‘Lunacy Defence’ in Botswana’s Criminal Law: Reflections of a Mental Health Practitioner

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J. Maphisa Maphisa Maphisa Maphisa


This article refl ects on the lunacy defence in Botswana from a mental health
practitioner’s vantage point with the hope of adding to the discourse on the
nation’s jurisprudence. In particular, the paper asserts that the defence as
articulated in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 1939, Cap. 08:02,
Laws of Botswana, employs prejudicial and misleading terminology. The
article also argues that the inquiry and evidence to determine fi tness to stand
trial and criminal responsibility, respectively, lack the detail to avoid being
misunderstood. The discussion of the above two points is accompanied by
suggestions for reforms.

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