Restore justice in our prisons – Judge Thabani Jali

10 March 2003

Start up: Enjoying the Law Faculty's celebration of the new academic year were first-year students Nosizwe (left) and Nomzamo Mji with guest speaker Judge Thabani Jali.

CORRUPTION is the main problem besetting South African prisons and overcrowding merely exacerbates the situation, guest speaker Judge Thabani Jali said at a Law Faculty celebration to mark the opening of the new academic year.

The judge heads the Jali Commission into prison corruption.

Referring to sexual abuses in prisons, Jali said: “The point is that being held in prison is punishment itself; there is no further need for further mistreatment.”

He added that the personal safety and dignity of inmates had to be guaranteed. “If we fail to restore justice in our prisons we fail as a society. Then we will never succeed with the objectives of punishment, namely that it should be preventative, reformative and retributive.”

Jali appealed to the legal profession to join hands in the fight against corruption and invited the assembly to put forward proposals to solve problems experienced by the Department of Correctional Services.

In his retrospective, Dean of Law Professor Hugh Corder reflected on the faculty's strong research record. Last year saw the completion of a definitive three-volume commentary on the Companies Act by Professors Mike Blackman and Richard Jooste (commercial law), together with Professor Geoff Everingham (accounting).

In addition, Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit had published Taking Life Imprisonment Seriously in National and International Law, to critical acclaim.

Professors Halton Cheadle (public law) and Dennis Davis (commercial law) had edited and contributed to a book on the Bill of Rights and the South African Constitution.

Corder also paid tribute to Associate Professor Anton Fagan, the faculty's first National Research Foundation's P-rated researcher.

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Volume 22 Edition 04

27 Mar 2003

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