An evaluation of the courts' powers to amend an indictment and its impact on the delivery of justice in Zambia

Thumbnail Image
Nundwe, Dina
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This dissertation deals with the courts' powers to amend an indictment and its impact on the delivery of justice in Zambia. In discussing the subject matter, the research sets the scene by zoning in on how prosecutors prepare an indictment in readiness for trial making sure all the information is accurate. Further, it shows how the courts exercise their powers to amend indictments pursuant to section 213 and 273 of the Criminal Procedure Code.The dissertation through research, interviews and questionnaires found that it is fundamental for the courts to exercise their powers to amend an indictment as early as the prosecution's case to avoid any prejudice to the accused person in his defence. Conversely, the effect of not amending an indictment at an early stage results to justice not being served not only to the accused person,but in some instances to the victim and the society at large. In this respect this paper makes recommendations for the proper training of officers in the criminal justice system, mainly targeting the prosecution because they prepare the indictment and make application for amendment to the courts. This dissertation further recommends that the law on amendment of indictments should be revised to the extent of making the effects of amending and not amending an indictment more pronounced. The judiciary moreover should be adequately funded with trained personnel that will help both the prosecution and the courts when issues of amendment arise due to the bulk of cases they deal with. The dissertation further calls for the strict compliance with the law to avoid case delays and grave financially expenses on the accused, finally, in order for the courts' powers to amend indictments to be more operational and efficient, the dissertation recommends that there be co ordination and cooperation between the prosecution and the defense in making application to amend an indictment to the courts
Indictments---Zambia , Joinder of Offenses