Sign-up: Critical Criminal Law: Lectures


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28 Double Lectures – covering the full range of principles of criminal law in South Africa.

First lecture: 10 March 2018.

First reading – waiting …

Cost: R2000 (+vat)

Course Description

This course offers clear explanations of the law as it is – starting from basic principles and working to the point where students will be able to consider for themselves whether, what the law is, is what it ought to be.

The course consists of 28 double lectures covering the entire breadth of the principles of criminal law. No prior knowledge of law or criminal law is required.

The lectures will take the form of videos which – once released – you can watch whenever it suits you. They will be given by James Grant who will present the lectures as if one were sitting in his class. His style is to “chalk-and-talk” – that is, to begin with a blank slate (chalkboard or whiteboard) and to explain concepts with illustrations he will draw or write up on the board. The material is explained and illustrated in live time as one watches.

This method is adopted so that students are able to see and follow the development of the concept. For that reason slides and pre-prepared material are not relied on. Each lecture starts with nothing – a blank slate – and draws you along as basic and complex concepts are broken down and explained.

Note taking is recommended in order to engage different memory paths in your brain and to help you focus. All you need is a brain and something to write on.

This is your chance to access difficult concepts that would ordinarily remain a perplexing mystery.


The course covers the following topics:


  1. Introduction
  2. Criminal Law in 4D
  3. Contemporaneity


  1. Introduction and general principles
  2. Voluntariness
  3. Antecedent Liability
  4. Conduct
  5. Causation


  1. Introduction and general principles
  2. Private Defence
  3. Necessity
  4. Consent


  1. Introduction and general principles
  2. Capacity to Appreciate the Wrongfulness of One’s Conduct
  3. Capacity to Conduct oneself in accordance with an Appreciation of Wrongfulness and Voluntariness
  4. Pathological Non-Responsibility
  5. Non-pathological Non-Responsibility


  1. Introduction and general principles
  2. Intention
  3. Negligence


  1. Introduction and general principles
  2. Fault in Statutory Offences
  3. Participation in crime
  4. Attempts