Mandatory sentences in South Africa: Lessons for Australia?

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Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only.

Terblanche, S. & Mackenzie, G. (2008). Mandatory sentences in South Africa: Lessons for Australia? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 41(3), 402-420

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2008 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1801

© Copyright Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd., 2008


Many of the most serious crimes that can be committed in South Africa are, since 1998, subject to mandatory minimum sentences prescribed in legislation. This legislation was originally introduced as a short-term measure, yet has now become a permanent fixture. This article looks critically at the mandatory sentencing legislation in South Africa, drawing comparisons with similar legislation in Australia. It also examines some of the consequences of such legislation not properly foreseen in South Africa, in particular the escalation in the prison population. In taking an internationally comparative approach, this article contributes to the contemporary debate on mandatory sentencing.

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This document has been peer reviewed.