ACJR engages in high quality legal and empirical research, advocacy and empowerment which supports criminal justice reform in Africa. ACJR is a project of the Dullah Omar Institute at the University of the Western Cape.
Latest News
  • African Court declares vagrancy offences are incompatible with the African Charter and other key regional human rights instruments.
    On 4 December 2020, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights unanimously ... On 4 December 2020, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights unanimously held that vagrancy laws and related by-laws are incompatible with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women.
    Dec 07, 2020
  • South Africa's High Court orders state to ensure police and soldiers act within the law under Disaster Management Act regulations
    On 10 April 2020, Mr Collins Khosa was brutalised, tortured and murdered in his ... On 10 April 2020, Mr Collins Khosa was brutalised, tortured and murdered in his own home by security forces deployed to enforce South Africa's Disaster Management Act ("lockdown") regulations. The family of Mr Khosa brought an application to court to attempt to ensure such brutality does not happen again. The court ordered the Minister and various agencies of state to take a range of preventative measures. The state was ordered to pay costs.
    May 15, 2020
  • Prisons, overcrowding and preventing Covid-19 transmission
    Over 163,000 people are in correctional facilities in South Africa. Outbreaks of ... Over 163,000 people are in correctional facilities in South Africa. Outbreaks of Covid-19 in these prisons can have catastrophic consequences for both prisoners and the public healthcare system.
    Apr 30, 2020
  • ACJR Publications
  • Recommendations for reform of the National Prosecuting Authority
    Following from previous work, this report looks at seven areas of reform for the ... Following from previous work, this report looks at seven areas of reform for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). By its own admission the NPA is facing a long list of challenges, internally and externally. This report proposes seven areas of reform that can over the short to medium term, if followed, make a substantial and constructive contribution to rebuilding trust in the NPA. The seven areas are: • the appointment of the NDPP and other senior officials • the dismissal of the NDPP • the prosecution policy directives • referrals from other agencies • informal mediation • structuring the clusters of the NPA • general oversight. An unavoidable conclusion is that law reform is needed since the current legal framework enabled the hollowing-out and misuse of the NPA.
    Nov 11, 2020
  • Alternativas à prisão em Moçambique: A implementação do trabalho socialmente útil
    Em Dezembro de 2020 entrarão em vigor em Moçambique o Código Penal revisto, o ... Em Dezembro de 2020 entrarão em vigor em Moçambique o Código Penal revisto, o novo Código de Processo Penal e o Código de Execução das Penas. Embora serão introduzidas mudanças substanciais relacionadas com as alternativas à prisão e especificamente ao trabalho socialmente útil (TSU), este relatório avalia a implementação do TSU em Moçambique entre 2015 e 2019. Examina o seu uso pelos tribunais e a implementação pelo Serviço Nacional Penitenciário (SERNAP). As conclusões apontam para vários problemas de implementação, como o seu uso pouco frequente pelos tribunais, bem como desafios na monitoria dos infractores pelo Serviço de Penas Alternativas à Pena de Prisão (SPAPP). Vários problemas sistémicos foram encontrados, como falta de gestão, directrizes processuais e formações e falta de recursos materiais e financeiros necessários para a implementação efectiva do TSU. Independentemente de uma nova estrutura legal, é evidente que será necessário retirar lições valiosas do período em análise. Nas conclusões, o relatório aponta algumas recomendações para abordar as deficiências.
    Oct 07, 2020
  • Alternatives to imprisonment in Mozambique: The implementation of community service orders
    In December 2020 a revised Penal Code and new Criminal Procedure Code and Code o ... In December 2020 a revised Penal Code and new Criminal Procedure Code and Code on the Implementation of Penalties will enter into force in Mozambique. While substantial changes related to alternatives to imprisonment and specifically to community service will be introduced, this report assesses the implementation of community service orders (CSO) in Mozambique between 2015 and 2019. It examines its use by the courts and implementation by the Department for Corrections. The findings point to several implementation problems, such as its infrequent if not rare use by the courts as well as challenges in monitoring offenders by the Service for Alternatives to Imprisonment. A number of systemic problems were found, such as the lack of management, procedural guidelines, and training; understaffing, and a serious lack of material and financial resources necessary for the effective implementation of CSO. Regardless of a new legal framework, it is submitted that valuable lessons need to be taken from the period under review. Based on the findings, the report concludes with recommendations to address the shortcomings.
    Oct 07, 2020
  • Recommendations for reform of the National Prosecuting Authority
    Following from previous work, this report looks at seven areas of reform for the ... Following from previous work, this report looks at seven areas of reform for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). By its own admission the NPA is facing a long list of challenges, internally and externally. This report proposes seven areas of reform that can over the short to medium term, if followed, make a substantial and constructive contribution to rebuilding trust in the NPA. The seven areas are: • the appointment of the NDPP and other senior officials • the dismissal of the NDPP • the prosecution policy directives • referrals from other agencies • informal mediation • structuring the clusters of the NPA • general oversight. An unavoidable conclusion is that law reform is needed since the current legal framework enabled the hollowing-out and misuse of the NPA.
    Aug 31, 2020
  • Events
  • Democratic Policing – a conceptual framework to make this happen
    28 October 2020: Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) and the Civilian Secretar ... 28 October 2020: Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Services are hosting a webinar on 28 October 2020 on democratic policing and what this means for South Africa.
    Oct 21, 2020
  • Virtual Regional Conference on Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa
    14 - 16 September: Virtual Regional Conference on Decriminalisation of Petty Off ... 14 - 16 September: Virtual Regional Conference on Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa.
    Sep 01, 2020
  • Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman 2019/2020 Annual Performance Report
    12 August 2020: Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) is hosting a discussion wi ... 12 August 2020: Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) is hosting a discussion with the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman, Johan Brand, regarding his office’s 2019/20 Annual Performance Report. The Western Cape is the only province in South Africa with a Police Ombudsman and thus presents a unique opportunity to explore this institution.
    Jul 31, 2020
  • Multimedia
    ACJR on Twitter
    ACJReform : RT @LHR_SA: PRESS STATEMENT | Victory for LHR and @SonkeTogether in Con Court over independence of the Judicial Inspectorate of Correction…
    Dec 11, 2020 08:45 AM
    ACJReform : A victory for us as the African Court ruled today that vagrancy laws such as loitering, being idle & disorderly are… https://t.co/C2viUyyfBM
    Dec 04, 2020 03:25 PM
    ACJReform : RT @ConCourtSA: (1/2) Judgment: Sections 88A(1)(b) and 91 of the Correctional Services Act undermine the independence of the Judicial Inspe…
    Dec 04, 2020 01:25 PM
    ACJReform : Today the Constitutional Court in Sonke Gender Justice vs. President and Others confirmed the constitutional invali… https://t.co/jfNWkpLhY1
    Dec 04, 2020 01:24 PM
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