ATC081016: Report on Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill

Justice and Correctional Services

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill [B42-2008], (National Assembly – section 75), dated 16 October 2006


The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the subject of the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill [B42-2008] (National Assembly – section 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B42A-2008].


The Committee further reports as follows:


 Clause 2 of the Bill, as introduced, provided for the expungement of a person’s criminal record in certain circumstances.


In the course of its deliberations, it became clear to the Committee that this matter is complex. The achievement of a careful balance that safeguards the public against criminals, while recognising that the consequences of possessing a criminal record can cause undue hardship, is difficult. The Committee, therefore, feels that there needs to be further consideration of the system of keeping criminal records and the procedures to be followed for their expungement.  The Committee also felt that given the complexity of the matter, further consultation with stakeholders and the public is required. 


The Committee, however, recognised that, in the meanwhile, there is an urgent need for a system of expungment of criminal records for minor crimes after some years have elapsed but felt that, in view of the above concerns, this should be of a very limited nature until further research is conducted and consideration given to the relevant issues.


The Committee, therefore, requests that the Minister:


·                     Conducts further research on the different systems followed in the keeping of criminal records and their expungement.  This research should draw, among others, on international best practice;


·                     Consults more widely with the relevant stakeholders and the public on this issue; and


·                     Reports to Parliament on his findings within 24 months of the adoption of this report by the National Assembly.


Report to be considered.



No related documents