Article on the Zambian Criminal Justice System and the Place for Victims of Crime

Publication Information

Journal Title: Commonwealth Law Review Journal
Author(s): Kafwilu Kamenji Chinambu
Published On: 25/08/2023
Volume: 9
First Page: 403
Last Page: 414
ISSN: 2581-3382
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Kafwilu Kamenji Chinambu, Article on the Zambian Criminal Justice System and the Place for Victims of Crime, Volume 9, Commonwealth Law Review Journal, 403-414, Published on 25/08/2023, Available at


Criminal law is the branch of law that deals with offenses against public morality and punishable by law. Criminal law operates through a complex system known as the Criminal Justice System. The Zambian criminal justice system is an arrangement that consists of the sources of criminal law in Zambia, the institutions, and personnel involved in the implementation and enforcement of criminal laws in Zambia. Among the functions of the criminal justice system is to ensure that people know where to find the law. Once they know where to find the law, they must also understand what the law is about. For example, they need to appreciate the nature of the law and what it seeks to provide.

After understanding what it stands for, they should know how this law can protect them. It is undisputed that law has several functions, one of which is to protect society. There are a number of institutions established to deal with crimes, including the Zambia Police Service, The National Prosecution Authority, The Courts, and other stakeholders. Criminal law operates under several theories, including the deterrent theory, reformative theory, and retributive theories. However, despite the efforts that the Zambian government is putting in to curb crimes, Zambia continues to experience high levels of crime. Crime has increased by 62.45% in the past three years, which is worrisome.

Much of the focus on crime is put mainly on the offender, and once the offender is dealt with, the case concludes. One very important aspect of criminal law is the plight of the victim. It appears that the victim of a crime has no place in the Zambian criminal justice system, as they are left to their families and communities for care. This could actually have a negative impact on the entire criminal justice system, which requires immediate attention. Perhaps it could be one of the reasons why the crime level keeps escalating.

It is worth noting that if victims of crime were to have a special place in the criminal justice system, this could help in crime prevention and punishment.

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Keywords: Zambian Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, Zambia Police Service

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