• Danielle Geldenhuys

SALRC issue paper on domestic violence published for comments by 28 February 2022

Updated: Apr 11

The South African Law Reform Commission published Domestic Violence: the Criminal Law Response (Issue Paper 42, Project 100) on 8 December 2021. Comments are invited by 28 February 2022.

The investigation focuses on the need for a specific domestic violence offence or offences.

The following extract from the issue paper indicates the intention of the document:

“7. The issue paper contains questions aimed at discovering the issues at hand and the extent of the need for law reform. The Commission specifically requests comment on the issue paper, particularly the questions which are posed in it…

8. Following the issue paper, the Commission will publish a discussion paper setting out preliminary recommendations and draft legislation, if necessary. The discussion paper will take the public response to the issue paper into account, and will test public opinion on the solutions identified by the Commission. On the strength of these responses a report will be prepared containing the Commission’s final recommendations. The report (with draft legislation, if necessary) will be submitted to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services for his consideration

9. For ease of reference the questions found in the text of the issue paper are arranged below:


1. Do the existing substantive crimes adequately cover domestic violence?

2. If you believe that there should be a single offence of domestic violence, how should it be framed?

3. If you believe that additional substantive crimes, for instance strangulation/suffocation are needed, how should they be framed?

4. If you believe that there should not be additional substantive crimes, what additional legislative measures or other measures might be required to ensure that the act of strangulation or domestic violence is treated with the necessary caution?

5. What measures should be put in place or changed to remove barriers to accessing the criminal justice system for victims of domestic violence?

6. Should a victim of domestic violence have the choice of engaging a civil remedy rather than a criminal one to address domestic violence? Please explain your reasoning.

7. What additional sentencing or preventative measures might be required? For instance, should it be possible to forewarn a victim/potential victim of the potential danger a repeat offender of a domestic violence offence might hold and if so, how?”

View the issue paper at https://www.justice.gov.za/salrc/ipapers/ip42-prj100-DomesticViolence.pdf and the media statement on this matter by South African Law Reform Commission at


Date posted: 13 December 2021

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