Juridical Victimisation: A South African Study

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Law as a formal system of rules and regulations guides and directs people's behaviour, obligations and expectations as well as their daily activities and interactions. Law should reflect and accommodate the interests of society. What impact will the law have if it does not reflect the interests of society? South Africa has a history of systematic political oppression resulting from legislation that emanated from the apartheid era. This involved dictatorship, arbitrary exercising of power, oppressive and repressive conduct, etc. This legislation attracted various forms of criminalisation as well as the use of violence and aggressive behaviour to enforce compliance with and/or to overcome resistance of such legislation. Oppressing members of the community through legislation into conformist behaviour may result in arbitrary victimization of the perpetrators of such laws. This paper proposes an overview of pre-democratic statutory victimisation as well as a brief evaluation of legislation promulgated in the post-democratic South Africa with a view of answering questions related to victimisation.


Keywords: Law, Legislation, Victimisation, Juridical Victimisation
Stream: Politics, Public Policy and Law
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Juridical Victimisation


Tersia Oosthuizen

Lecturer, Public Law, University of Zululand
Mtunzini, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

I am an admitted and practising attorney, being in private practice for the past 15 years working in many fields of the law but my main focus is on criminal law and any injustices caused within the system. I do a lot of probono work. I have the Bproc, LLM degrees and is registered for a DPhil, and my thesis is on Juridical victimisation from a criminal justice view. I am also in my final year of studies at Unisa for a B degree in community safety and legal studies, specializing in offender profiling. I have been lecturing at the University of Zululand, a historically black university in the hart of Zululand for the past 10 years but have only recently discovered my passion for research. Although I am qualified in Law, my academic and research interests are spread between psychology, criminology and the law. After finalizing my DPhil I would like to continue into research on the criminal mind, and the causes of crime.

Ref: I08P0239