South Africa: Media Statement - Justice and Correctional Services Committee Calls for Comment On Laws to Curb Gender-Based Violence

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The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has invited stakeholders and interested persons to submit written submissions on three pieces of legislation aimed at strengthening laws against gender-based violence (GBV).

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill aims among other things to extend the ambit of the offence of incest, introduce a new offence of sexual intimidation, further regulate the inclusion of particulars of persons in the National Register for Sex Offenders, make provision for certain particulars of persons who have been convicted of sexual offences to be made publicly available, further regulate the removal of particulars of persons from the National Register for Sex Offenders; and further regulate the reporting duty of persons who are aware that sexual offences have been committed against children.

The Domestic Violence Amendment Bill is intended to amend and insert certain definitions, further provide for the manner in which acts of domestic violence and matters related thereto must be dealt with by certain functionaries, persons and government departments and further regulate obtaining of protection orders in response to acts of domestic violence.

Meanwhile the purpose of the Criminal Matters Amendment Bill is to amend among other things the Magistrates' Courts Act, 1944, so as to provide for the appointment of intermediaries and the giving of evidence through intermediaries in proceedings other than criminal proceedings, the oath and competency of intermediaries and the giving of evidence through audio-visual link in proceedings other than criminal proceedings. It also aims to amend the Criminal Procedure Act so as to further regulate the granting and cancellation of bail; the giving of evidence by means of closed circuit television or similar electronic media; the giving of evidence by a witness with physical, psychological or mental disability; the appointment, oath and competency of intermediaries; and the right of a complainant in a domestic-related offence to participate in parole proceedings.

Submissions must be received by no later than 9 October 2020. Please indicate your interest in making a verbal presentation. Enquiries must be directed to Mr V Ramaano. Submissions must be emailed to Gbvbillss@parliament.gov.za. Copies of the Bill may be obtained from Mr V Ramaano, tel: (021) 403-3820 or 083 709 8427, www.parliament.gov.za or https://www.parliament.gov.za/calls-submissions-nominations

More From: Parliament of South Africa

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