Analysis of the defination of offensive weapon in relation to aggravated robbery
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This research analyses the definition of "offensive weapon" in relation to aggravated robbery as provided in section 4 (b) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia. One of the determining factors in establishing aggravated robbery is the use of "offensive weapon". In cases where a "firearm" is used it is referred to as "offensive weapon". However, the Penal Code in its definition of "offensive weapon" does not include a "firearm". The Penal Code further assigns the meaning of "firearm" to that provided by the Firearms Act Chapter 110 of the Laws of Zambia, which in turn does not stipulate that a "firearm" is an offensive. This research further considered a comparative analysis how British jurisdiction defines "firearm". Subsequently, justice is said to be achieved and as a consequence the aims and objectives of criminal law when the accused is convicted of aggravated robbery.This study primarily involved desk research in evaluating both primary and secondary data which include Zambian legislation and case law, British legislation and case law; text books, journals, articles and internet respectively. Therefore, this research found that the Penal Code does not define nor include "firearm" in its definition of "offensive weapon". In addition, where a "firearm" is used case law has shown that the courts rule in the same manner as reliance is based on the need to prove that a "firearm" is one as assigned by the Firearms Act. Further, the provision referred to in the Firearms Act by the Penal Code is superfluous. Further, the evaluation of British law shows its provisions may not be borrowed and applied in Zambia. As such, this study recommends that the Penal Code be amended. In addition, the status quo of case law where a "firearm" is used in aggravated robbery must be reviewed so that administration of justice can be seen to be achieved.
- Law