Professor Shannon Hoctor

Professor Shannon Hoctor
Professor Shannon Hoctor Telephone +27 33 260 5376 
Campus   Pietermaritzburg
Building & Room Law Building – Room 2, 1st Floor
Professor Shannon Hoctor


Professor Shannon Hoctor lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Criminal Law and Sentencing at the School of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Cape Town, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Latin from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Professor Hoctor obtained a doctorate in law (DJuris) from the University of Leiden (Netherlands), awarded for a thesis entitled “The Crime of Housebreaking in South African Law – A Comparative Approach”. Professor Hoctor’s academic career began at UCT’s Faculty of Law as a part-time lecturer in specific crimes before he took up a contract teaching post at the University of Port Elizabeth, where he was later appointed to a senior lectureship teaching criminal law and jurisprudence.

After his promotion to associate professor at UPE, Professor Hoctor took up a chair in law at the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal) in Pietermaritzburg, where he has taught since 2002.

Professor Hoctor served as Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal from 2010 to 2011. He has published numerous articles in law journals, along with several chapters in books, and has authored books in criminal law, statutory offences and road traffic law, along with four edited works. He has served as editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of Criminal Justice since 2010, and assistant editor of Obiter since 2002. He is also a member of the editorial board of Fundamina, and a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.

Appointment Designation:

Academic Qualifications:
BA LLB LLM (UCT) DJuris (Leiden) PG Dip (Latin) (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)
Professional Qualifications:

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

Research Interests:
Criminal Law and Legal History.

Research Interests:

  • Criminal Law
  •  Legal History.

Recent Books:

  • South African Criminal Law and Procedure Vol III: Statutory Offences 2ed (1988- , loose-leaf) by JRL Milton, MG Cowling and SV Hoctor, Juta & Co, Cape Town.
  • The Exemplary Scholar: Essays in Honour of John Milton (2007) by SV Hoctor and PJ Schwikkard (eds), Juta & Co, Cape Town.
  • Cooper’s Motor Law: Criminal Liability, Administrative Adjudication & Medico-legal Aspects 2ed (2008- , loose-leaf) by SV Hoctor, Juta & Co, Cape Town (reviewed by J Pieber and B Loots in Stellenbosch Law Review (2009) 359-360; reviewed by A Troskie SC in Advocate (April 2009) 22(1) 49).
  • Stella Iuris: Celebrating 100 years of Teaching Law in Pietermaritzburg (2010) by MA Kidd and SV Hoctor (eds) Juta, Cape Town (reviewed by H Corder in South African Law Journal (2011) 128(4) 785-790).
  • LAWSA Vol 6 2ed ‘Criminal Law’ (2010 replacement volume) by SV Hoctor (JA Faris & LTC Harms (eds)) LexisNexis, Durban.
  • Law, Order and Liberty – Essays in Honour of Tony Mathews (2011) by M Carnelley and SV Hoctor (eds) UKZN Press, Pietermaritzburg (reviewed by D Pretorius and B Ramji in South African Law Journal (2012) 129(3) 591- 600).
  • Criminal Law in South Africa (2013) by SV Hoctor, Kluwer Law, Alphen aan den Rijn. (ISBN: 9789041147288).
  • De Jure Gentium et Civili – Festschrift in Honour of Eltjo Schrage (2014) by M Carnelley, SV Hoctor & A Mukheibir (eds), published electronically by the Faculty of Law, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
    ( (ISBN: 9-780620-550710).

 Papers Delivered: 

  • 13-16 July 2009: (i) “Defining dolus eventualis” and (ii) “The Centre for Criminal Justice – ensuring access to justice” at Conference of the Society of Law Teachers of Southern Africa, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
  • 17-20 January 2011: (i) “Tracing the origins of the defence of non-pathological incapacity in South African criminal law” and (ii) “De minimis non curat lex in the criminal law context” at Society of Teachers of Law of Southern Africa & Southern African Society of Legal Historians Conference, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch.
  • 10-13 July 2012: “The ambit of the crime of robbery” at Conference of the Society of Teachers of Law of Southern Africa, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.
  • 20-21 August 2012: “Decoding dolus eventualis – comparing the rules of delict and criminal law” at Fourth Annual Private Law and Social Justice Conference, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.
  • 13-14 April 2013: “The crime of defamation – is it still defensible in a modern constitutional democracy?” at “Legal Education and Regional Cooperation in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Jurisdictions” – Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) Conference 2013, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
  • 12-16 May 2013: “The development of the crime of arson in South African law” at “Ius est ars boni et aequi” – Southern African Society of Legal Historians Conference, Kwa Maritane, Pilanesberg, South Africa.
  • 19-20 August 2013: “Owners, hunters and wild animals” at Fifth Annual Private Law and Social Justice Conference, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.
  • 18-19 August 2014: “Can finders be keepers? The law of treasure trove” at Sixth Annual Private Law and Social Justice Conference, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.

Professor Shannon Hoctor Publication List for website

Membership of Professional & Other Organisations: 

Vice President of the Southern African Society of Legal Historians; member of the Selden Society, Stair Society, Commonwealth Legal Education Association, and the South African branch of the International Law Association.

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