LRC intervened as amicus curiae in the matter Director of public Prosecutions, Western Cape v Prins.
In their intervention of the case they sought to emphasise the rights of victims of sexual offences particularly children in both the constitution and the international and regional conventions like the Convention on the rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. We submitted that the High Court’s judgment ignored these constitutional and international rights of children by holding that 29 provisions of the Sexual Offences were not law because they did not have a penalty attached to them.
The Supreme Court of Appeal Wallis J. of the SCA overturned an earlier decision by the Western Cape High Court which found that criminal charges could not be successfully prosecuted in respect of sexual offences under the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (Sexual Offences Act), because of the absence of penalty provisions in that Act. The Court further held that held that the constitutional principle of legality is satisfied by reference to the sentencing powers enjoyed by all courts under section 276(1) Criminal Procedure Act. Therefore the finding by the Western Cape High Court was without merit.