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Op-ed: Inadequate and violent policing in KwaZulu-Natal: What's behind it?
Author: Crystal
Published: Jul 26, 2021

KwaZulu-Natal has long suffered from inadequate, corrupt and violent policing. Recent events have simply made it more obvious. The problem of policing in the province dates from before the transition to democracy. Policing is a national function - in South Africa is in crisis and in KwaZulu-Natal the crisis is magnified, writes Jean Redpath.

Op-ed: Law enforcement and DUI — how to curb South Africa’s road crash epidemic
Author: Crystal
Published: Jul 07, 2021

The severity of the punishment, if caught, is not a deterrent to committing crime. If consumers of alcohol can be fairly certain that if they get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle that they will be stopped and tested, they will be less likely to do so and make alternative arrangements or postpone their travel.

Op-ed: When the rich buy indemnity, justice is denied
Author: Crystal
Published: Jul 07, 2021

How much discretion does a prosecutor have to decline to prosecute? Is mediation always a good thing? Is there sometimes an obligation to prosecute? Does compensation for the victim trump societal criminal justice interests? These are vexing questions, especially when attempting to answer them in the abstract. A recent case may help in crystallising some thoughts.

South Africa's High Court orders state to ensure police and soldiers act within the law under Disaster Management Act regulations
Author: Jean
Published: May 15, 2020

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.

Rwanda scraps over 1000 colonial-era laws
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 27, 2019

The New Times reports that The Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye, told the newspaper in a telephone interview that this step finally means that Rwandans can now be fully governed by the laws that they have made themselves. The said laws were enacted between 1885 and 1962, when Rwanda obtained independence from Belgium.

Rwanda scraps over 1000 colonial-era laws
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 27, 2019

The New Times reports that The Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye, told the newspaper in a telephone interview that this step finally means that Rwandans can now be fully governed by the laws that they have made themselves. The said laws were enacted between 1885 and 1962, when Rwanda obtained independence from Belgium.

Kenya DPP issues directive on touting
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 12, 2019

The Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) in Kenya on 12 March 2019 issued practice directions on how to handle the offence of touting. This offence was among the many offences identified as petty and was the subject of extensive stakeholder engagement to have it decriminalised. The Office of the DPP conducted a further research ,and paid visits to select remand facilities in Kenya in partnership with ICJ Kenya and other stakeholders. The findings of the research informed the decision by the DPP to issue practice directions on how to deal with the offence of touting.

Equality Court finds unfair discrimination in policing allocation
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 14, 2018

The Equality Court sitting in Cape Town has made a declaration of unfair discrimination, in the allocation of police resources in the Western Cape. The evidence of ACJR researcher Jean Redpath assisted the court in reaching this conclusion.

Communique: Regional Conference on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa, Accra, Ghana, 3-4 October 2018
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 18, 2018

Across Africa, many people, especially the poor and other disadvantaged groups, are arrested and even detained for the transgression of minor offences, such as loitering, being a ‘rogue and vagabond’, use of abusive language, disorderly behaviour, begging, public insult and being idle. Many of these offences date back to the colonial-era. The Campaign on the Decriminalisation and Declassification of Petty Offences in Africa has as its aim reform in law, policy and practice that would address the arbitrary and discriminatory nature of these laws and by-laws and their enforcement.

Communique: Poverty is not a crime: Campaign on the Decriminalisation and Declassification of Petty Offences in Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 02, 2018

It remains the case that too many people, especially the poor and other disadvantaged groups, are arrested and even detained for the transgression of minor offences, such as loitering, being a ‘rogue and vagabond’, use of abusive language, disorderly behaviour, public insult and being idle. Many of these offences date back to the colonial-era. The 12 partner organisations of the campaign on the Decriminalisation and Declassification of Petty Offences in Africa have as their collective aim reform in law, policy and practice that would address the arbitrary and discriminatory nature of these laws and by-laws and their enforcement.

‘Closed for the holidays’- Mozambican Justice
Author: Jean
Published: May 10, 2018

In Mozambique the courts close for 60 days from December until February for the ‘judicial vacation’ (férias judiciais). For emergency matters, shifts are arranged by the Supreme Court only at the court of first instance as regulated by articles 27 and 28 of Law 24/2007. At the moment there is a proposal before the First Commission of Parliament to revise this system and reduce the duration of the holidays to 30 days.

Fechada por férias – A Justiça Moçambicana
Author: Jean
Published: May 10, 2018

Em Moçambique, os tribunais fecham por 60 dias, entre Dezembro e Fevereiro para as férias judiciais. Por casos de emergência, turnos são organizados pelo Tribunal Supremo apenas nos tribunais de primeira instância, como regulados pelos Artigos 27 e 28 da Lei n. 24/2007. Actualmente uma proposta está na I Comissão da Assembleia da República para reduzir a duração das férias judiciais para 30 dias.

MALAWI HIGH COURT SETS ASIDE VAGRANCY CONVICTIONS
Author: Kristen
Published: Jan 15, 2018

The Malawi High Court ruled that the arrest of 24 people, primarily women, during a police sweeping exercise, was unlawful. The applicants challenged their arrest and conviction for being idle and disorderly persons.

Paralegals need formal recognition in Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 11, 2017

A regional conference held in Malawi, the birthplace of paralegalism, called upon states to recognise and support the key role played by paralegals in the criminal justice system. The conference proceedings were facilitated by ACJR researcher Jean Redpath.

Zambia seeks to address congestion in correctional facilities
Author: Safeeya
Published: Oct 23, 2017

Zambia's average prison population was 21,000 against a holding capacity of only 8,500 in 2016. A symposium in which ACJR participated resulted in the establishment of technical working groups to address key aspects of the problem.

UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution
Author: Safeeya
Published: Oct 10, 2017

Proper file and data management is among the calls made to states in this resolution. Proper data collection is a key ACJR interest.

Conference addresses Discriminatory Petty Offences in Africa
Author: Kristen
Published: Jul 13, 2017

ACJR participated in the 8th Annual Conference of the Pan African Lawyers Union Seminar focusing on Initiatives for the Decriminalisation and Declassification of Petty Offences in Africa held in Durban, South Africa from 5 – 8 July 2017.

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