Thursday, August 10, 2017

Operating Procedure (Justice)

Recently I put a simple request to the NPA (the National Prosecuting Authority): did they have police SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) – in simplest outline, for the public. There are two things, I think, that prosecutors need to know: police procedure, and their own procedure. Here are two replies to my request (on the right) from the NPA. At the top, the NPA’s national office states that yes, I am correct – the police must follow SOP, and this is a vital issue of prejudice, or not. Below that, a Senior Public Prosecutor states that he does not know whether police SOP exists or not. OBSERVATION: If a prosecutor – any prosecutor – does not know this, I would think (in my own judgement) that there is much room for abuse – especially in quashing cases. One fundamental issue, as an example: police SOP should include evidence that a prosecutor saw the docket, the complete docket, and the same docket which was afterwards filed by police. This could be just one aspect of a problem I see with South African society in general: its procedures everywhere are far too trusting of human nature.

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