Compulsory HIV testing of child sex offenders in the South African criminal justice system

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Peer-Reviewed Research

Abstract:

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 established unique procedural mechanisms for the processing of sexual offence cases and for the protection of victims. One such procedure relates to compulsory HIV testing of an alleged offender on application by the victim or a police official. This article is a theoretical exploration of Chapter 5 of the Sexual Offences Act, and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 as they pertain to HIV testing of children, juxtaposed against the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. The submission concedes that Chapter 5 of the Sexual Offences Act is applicable to child offenders. The authors, however, argue that child offenders are procedurally sui generis in the criminal justice process and resultantly the prescripts of Chapter 5 of the Sexual Offences Act are at odds with the position of a child offender within the protections of the Child Justice Act, insofar as effective protection of the best interest standard is concerned.