UNLAWFULNESS OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS
OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>Can unlawful act be justified by fact that person committing act is merely obeying orders of s...
OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>Duty to blind obedience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obedience always seen as ground of justification...
OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>3 rd  possibility most accepted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt a middle course </li></ul></ul><ul...
OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>Defence only successful if subordinate does not cause more harm than necessary to execute orde...
OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>When is order manifestly unlawful? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take into account: </li></ul></ul><ul...
TRIFLING NATURE OF ACT  <ul><li>X commits act which is unlawful but the degree to which this act contravened it is minimal...
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Unlawfulness%20obedience%20to%20orders

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Unlawfulness%20obedience%20to%20orders

  1. 1. UNLAWFULNESS OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS
  2. 2. OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>Can unlawful act be justified by fact that person committing act is merely obeying orders of superior? </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obedience to lawful order – acting in official capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obedience to unlawful orders – determine if he has a defence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 different approaches: </li></ul>
  3. 3. OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>Duty to blind obedience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obedience always seen as ground of justification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This approach unacceptable for serious crime </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Obeying order no ground of justification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implies subordinate, before obeying order, must first decide for himself if the issued order was lawful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not conducive towards discipline </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>3 rd possibility most accepted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt a middle course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q v Smith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court rejected two extreme approaches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Soldier compelled to obey an order only if the order is manifestly lawful </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If manifestly unlawful = may not obey order, and if you do your actions remain unlawful </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Approach confirmed in section 199(6) of SA Constitution </li></ul>
  5. 5. OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>Defence only successful if subordinate does not cause more harm than necessary to execute order </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Order from person lawfully placed in authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>X must be under duty to obey order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Order not manifestly unlawful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>X must have done no more harm than necessary to execute order </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS <ul><li>When is order manifestly unlawful? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take into account: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content of order </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circumstances under which order given </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Than ask if reasonable soldier in position of X would have seen it as a lawful order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>= does that which the soldier is ordered to do fall within the scope of his normal duties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mistake relating to nature of order </li></ul><ul><li>Necessity? </li></ul>
  7. 7. TRIFLING NATURE OF ACT <ul><li>X commits act which is unlawful but the degree to which this act contravened it is minimal, ie of trifling nature </li></ul><ul><li>De minimus non curat lex = the law does not concern itself with trifles </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on circumstances whether: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ground of justification, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mitigation of punishment </li></ul></ul>

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