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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The fall and rise of the cane in Zimbabwe
Author:Hatchard, JohnISNI
Year:1991
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Volume:35
Issue:1-2
Pages:198-204
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:jurisprudence
corporal punishment
Abstract:Two decisions handed down by the Supreme Court together with a later constitutional amendment Act have highlighted the divergence of views in Zimbabwe on the legality of judicial corporal punishment. In 1987 in S v. Ncube a full bench of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe unanimously held that the sentence of whipping for adults contravened section 15(1) of the Declaration of Rights which is contained in the Constitution of Zimbabwe in that it constituted a punishment which in its very nature was both inhuman and degrading. In 1989 in A Juvenile v. The State the Supreme Court held, by a 3-2 majority, that corporal punishment of juveniles also violated section 15(1) of the Declaration of Rights. These two decisions were a constitutional and penological triumph. By contrast, the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 11) Act, 1990, which includes a provision (now section 15(3)) to the effect that corporal punishment of male juvenile offenders is no longer in contravention of subsection (1), is a constitutional and penological disaster. It undermines the Supreme Court's constitutional right to interpret the Declaration of Rights and totally contradicts the provisions of international instruments to which Zimbabwe is already a party. However, the fact that more than ten months after section 15(3) received parliamentary approval it has not yet been implemented in practice may indicate that the executive is having second thoughts on the matter. Notes, ref.
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