The State vs Oscar Pistorius bigger than the Fifa World Cup

Posted on March 12, 2014

Trial advocacy lecturer Adv Willem Gravett from the Department of Procedural Law in the Faculty of Law, when appearing on a Carte Blanche programme on Sunday, 9 March, referred to the case as the ‘Clash of the Titans’. Carte Blanche looked at the role of the defence in a trial and at the legal and public scrutiny that witnesses are exposed to on the stand. According to Adv Gravett, ‘trials are really the sharp edge of the law – it is where the action is. Trials are civilised warfare, and cross-examination is as close as we can get to hand-to-hand combat in the courtroom.’ Adv Gravett is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a member of the New York State Bar. On 2 March, also on Carte Blanche, Prof Wium de Villiers from the Department of Procedural Law commented on leaks from the prosecution’s case. ‘I don’t foresee a problem with the leaks. We do not have a jury system. When you have lay people it is always a problem; we have a judge – I agree there will be two assessors – they are all going to be legally trained, so they will only take into account the evidence that is submitted and accepted in court.’ 

Adv Gravett and Prof de Villiers have publicised widely on criminal law and trial techniques. 

Law students have been glued to the television screen in the TuksLaw Kiosk since the onset of the trial. ‘I think Barry Roux is showing brilliant advocacy skills. In my view he has a great strategy and I am keen to see how the case pans out,’ says Mbali Mzimela, a second-year LLB student. Alastair Dey-van Heerden, a third-year LLB student, says that ‘the broadcasting of this case is a furthering of the idea of open justice and serves a wonderful, educational role. As for the case itself, the clash of legal minds is incredible to watch.’ Calley Jansen, a third-year LLB student, is of the opinion that ‘the broadcasting of this case serves as an incredible [educational] experience giving law students and the public a first-hand account of the judicial process.’

  Source:  Data Driven Insight 
Published by Erhardt Maritz

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