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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and the admissibility of evidence
Author:Armstrong, A.
Periodical:The Zimbabwe Law Review
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:political repression
human rights
constitutional law
Abstract:This article presents a discussion of s. 15(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and its relevance to the law of evidence. Section 15 of the Declaration of Rights provides 'No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other such treatment'. First the author discusses the content of what is forbidden, i.e. the definition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. Next she discusses the enforcement of the provision, particularly with regard to the law of evidence, arguing that there are two basic policies at work: the general policy of the law of evidence, which is to exclude unreliable evidence, and the policy of the Constitution, which is to prevent actions which contravene the Declaration of Rights. Until 18 April 1985, the first policy was the only important one for the admissibility of evidence, since preexisting laws could not be struck down as in contravention of the Constitution until five years after the date of independence. Now, however, the policy of the Constitution must prevail. That policy must be enforced by excluding all evidence obtained as a result of a breach of the Constitution, in particular evidence obtained as a result of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. Notes, ref.