Sat | Jul 21, 2018

More questions on X6 murder trial

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The #X6MurderTrial is a glaring example of a legal system, though built on the notion of justice, carrying out its ordinary functions of complying with and administrating the law. Legally, the system worked fine. Yes, there were delays in the trial but in our legal system delays are not uncommon. Delays result from a lack of courtrooms, a backlog of cases, inadequate resources for police investigations, among other things.

There is nothing we can do within our legal system about that. The defence lawyer raised the issue of Khajeel Mais' behaviour in school. If there is evidence that Khajeel was belligerent at all there could be ground for self-defence or provocation. These are perfectly appropriate legal defences. In short, our laws only hope to do justice but that is more their ideal than their immediate effect.

Justice requires that when a young boy is fatally shot, there is a proper investigation. It requires that the weapon suspected to have been used be taken into custody and tested. It requires that the suspect be arrested and brought before a court on the issue of bail.

Justice requires that there is a speedy trial to reduce the possibility of witness statements being the opposite of a witness' testimony and that witnesses are protected from external influences.

Justice prevents the social class of the accused or the victim from being the determining factor in the outcome of a trial. A legal system needs support, resources, police who are not corrupt and lawyers who are accessible to the poor for it to become a justice system.

Until we have all of these things, justice will only be bought by those who can afford it.

Glenroy Murray LLB (Hons)

Policy & Advocacy Manager, Equality for All