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
  • Fact Sheet 9: Failing to discipline in SAPS
    Recent media reports showed again how police officials grossly misused their pow ... Recent media reports showed again how police officials grossly misused their power and, against departmental prescripts, used a 'sjambok' to assault a man for apparently not wearing a mask. Such reports are not isolated and have a very direct impact on trust in the police and thus the legitimacy of the police. The core of the problem seems to be twofold (1) that SAPS managers are not enforcing the internal disciplinary code, and (2) the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) very rarely prosecutes police officials, especially for human rights violations. We have updated ACJR Fact sheet 9 (originally published in February 2019) with statistics for the past two financial years and it appears that the situation has worsened. This does not bode well for general trust in the state and specifically in the police. There is little sense in tough talk about law enforcement when the police themselves are not being held accountable and increasingly regarded as hostile to the general public.
    Jan 28, 2021
  • Folha Informativa 15 (Port.): Policiamento Democrático: Um Quadro Conceptual
    Esta folha informativa discute o policiamento democrático como significando: (1 ... Esta folha informativa discute o policiamento democrático como significando: (1) a obediência da Polícia ao Estado de Direito, (2) a responsabilização da Polícia, e (3) a justiça processual por parte da Polícia ao serviço do público. Nove dimensões necessárias ao policiamento democrático são identificadas, sendo que o resultado final pretendido é a confiança pública na Polícia, algo que resulta da sua legitimidade. O quadro conceptual apresentado não se destina apenas a descrever o policiamento democrático, mas também a orientar o planeamento estratégico nas organizações policiais, incluindo a Polícia da República de Moçambique (PRM).
    Jan 24, 2021
  • ACJR Specific Submission 2 on the draft SAPS Amendment Bill
    This submission considers a selection of the provisions of the draft SAPS Bill 2 ... This submission considers a selection of the provisions of the draft SAPS Bill 2020 affecting local and provincial government.
    Nov 26, 2020
  • ACJR General Submission 1 on the draft SAPS Amendment Bill
    This submission deals with two issues (1) Coordination across the criminal justi ... This submission deals with two issues (1) Coordination across the criminal justice system (2) Priorities for reform in SAPS as they pertain to the draft SAPS Amendment Bill 2020.
    Nov 26, 2020
  • Events
  • The one-year ‘unwanted anniversary’ of COVID-19 restrictions: Reviewing the 2020 lockdown
    26 March 2021: This webinar reviews the imposition of a “hard” lockdown on 2 ... 26 March 2021: This webinar reviews the imposition of a “hard” lockdown on 26 March 2020 by the South African government. It forms part of a series on the "unwanted anniversary" from the various units of the Dullah Omar Institute. This webinar focuses on the balancing of rights and the use of the criminal justice system in imposing restrictions in South Africa.
    Mar 19, 2021
  • Review of the 2019/20 Annual Report of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)
    17 March 2021: This webinar will review the 2019/2020 Annual Report of the Natio ... 17 March 2021: This webinar will review the 2019/2020 Annual Report of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
    Mar 10, 2021
  • Review of South Africa's Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services Annual Report 2019/2021
    3 March 2021: This webinar will review South Africa's Judicial Inspectorate for ... 3 March 2021: This webinar will review South Africa's Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services' Annual Report 2019/2021.
    Mar 01, 2021
  • 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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