Critics are of the view that such laws interfere with the rights of parents to raise their children and are a form of cruel punishment. Additional criticism raised is that parental responsibility laws impose strict liability on parents.
The South African law of delict is briefly contiguously considered in the context of parental responsibility laws. Furthermore, some misgivings have been shed that many parents face challenges of being single parents or poverty, which will be exacerbated with the imposition of fines or imprisonment for the misconduct of their children.
The concept of parental criminal responsibility laws under South African law is then considered and proffered as a useful mechanism to regulate misconduct of children currently falling outside the aegis of the criminal law.
The purpose behind tort parental responsibility legislation focuses not only on providing monetary compensation by parents where their children are unable to do so, but also aims to encourage parents to provide better supervision of their children.
The reasoning behind the implementation of specific legislation in the United States is that the common law principles are rooted on the principles of individualisation, which does not specifically cater for parental liability. The common law of tort provides for the liability of parents for the conduct of their child.
How Long is the Arm of the Law? Parental responsibility laws have been challenged constitutionally over the years in the United States. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the focus of statutory criminalisation tends to remain on criminal liability of parents for failing to protect others from their child, due to a failure in supervision and to prevent juvenile delinquency.
As South African law has been swayed by legal philosophy of Anglo-American jurisprudence, a comparative analysis is undertaken with the United States of America, where this issue has been addressed legislatively in both civil tort law and criminal law.Essays in honour of Huldigingsbundel vir CR Snyman JJ Joubert Editor/Redakteur University of South Africa, Pretoria Universiteit van Suid-Afrika, Pretoria.
Joubert is the author of Criminal Procedure Handbook ( avg rating, 4 ratings, 0 reviews, published ), Essays in honour of CR Snyman / Huldig /5(4).
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