Book Review: Criminal Procedure Legislative Guide by Juta Law Editors

May 22, 2017 | 2017, Book Review, News

Reviewed by Louis Rood.

Primarily aimed at students of criminal procedure, this comprehensive guide to the legislation framing criminal procedure in South Africa will also be welcomed by legal practitioners, judicial officers, law enforcement officials, and crime investigators. It forms the fourth leg of the table with publisher Juta’s encompassing titles on every aspect of criminal procedure, the other three being:

  • Criminal Procedure Handbook (12th Edition) by Joubert et al (2017)
  • Criminal Procedure Casebook (2nd Edition) by Kemp et al (2017)
  • Criminal Procedure Workbook (2nd Edition) by Swanepoel et al (2016).

The stated purpose of this compact guide is to equip readers not only with the theoretical knowledge required to comprehend and assimilate the subject matter, but also to acquire the skills, aptitudes and competencies necessary to analyse and solve issues and disputes that arise from the process of applying South African criminal law procedure, both to adult accused persons and to child offenders.

The three most important legislative instruments are reproduced in full – the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977, the Child Justice Act of 2008, and the Constitution of 1996. Each Section of these acts is cross-referenced to the applicable parts of the HandbookCasebook and Workbook. These four legs of the table complement and support each other, and the cross-referencing has been designed to make it easy to find the appropriate content.

Grasping the complexities of the legislative structures is facilitated by a series of full-colour diagrams, infographics and flow charts of the criminal process in respect of both an adult accused and a child offender. Useful examples of documentation frequently encountered in the criminal process are provided, such as a written notice to appear in court, an admission of guilt form, a summons in a criminal case and a charge sheet. The commentary is crisp, practical and to the point. Juta and its team of Law Editors assembled to produce this second edition are to be commended for so diligently completing the value chain that links together this quartet of titles.