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A constitutional perspective of police powers of search and seizure in the criminal justice system

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dc.contributor.advisor Swanepoel, J. P. Basdeo, Vinesh 2010-07-22T06:50:37Z 2010-07-22T06:50:37Z 2009-11
dc.identifier.citation Basdeo, Vinesh (2009) A constitutional perspective of police powers of search and seizure in the criminal justice system, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract Before 1994 criminal procedure was subject to the sovereignty of Parliament and the untrammelled law enforcement powers of the executive which resulted in the authoritarian and oppressive criminal justice system of the apartheid era. The Constitution, Act 108 of 1996 has since created a democratic state based on the values of the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law. The basic principles of criminal procedure are now constitutionalised in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights protects the fundamental rights of individuals when they come into contact with organs of the state which includes the police. The Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 authorises the police to search for and to seize articles, and has long provided the only legal basis for obtaining warrants to search for and to seize articles and for performing such actions without a warrant in certain circumstances. Generally the standard for these measures and actions taken under their purview has been one of reasonableness. Since the birth of the Constitution there has been additional constraints on search and seizure powers. Not only are there now constitutionalised standards by which such legal powers are to be measured, but there is also the possibility of excluding evidence obtained in course of a violation of a constitutional right. The provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act are now qualified by the Constitution. Where feasible a system of prior judicial authorisation in the form of a valid search warrant obtained on sworn information establishing reasonable grounds is a precondition for a valid search or seizure. Search and seizure without a warrant is permitted only in exceptional circumstances such as an immediate threat to person or property. By prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures the Constitution places important limits on police efforts to detect and investigate crime. The Constitution appreciates the need for legitimate law enforcement activity. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (11, 177 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Privacy en
dc.subject Seizure en
dc.subject Constitution en
dc.subject Criminal Procedure Act en
dc.subject South African Police Service Act en
dc.subject Warrants en
dc.subject Search
dc.subject Police
dc.subject South Africa
dc.subject Canada
dc.subject United States
dc.subject.ddc 345.522068
dc.subject.lcsh Criminal procedure -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Police power -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Constitutional law -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Searches and seizures -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Civil rights -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Warrants (Law) -- South Africa
dc.title A constitutional perspective of police powers of search and seizure in the criminal justice system en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Criminal and Procedural Law LL.M.

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