Critical Criminal Law

by James Grant

Grant holds a PhD in Criminal Law. He taught criminal law for 14 years at the University of the Witwatersrand and is unquestionably a leader in the field. He is now a practicing Advocate and brings his practical experience to enliven the theory of criminal law. He remains affiliated to Wits Law School as a visiting Associate Professor of Law. His PhD thesis is about to be published by Juta and Co, SA. Grant is also the proud author of two of the chapters in the leading text on Criminal Procedure in South Africa: The Commentary on the Criminal Procedure Act.

Grant extracts and collates the principles that can sometimes be complex, in a way that allows for a clear understanding of the current law. This text will show that, to a very large extent, South African Criminal Law maps onto most ordinary intuitions about what is fair and just. Where it is not, Grant explains how this may be understood and the extent to which it may be reconciled with defensible principles. This analysis is crucial for understanding criminal law in SA, but what follows - where Grant subjects the law to a critical analysis - is what sets this work apart and makes it a necessary tool for anyone who wants to practice or to properly understand what criminal law is in South Africa and what it should be.

This text is live and will continue to be added to an updated. As it stands it covers all general principles with the exception of a chapter on attempt liability and three chapters on specific grounds of justification under unlawfulness (private defence, necessity, and consent). These four remaining chapters will be completed soon and hopefully included in the next revision service.

It is intended as a text of principles of criminal law. Above all though, one advantage of this text is that it is – and will always be – utterly up to date – at least to the last 6 months. Each year 2 revision services will be undertaken in July and January to bring the book up to speed with any new case law or statutory changes of any significance.