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Monday, 22 March 2010

The Plea Negotiations & Agreements Bill, 2010

A new draft bill seeks to provide for the "introduction and implementation of plea negotiations and agreements in the criminal justice system". In practice this would mean that prosecutors would be able to enter negotiations with the defendant with the possibility of reducing the penalty the defendant would face if they pleaded guilty. The judge would still have the final say, but it does allow, in theory, that only cases that must go through the full court process do so. The victim the final decision by Court ensures that public interest and that of the victim is still protected.

The economic impact of these changes are unclear. If the process translated in few cases actually going through full trial, this may lead to lower administration and legal aid costs. If on the other hand the process still led to full trials it could be more costly and lead to even delays. In effect the proposal introduces a new step which if it works would reduce costs but without government producing a full consultation paper on this it is hard to know.

A Million Words Project Review
New Parliamentary Bills (Not Passed) - Not Read:

The Immigration and Deportation Bill, 2010
The Dairy Produce Marketing and Levy (Repeal) Bill, 2010
The Dairy Produce Board (Establishment) (Repeal) Bill, 2010
The Dairy Industry Development Bill 2010"
The Registration of Business Names (Amendment) Bill, 2010
The Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Bill, 2010
The Engineering Institution of Zambia Bill,2010

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