including the plea procedures and the verdict and sentence, and review and appeal.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment:

Optional essay/moot/opinion 20%
June test 20%
Assignment 10%
November examination (2 hour) 50% (if essay/moot/opinion)
70% (if no essay/moot/opinion)


PBL4801H: Evidence

Final level, whole year, three tutorials and 36 lectures.

Course convenor: Ms S Lutchman

Course outline: Includes inter alia:
History and sources of the law of evidence; rules of admissibility, in the context of the relevancy requirement, such as character, similar fact and opinion evidence; rules excluding relevant evidence, such as privilege and hearsay; detrimental statements, such as confessions; kinds of evidence and presentation thereof; witnesses, including their competence and compellability and calling of witnesses; proof without evidence, such as judicial notice and rebuttable presumptions; evaluation of evidence, including the cautionary rules; and the standards and burdens of proof.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment:

Coursework 40%
November examination (2 hour) 60%


PBL4504F: International Criminal Law in Africa

Lectures-and-examination electives: Final Level LLB

Course convener: Dr Hannah Woolaver

Course Outline:

This course provides students with a firm understanding of the key aspects of international criminal law, focusing on the impact and application of this body of law in the African continent. The first section of the course will provide an overview of the historical development of international criminal law, from its origins in the Nuremberg Tribunal, culminating in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The second section of the course will examine the legal elements of the core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Section three will provide an analysis of the modes of liability of international crimes, focusing on liability for the commission of group crimes and superior responsibility. The final section will detail the procedural aspects of enforcement, including jurisdiction of domestic and international courts and the issue of immunity of senior State officials. This section will emphasise prosecution of international crimes in the domestic courts of South Africa, and will also consider the validity of domestic amnesty agreements for international crimes. Case studies throughout the course will be based on situations in the African continent, to draw out the particular challenges and possibilities for enforcement of international criminal law on the continent.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment:
Coursework

Essay 20%
In-class presentation 10%
Final examination (2 hour) 70%


PBL4602F:Criminal Justice and the Constitution

Seminars-and-research-paper electives: Final Level LLB

Course convenor: Ms Kelly Phelps

Course outline:

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore selected advanced issues in criminal justice, punishment and the manner in which the Constitution impacts the South African criminal justice system. Students will use the group discussions to develop research skills and produce research papers. It ties in with compulsory courses in the LLB, such as criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence and constitutional law as well as with criminology.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment:

Attendance at and participation in seminars 10%
Final research paper 90%

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