Did Mpshe plagiarise a Hong Kong judge?

NameOfBeast

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James Myburgh on politicsweb:

Having read these extracts Mpshe rather eloquently concluded: "It is against this broad principle of abuse of process that the conduct of Mr McCarthy must be seen and tested. The question for close consideration is encapsulated in expressions such as ‘so gravely wrong', ‘gross neglect of the elementary principles of fairness', ‘so unfair and wrong', ‘misusing or manipulating the process of the court.' If the conduct can be so categorized, it would be unconscionable for the trial to continue."

At this point it is useful to divert to a judgment handed down by Justice Conrad Seagroatt of the Hong Kong High Court on December 13 2002 (see here). One section is headed "The abuse of process - the perennial dilemma" and it - rather strikingly - cites all the British Commonwealth judgments that Mpshe's statement referred to. Even more strikingly the phrases quoted are almost all the same as well - give or take some self-serving summarising, truncation and rewriting by the NPA (see below).

Most strikingly of all are Justice Seagrott's concluding remarks. These seem to presage by some six-and-a-half years - almost to the word - the Mpshe comments quoted above. "It is against this evolved statement of broad principle" Seagrott wrote, "that the prosecution's failures and shortcomings with regard to disclosure must be seen and tested. Those for close consideration are best summed up by such expressions as ‘so gravely wrong', ‘gross neglect of the elementary principles of fairness', ‘so unfair and wrong', ‘misusing or manipulating the process of the court'. If those failures can properly be so categorized, are they such as to make it unconscionable that a re-trial should go forward?" (My emphasis)

It is rather remarkable how Mpshe's opinion of McCarthy so closely resembles that of Justice Seagrott's opinion of the prosecution in his case in Hong Kong. Their conclusions are rather similar as well. Just as Mpshe decided that "an intolerable abuse has occurred which compels a discontinuation of the prosecution", Seagrott ruled that "the failures constitute an intolerable abuse which compel intervention. Accordingly I order a permanent stay on these proceedings."

http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=125134&sn=Detail
 

grayston

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Legalese sounds the same a lot of the time and certain phrases are used time and again.

"Legalese"? That implies that the decision to drop the Zuma prosecution was based on legal factors.

Now, I don't know if the ANC has taught you anything, but here in South Africa we don't stand for such gross misrepresentations of the truth!
 

Vrotappel

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LOL anybody actually thinks that Mpshe wrote it himself? Whoever wrote it for him most probably 'borrowed' from the Hong Kong High Court judgment.
 

Arthur

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It's not a question of legalese being the same - it's the construction and turn of phrase, the choice and sequence of exponents, that ineluctably lead one to suspect the earlier text was before the writer of the later. Borrowing phrases or arguments is not per se bad or wrong -- indeed, in legal argument it's generally desirable and good. What is wrong is the failure to attribute or acknowledge the source.
 

Drake2007

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Look past the legalese, Mpshe follows the Judges same strategy almost verbatim. Good to see that same strategy failed.
 

Drake2007

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Mokotedi Mpshe to resign after revelations that he borrowed from a Hong Kong court ruling in his reasoning for dropping the Jacob Zuma case.

"This implies the NPA never bothered to apply its mind to the evidence before it, and that, instead, the NPA had a conclusion in mind before it started and worked backwards to find a justification"

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-04-15-da-demands-mpshe-resign
 

RetroBok

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That's a bloody good point, as I seriously doubt it was a coincidence he blubbered the same words, which then asks the question how long had he prepared the judgement for? Which then leads to all sorts of other questions....

All leading to the answer of. Zuma was guilty, it got covered up and the NPA has been breached big time which bodes very badly for the future of SA law and justice.
 

TheREV

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AFAIK, Justice Seagroatt's ruling was overturned on appeal. Maybe the same will happen here? (hint to opposition: read the appeal!)
 

charlie_82

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So long as you don't charge me for it :)

No,seriously, a student who submitted work like that (without attribution) would get an appointment to see the dean. Maybe lawyers are more relaxed about things like that,

+1
The issue that both cases had the same outcome, but Mpshe pretty much quoted Seagroatt almost word for word
 

JungleBoy

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The issue that both cases had the same outcome, but Mpshe pretty much quoted Seagroatt almost word for word

nothing wrong with quoting...but... plagiarising (not acknowledging the source) is kind of serious and can get one into a lot of trouble....
 
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