CHAPTER 07:01
INQUESTS

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

 

   SECTION

 

 

 

   1.   Short title

 

   2.   Interpretation

 

   3.   Duty to notify death

 

   4.   Duty of Chief or Sub-Chief to report

 

   5.   Duty of police officers

 

   6.   Method of investigation

 

   7.   Duty of administrative officer

 

   8.   Power to order exhumation

 

   9.   Medical practitioner may dissect body

 

   10.   Offence to obstruct investigation or examination

 

   11.   Venue of inquests

 

   12.   Power to subpoena witnesses

 

   13.   Evidence to be taken on oath or by affidavit

 

   14.   Rules of evidence not to apply

 

   15.   Penalty for refusing to answer questions

 

   16.   False evidence

 

   17.   Evidence: how recorded

 

   18.   Duty of presiding officer where crime disclosed

 

   19.   Transmission of record to Registrar

 

   20.   Duty of Registrar

 

   21.   Powers of Director of Public Prosecutions

 

   22.   Witness fees and expenses

 

   23.   Mine accidents

 

   24.   Penalty where body is buried without authority and alternative verdicts

 

   25.   Saving of power of arrest

 

   26.   Non-commissioned officer may administer oaths

 

   27.   President may prescribe fees for medical practitioners

 

 

Proc. 38, 1954,
Proc. 51, 1956,
Proc. 77, 1957,
Cap. 34, 1959,
Law 39, 1962,
HMC Order 1, 1963,
Law 40, 1964,
L.N. 84, 1966,
S.I. 36, 1975,
S.I. 10, 1976,
Act 14, 2005,
Act 18, 2006.

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the holding of inquests and matters ancillary thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 3rd September, 1954]

 

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Inquests Act.

 

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "magistrate" means any person appointed as Magistrate Grade I or over in accordance with the Magistrates' Courts Act;

   "medical practitioner" means any person registered or entitled to be registered or to practise as a medical practitioner in Botswana in terms of the Botswana Health Professions Act;

   "presiding officer" means any magistrate holding or about to hold an inquest in terms of this Act;

   "Registrar" means the Registrar of the High Court;

   18 of 2006, s. 2."State Counsel" means any professional assistant appointed to assist the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

3.   Duty to notify death

   (1) It shall be the duty of every person-

 

   (a)   who finds the dead body of a person who appears to have come by his death otherwise than from natural causes,

 

   (b)   to whom the knowledge of any such death may come; or

 

   (c)   to whom any such death is reported,

to notify as soon as possible the finding, knowledge or report, together with any other facts in connection therewith which are known to him, to an administrative officer, or to the person in charge of the nearest police station or police post, or to the nearest Chief or Sub-Chief.

   (2) Any person who fails to comply with or contravenes any provision of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding P100 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

 

4.   Duty of Chief or Sub-Chief to report

   (1) It shall be the duty of every Chief or Sub-Chief who receives a report under section 3(1) to transmit such report forthwith to an administrative officer, or to the person in charge of the nearest police station or police post, together with any other facts in connection therewith which are known to him.

   (2) Any Chief or Sub-Chief who fails to comply with or contravenes any provision of this section shall be guilty of an offence, and liable to a fine not exceeding P220 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both.

 

5.   Duty of police officers

   It shall be the duty of any police officer on receiving

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