The Right of child offenders to intermediary assistance in the criminal justice system: A South African perspective

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2021/v24i0a8563

Keywords:

Child offender, Section 170A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, fair trial, right to participation, intermediaries

Abstract

The right of a child offender to participate effectively in criminal proceedings is a fundamental aspects of a right to a fair trial and is guaranteed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 as well as in international instruments, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. An arguments is made that ensuring that this right is fully realised at domestic level, allowances should be made for child offenders to be included in the provisions of section170A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. Section 170A makes allowances for the use of an intermediary by witnesses and victims when presenting testimony in criminal proceedings. It is argued that the best interest of the child principles as well as other rights such as the right to dignity and equality enshrined in the Constitution and guaranteed in international instruments warrants the inclusion of child offenders in the enabling legislation. An interpretation and implementation of Section 170A of the Criminal Procedure Act in line with the Constitution and international instruments that gives recognition to the child offender’s vulnerability and enforces the best interests of the child offender is accordingly advocated

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Author Biography

Mildred Bekink, University of South Africa

Department of Mercantile Law, College of Law

Associate Professor

References

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Published

2021-06-21

How to Cite

Bekink, M. (2021). The Right of child offenders to intermediary assistance in the criminal justice system: A South African perspective. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 24, 1–34. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2021/v24i0a8563

Issue

Section

Articles