PLEA NEGOTIATIONS AND AGREEMENTS ACT
Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title
3. Declaration of certain existing rights
4. Plea negotiation
5. Exercise by public prosecutor of certain powers
6. Legal representation
7. Plea agreement
8. Victim to be informed of plea agreement
9. Public prosecutor to notify court of existence of plea agreement
10. Court not bound by plea agreement
11. Matters for consideration of court before accepting plea agreement
12. Refusal by court to accept plea agreement
13. Effect of accepting plea agreement
14. Accepted plea agreement to form part of record
15. Withdrawal from plea agreement
16. Admissibility of plea agreement, etc.
17. Sealing of records of plea negotiations
18. Obligation for secrecy
19. Grant of legal aid
to provide for the introduction and implementation of plea negotiations and plea agreements in the criminal justice system and for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.
[16th April, 2010]
Act 20 of 2010.
This Act may be cited as the Plea Negotiations and Agreements Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“court” means a High Court or a subordinate court;
“legal practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it in the Legal Practitioners Act;
“plea agreement” means an agreement made pursuant to section 4;
“plea negotiation” means any negotiation carried out between an accused person or the accused person’s legal representative, and a public prosecutor in relation to the accused person pleading guilty to a lesser offence than the offence charged or to one of multiple charges in return for any concession or benefit in relation to which charges are to be proceeded with;
“public prosecutor” has the meaning assigned to it in the Criminal Procedure Code; and
“victim” in relation to an offence, means a person who has suffered actual physical bodily harm, loss of any kind, mental illness or mental shock as a direct result of an act or omission involved in the offence.
(1) Nothing in this Act affects the right of an accused person to plead guilty to a charge without entering into any plea negotiation or a plea agreement.
(2) Except as expressly agreed by a public prosecutor in a plea agreement, nothing in this Act affects the powers conferred upon the public prosecutor under the Constitution or any other written law.
(1) Subject to section 6, where a public prosecutor considers it desirable in any case, or where the circumstances of the case so warrant, the public prosecutor may, at any time before judgment and in accordance with the provisions of this Act, enter into a plea negotiation with the accused person for the purpose of reaching an agreement in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (3), for the disposition of any charge against the accused person.
(2) An accused person may, at any time before judgment and in accordance with the provisions of this Act, enter into a plea negotiation with a public prosecutor for the purpose of reaching an agreement in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (3), for the disposition of any charge against the accused person.
(3) An agreement under sub-section (1) shall require that—
(a) the accused person undertakes to—
(i) make a guilty plea to an offence which is disclosed on the facts on which the charge against the accused person is based; and
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