ACJR Publications

This section contains ACJR publications and those of CSPRI (Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative), its predecessor.
The African Commission’s Guidelines on Pre-trial Detention: Implications for Angola and Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 01, 2014

On 8 May 2014, in Luanda (Angola), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted the Guidelines on the Use and Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-trial Detention in Africa. Shortly after the adoption of the Guidelines, the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI) of the Community Law Centre at the University of Western Cape (South Africa) co-hosted on 21-22 May 2014 a workshop in partnership with the Mozambican Institute of Legal Aid (Instituto de Patrocínio e Assistência Jurídica, IPAJ), in Maputo, to begin a debate on the implementation of the Guidelines in Mozambique and Angola.

Journal Article: Unsustainable and unjust: Criminal justice policy and remand detention since 1994
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2014

The ‘tough on crime’ approach embodied in bail and sentencing law has had a profound impact on the trends around remand detention, including prison overcrowding of such an extent that it is estimated to have contributed to an additional 8 500 natural deaths in custody. Ultimately the policies have led, in practice, to an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ effect: fewer people are being tried and sentenced, while more than ever are denied their freedom without ever being tried in a court of law.

Budget Vote Submission
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 27, 2013

The submission is made in response to the 2013/14 Budget Vote as accompanied by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Strategic Plan 2013/14 - 2016/17 and Performance Plan 2013/14 - 2016/17. The submission deals with three broad issues: (1) alignment between the Strategic Plan and the budget, (2) creating safer prisons, and (3) rehabilitation and reintegration. The latter two focal areas are in response to a general request from the Portfolio Committee for submissions on these two issues.

Submission to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 17, 2012

CSPRI made a submission to the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha. Bearing in mind the obligations under the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, the recommendations touch upon meaningful independent oversight, including at the provincial level; improved training of law enforcement officials; prompt and impartial investigations of allegations of torture; and public co-operation.

Submission on the JICS Annual Report 2011/12
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 09, 2012

With this submission, CSPRI wishes to draw the Portfolio Committee’s attention to the fact that since its establishment in 2000, the JICS has not been the subject of a review process scrutinising whether it is indeed advancing prisoners’ rights in South Africa. CSPRI submits that continuous and regular review is necessary in order for state institutions to adapt to changing needs and improve efficiency and effectiveness. The submission discusses the independence of JICS and the current investigative regime and encourages JICS to include recommendations, based on national and international law and jurisprudence, whenever it reports concerns.

Submissions on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill [B21 of 2012]
Author: Berber
Published: Aug 01, 2012

CSPRI made the following submissions to Parliament on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill. These submissions represent the views of a group of organisations and address, primarily, whether the contents of the Bill comply fully with the obligations imposed on the state in terms of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). These submissions also include recommendations on what the Bill should include and / or exclude as well as suggestions on how the text could be amended.

Fact Sheets
  • Fact Sheet 17: The right of prisoners to vote in Africa (Updated)
    This fact-sheet provides a brief update on the right of prisoners to vote in Afr ... This fact-sheet provides a brief update on the right of prisoners to vote in Africa. There have been substantive advances and breakthroughs in the promotion of this right as courts in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and most recently in Uganda have granted prisoners the right to vote. In Mozambique, the Ombudsman has made a recommendation that measures be put in place to allow prisoners to vote in future elections. The enfranchisement of prisoners is a positive step in the promotion of their basic human rights, it is therefore important that countries on the continent that are still lagging behind consider the above examples and follow suit.
    Jul 13, 2020
  • Fact Sheet 25: Arrest without a warrant in Malawi
    This fact sheet deals with arrest without a warrant in Malawi. Currently in Mala ... This fact sheet deals with arrest without a warrant in Malawi. Currently in Malawi there remain laws on the statutes that have not been tested against constitutional requirements resulting in all likelihood in arrests that are not compliant with the Constitution.
    May 12, 2020
  • Fact Sheet 24: Arrest without a warrant in Kenya
    This fact sheet focuses on arrest without a warrant in Kenya. Currently in Kenya ... This fact sheet focuses on arrest without a warrant in Kenya. Currently in Kenya the situation has been complicated by the legislative powers granted to the counties and some have used this opportunity to expand policing powers.
    May 12, 2020
Reports & Articles
  • 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
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