Re-examination of corroboration requirement in sexual offences and children’s evidence in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This work is essentially an examination of the validity of the requirement of corroboration as sine qua non in providing sexual offences and in giving weight to children’s evidence. It is, in fact, an enquiry into the justifications of this requirement and its application in Tanzania. The study is specifically geared towards evaluating the reasons which caused the creation of the ‘magic rule’ of corroboration as referred to by Salmond J. In the case of R V. O’REILLY (1967) 2 Q.B 272. The underlying assumption of the requirement, among others, is that when women and children are involved in sexual matters they tend to give false statements of that exactly led to their being victims. Women, it is argued give untrue up the embarrassment of having consented to the act of the offender. Children, on the other hand, are said to easily influenced by adults. This has led to undesirable results in court cases whereby conviction of the guilty and acquittal of the innocent become difficult to achieve. As a result sexual offences and child abuse are on the increase .There is theoretical and empirical evidence to that effect as supported by field research in Dar es laam , Mwanza and Tabora municipalities. The study explores the problems arising from the requirements of corroboration in the foregoing instances and how they may be overcome. It is argued in this work that to make the process of administration of justice effective in such cases ordinary standard of proof used in other cases should equally be applied to them without necessarily requiring corroboration. On the basis of the foregoing study, it is proposed that the requirement should be removed as has been done in other jurisdictions.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF HV6555.T3R8)
Sexual offences, Children and evidence, Sex crimes, Tanzania
Ruhangisa, J. E