ACJR Publications

This section contains ACJR publications and those of CSPRI (Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative), its predecessor.
An Audit of the Criminal Justice System in Kenya
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 23, 2017

The 2010 Constitution ushered in a new era for governance in Kenya, with notable emphasis on rights codified in the Bill of Rights under Chapter Four of the Constitution. It is against this background that, under the auspices of the National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ), the Legal Resources Foundation Trust (LRF) and Resources Oriented Development Initiatives (RODI-Kenya) - with technical support from University of Western Cape South Africa - CSPRI and financial support from Open Society Foundations - partnered to conduct an audit study on Kenya’s Criminal Justice System. The focus was on pretrial detention with specific emphasis on conditions of detention and case-flow management. The audit was commissioned by the NCAJ Council on the 15th May, 2015 and thereafter conducted under the supervision of an NCAJ National Steering Committee, comprising of members drawn from the various agencies of the Criminal Justice System.

Journal Article: Ten years after the Jali Commission: The state of South Africa's prisons
Author: Lukas
Published: Dec 01, 2016

Ten years have lapsed since the Jali Commission’s final report became publicly available, and it is therefore an opportune time to assess the state of South Africa’s prison system. The Jali Commission was appointed when it became clear that the state had lost control of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). A decade on, some notable advances have been made in regaining control, and addressing corruption and maladministration. However, serious and persistent challenges remain. These are explored in this article, with a particular focus on policy development, the performance of the DCS against set targets, governance and human rights violations. In all four of these areas substantial shortcomings remain. Impunity for human rights violations is perhaps the most critical challenge, as the DCS has been reluctant to acknowledge the scale of this problem or to seriously address it.

A Comparative Study of Bail Legislation in Malawi, Mozambique and Burundi
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2016

The deprivation of liberty is a serious intervention in any person’s life, and therefore the possibility of releasing an accused person from custody pending trial is a fundamental part of criminal justice systems across the world. Criminal justice systems have developed various ways to ensure, at least in law, that accused persons appear for trial without depriving them of their liberty. Such release may be conditional or unconditional. Unconditional release usually takes the form of a warning to appear in court at a later date, while conditional release can be secured through bail, bond, surety, and supervision. This paper reviews the laws on conditional release in Burundi, Malawi and Mozambique. These three countries were selected on the basis that they represent not only different types of legal systems but Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone legal traditions, respectively. --

Constitutionnalité des lois relatives à la procédure pénale et à la détention en Afrique: Côte d’Ivoire
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 02, 2016

A la suite de l'adoption de conventions internationales des droits de l'homme dans la deuxième moitié du dernier siècle et de nouvelles constitutions à la fin du 20e siècle, la question se pose de savoir si les droits reconnus dans ces conventions et constitutions sont reconnus dans la législation applicable. Dès lors, ce rapport examine la question de la constitutionnalité du droit pénal et du droit de la procédure pénale en Côte d'Ivoire. Une étude comparative des cadres normatifs au Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique et Zambie est également disponible en anglais.

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa: Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

Zambia’s Constitution contains an enforceable Bill of Rights, one which mainly lists civil and political rights that constrain state power. Having human rights enshrined in an enforceable manner in the Constitution is important, because the validity of other laws is measured by their conformity to the Constitution.

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa Kenya 2
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

Kenya’s 2010 Constitution is liberal with regard to the rights of persons in the country’s criminal justice system. Its notable novel provisions include the entrenchment of the rights to fair trial and habeas corpus and the separation of criminal investigations and prosecutions under two independent systems. The country’s penal and criminal procedure laws predate the Constitution.

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa: Kenya
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

Kenya’s 2010 Constitution is liberal with regard to the rights of persons in the country’s criminal justice system.This study identifies conformity gaps between, on the one hand, constitutional protections of the rights of arrested, accused and detained persons and, on the other, statutory criminal procedure requirements. The starting-point is the Constitution and, accordingly, the study is concerned with provisions in criminal procedure law that are directly or indirectly within the scope of application of an explicit right in the Constitution.

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa: Côte d’Ivoire
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

The adoption by referendum of Law No. 2000.515 of 1 August 2000 establishing the Constitution of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire must be understood against the political backdrop of that time. It resulted from the need to restore state’s institutions after the coup of 24 December 1999 and to prepare for the presidential election of October 2000. Many national and international observers agree that the Ivorian Constitution of 2000 is an essential text establishing minimum standards. Observers also consider that the Constitution broadly incorporates the main principles established by the conventions and treaties that Côte d’Ivoire has signed since 1960. In criminal matters, none of the major pieces of legislation (the CCP, the CC and the PA Decree) has been modified and updated in the light of the new Constitution.

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa: Burundi
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

The purpose of this study is to briefly examine major developments in Burundi’s criminal procedure legislation and prison laws since the adoption of its 2005 Constitution and to assess how these developments may have impacted on human rights. In effect, this study seeks to understand whether subordinate legislation in Burundi is in line with constitutional provisions and international standards relating to procedural safeguards for arrested and detained persons.

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa A comparative study of Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

This study reviews 41 rights of arrested, accused and detained persons under Burundian, Ivorian, Kenyan, Mozambican and Zambian law. These countries were chosen because they represent Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa as well as countries that have a civil law and common law tradition. The study begins by reviewing 17 rights of those arrested and detained in police custody; it goes on to examine 18 rights of accused persons; and ends by considering six rights of those detained in prison on remand or as sentenced prisoners. Each right is examined from three angles: first, whether it is recognised under international human rights law; secondly, to what extent the right is enshrined in the domestic constitution of the jurisdiction under review; and thirdly, to what extent the right is upheld and developed in subordinate legislation.

Formalising the role of paralegals in Africa: A review of legislative and policy developments
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 31, 2016

Paralegals have an important role to play in criminal justice systems throughout Africa. In many countries the effective use of paralegals is inhibited by a lack of formal recognition. Changes to domestic legislative frameworks are necessary to empower paralegals in their work with persons in conflict with the law at police stations, court rooms and prisons.It is hoped that this report will serve as an impetus for debate and advocacy on this important issue. This report reviews the work and legal framework of paralegals in 11 countries, being Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

African Innovations in Pre-trial Justice
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 01, 2016

This review seeks to showcase innovative interventions to reduce pre-trial detention in African countries, so that they may be adapted for use in other low and lower-middle income countries.

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
  • 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 21, 2020
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