This Handbook is intended to give guidance to magistrates when they deal with criminal cases. It is particularly aimed at newly appointed magistrates, but it also contains reference material that will be useful for more experienced practitioners. It covers selective aspects of criminal procedure, evidence, substantive law and sentencing.  


The following abbreviations are used throughout this work:


CPEA               Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07]

CL Code           Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]

MCA                 Magistrates Court Act [Chapter 7:10]

HCA                 High Court Act [Chapter 7:06]

SCA                 Supreme Court Act [Chapter 7:13]

The accused person will be referred to throughout as “X” except that where the abbreviation “X” may cause confusion.

Before the establishment of the office of the Prosecutor-General the Attorney-General used to perform the functions now being performed by the Prosecutor-General. Thus in case law decided prior to the establishment of the office of the Prosecutor-General, the reference to “Attorney-General” in respect of prosecution matters should now be understood as a reference to the “Prosecutor-General.”