Law of evidence

To speak or not to speak, that is the question: Does prima facie evidence place an evidentiary burden on the accused to lead evidence?

The South African criminal justice system is one of the most constitutionally progressive justice systems globally and the progressive nature of the criminal justice system has its foundations in the […]

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Ways to curb expert bias

By Dr Izette Knoetze-le Roux The expert’s function, is an exceptional one: To provide assistance to courts in cases where the court is unable to, because of lack of specialised […]

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Think before you emoji

By Tshepo Confidence Mashile The history of emoji (or emojis, if you prefer; either plural form is correct) is short but interesting. In 1982, Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at […]

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Rule 35(12) of the Uniform Rules: Be wary

By Mzuvukile Sirenya and Carl van Rooyen Rule 35(12) of the Uniform Rules stands alone from the other discovery provisions under r 35 in that the wording does not require […]

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Virtual evidence in courts –a concept to be considered in South Africa?

  By Dr Izette Knoetze Courts are pre-eminently human creations and serve two primary functions in society, namely they resolve disputes and deliver justice to litigants to the degree possible […]

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I heard it through the grapevine: The difference between legal professional privilege and confidentiality

By Kristen Wagner and Claire Brett In the context of legal professional ethics, the terms ‘confidentiality’ and ‘privilege’ are often used interchangeably. While these two terms may overlap in some […]

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Dying declaration – should the dead have a say in a matter?

By Sherika Maharaj The history of the ‘dying declaration’ The dying declaration is based on the Latin maxim ‘nemo moriturus praesumitur mentiri’. Literally translated it means ‘a man will not […]

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A scientist and a lawyer walk into a courtroom …

By Dr David Klatzow and Peter Otzen ‘No less dangerous are the mistakes of [forensic] expert witnesses. Blind confidence of the court in the authority of expert witnesses is responsible […]

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The loaded danger of deduction when dealing with illegal possession of ammunition

By Hendrik Beukes This article considers the danger of deduction when dealing with technical issues in a case where an accused has been charged with the unlawful possession of ammunition. […]

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‘Unlawfully’ obtained Facebook communication admissible in court

Harvey v Niland and Others (ECG) (unreported case no 5021/2015, 3-12-2015) (Plasket J) By Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele Our right to privacy on social media in the workplace has been put in […]

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