Home Contact Us Maps Links The Constitution Marikana
| More

SAHRC provides human rights recommendations on DNA Bill to Parliament's Committee on Security and Constitutional Development

09th October 2013

Attention: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission presented a submission to Parliament’s Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development after it received a request from the Committee to present a human rights perspective to the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill also known as the ‘DNA’ Bill.  Earlier this year, the Commission provided a submission on the original draft of the Bill to the Portfolio Committee on Police.

The Bill seeks to establish a national DNA database and will regulate the collection and retention of DNA samples.  Commissioner Danny Titus led the SAHRC delegation and noted the inclusion of several of the initial SAHRC recommendations in the re-drafted version of the Bill. The SAHRC’s second submission provides a number of recommendations to the Committee to strengthen the Bill, specifically proposing the inclusion of provisions relating to children and persons with disabilities.

The SAHRC also took concern with the composition of the National Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board which will act as a complaints-handling body and monitor the implementation of the Bill.  The draft legislation provides for the Commission to serve as a permanent member of the Board.  However, the SAHRC reiterated that this infringes on the independence of the Commission as a Chapter 9 constitutional body and may result in conflict of interest should complaints be lodged with the SAHRC against the Oversight and Ethics Board.

In discussions on the submission, members mentioned the successes and failures of comparative jurisdictions which have relied on advanced DNA evidence and questioned whether international human rights norms and standards have applicability in South Africa.

“There comes a time in human rights protection and monitoring, where countries have to sit together and look at how best to protect human rights through drawing on best practice and examples from one another,” Commissioner Titus told the Committee.  He further clarified the role of South Africa’s international obligations and reminded members of the constitutional imperative that, ‘international law must be considered when interpreting human rights’.

Commissioner Titus recognised the advancements of DNA evidence in the fight against crime and requested parliamentarians to be ‘mindful of human rights’ in their further considerations on the Bill.

The Select Committee welcomed the inputs by the Commission and acknowledged that further discussion on the issue is required.

ENDS
Issued by:
The SA Human Rights Commission
For more information, please contact:
Isaac Mangena
Spokesperson, SAHRC
0718848273

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



- See more at: http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/constitution/index.html#sthash.vQme5ODl.dpuf

The South African Constitution

The Commission is available on social media

SAHRC TWITTER.jpg One.jpg @SAHRCommission

Facebook-Icon.jpg SA Human Rights Commission

YOU1.png SAHRC 1


To lodge a human rights violation complaint, click here.

or Call 011 877 3600
e-mail: complaints@sahrc.org.za

Provincial contact details are available here

 



PAIA section 14 Manual.jpg


MEDIA STATEMENTS

SAHRC launches investigation into allegations of racism at University of the Free State
SAHRC finalizing report on complaints against King Goodwill Zwelithini
SAHRC response to ANC petition on racism
International Disability Day – SAHRC calls for employers to do more
SAHRC welcomes Supreme Court judgment on the delivery of textbooks in Limpopo


SAHRC NEWSLETTER

Pfanelo January Edition


Upcoming Events

  • 20 year Anniversary Celebration

 

Report any fraudulent and/or unethical behavior taking place in the Commission anonymously to the SAHRC Tip-offs Line.

FreeCall: 0800 222 365
Email: sahrc@tip-offs.com
FreeFax: 0800 00 77 88
FreePost: KZN 138, Umhlanga Rocks 4320
Website: www.tip-offs.com

Independently managed by the Office of the Public Service Commission.



 

SAHRC Programmes

Since its establishment, the SAHRC has dedicated itself to:
•  Raising awareness;
•  Monitoring and assessment;
•  Education and training
•  Addressing human rights violations

How can the SAHRC help?

The SAHRC promotes, protects and monitors human rights in South Africa. It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implemen-
tation of PAIA.

Calendar

08 March – International Women’s Day
21 March - Human Rights Day
27 April – Freedom day
1 May - Workers day
03 May – World Press Freedom Day

[See more]