Shining a light - or not - on our courts


By Sarah Fuller - Posted on 21 February 2013

Two current stories must make us look closely at aspects of our court system. The Vicky Pryce trial fiasco yesterday showed how woefully inadequate that particular jury was at understanding even the basics of their role. But, of course, under the Contempt of Court Act we are completely barred from discovering anything about this jury and their discussions or deliberations. I wonder if any news organisation is going to go risk giving it a try? And the Oscar Pistorius case brings  acutely home to us how different other countries attitudes are to prejudice and a "fair trial". Days and days of detailed "evidence" in a magistrates court bail hearing - all of which would be totally unreportable here for fear or prejudicing a jury. Ah - there's the answer. South Africa does not have a jury system!