Zambian Penal Code cap 87 explained

The Zambian Penal Code cap 87 is a piece of legislation that sets out the criminal law of Zambia. It was enacted in 1930 and has since been amended several times, with the most recent amendment being in 2005. The Penal Code is divided into several parts, each dealing with a different aspect of criminal law.

Part I of the Penal Code deals with general principles of criminal liability, including the definition of criminal offences, the principles of criminal responsibility, and the defenses that may be raised by accused persons.

Part II of the Penal Code sets out specific criminal offences, including offences against the person, property, public order, and morality. Some of the offences under Part II include murder, assault, theft, fraud, and bribery.

Part III of the Penal Code deals with criminal procedure, including the arrest, detention, and trial of accused persons. This part also sets out the powers and duties of the police and the courts in criminal cases.

Part IV of the Penal Code deals with the punishment of criminal offences, including the imposition of fines, imprisonment, and other forms of punishment. This part also provides for the application of the death penalty in certain cases.

Overall, the Zambian Penal Code is a critical piece of legislation that provides a comprehensive framework for the regulation of criminal law in Zambia. It plays a vital role in maintaining law and order, protecting the public, and ensuring that justice is served in cases where criminal offences have been committed. The Zambian Penal Code is a lengthy piece of legislation that contains numerous sections and articles.

Here is an overview of the main parts and sections of the Penal Code:

Part I – General Principles of Criminal Liability

Section 2 of Part I sets out the principles of criminal liability, including the definition of criminal offences and the principles of criminal responsibility. This section establishes that a person may only be convicted of a criminal offence if they have committed an act or omission that is prohibited by law, and they have the necessary mental state, such as intent or recklessness, to commit the offence.

Part II – Specific Criminal Offences

Section 200 of Part II deals with the offence of murder, which is punishable by death or life imprisonment. The section defines murder as the intentional killing of another person with malice aforethought, which includes the intention to cause death or grievous bodily harm.

Section 257 of Part II deals with the offence of theft, which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 7 years. The section defines theft as the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another person, with the intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

Section 268 of Part II deals with the offence of bribery, which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years. The section defines bribery as the giving or receiving of any gratification, with the intention to influence the conduct of a public officer in the discharge of their duties.

Part III – Criminal Procedure

Section 7 of Part III deals with the power of arrest, which allows a police officer to arrest a person without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a criminal offence.

Section 40 of Part III deals with bail, which allows an accused person to be released from custody before their trial, subject to certain conditions. This section sets out the factors that a court must consider when deciding whether to grant bail, including the nature and seriousness of the offence, the likelihood of the accused person fleeing, and the risk that they may interfere with witnesses or evidence.

Part IV – Punishment of Criminal Offences

Section 28 of Part IV deals with the imposition of fines, which may be used as an alternative to imprisonment in some cases. The section sets out the factors that a court must consider when deciding on the amount of the fine, including the seriousness of the offence and the financial means of the offender.

Section 63 of Part IV deals with the imposition of the death penalty, which may be used in cases of murder or treason.

This section establishes that the death penalty must only be imposed in the “rarest of the rare” cases, where the crime is of an extremely heinous nature and there is no possibility of reform or rehabilitation of the offender. The section also sets out the procedures that must be followed in cases where the death penalty is imposed, including the right of the offender to appeal the sentence.

Other important sections of the Penal Code include:

  • Section 128, which deals with the offence of rape and sets out the circumstances under which a person may be found guilty of this offence.
  • Section 292, which deals with the offence of forgery and sets out the elements of the offence and the penalties that may be imposed.
  • Section 329, which deals with the offence of public nuisance and sets out the circumstances under which a person may be found guilty of this offence.

Overall, the Zambian Penal Code is a comprehensive piece of legislation that provides a framework for the regulation of criminal law in Zambia. It sets out the elements of various criminal offences, the penalties that may be imposed, and the procedures that must be followed in criminal cases. The Penal Code plays a critical role in maintaining law and order, protecting the public, and ensuring that justice is served in cases where criminal offences have been committed.

Download Penal Code

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