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.

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.

ACJR collaborates with Mozambican NGOs
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 08, 2017

Lukas Muntingh and Jean Redpath shared experiences of measuring performance and proposal writing with a range of Mozambican NGO's.

Mozambique's Judicial Training Institute hears perspectives on constitutionality and bail
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 07, 2017

ACJR researchers Gwen Dereymaeker and Kristen Petersen shared the results of their comparative investigations into the constitutionality of criminal procedures, and bail regimes, in selected African countries, to judges at the Centro de Formação Jurídica e Judiciaria (Judicial Training Institute) of Mozambique. ACJR associate Tina Lorizzo, of REFORMAR, presented the results relevant to Mozambique in particular.

ACJR takes JICS delegation on an oversight study tour to London, UK
Author: Gwen
Published: May 12, 2017

From 8 to 12 May 2017, ACJR staff Lukas Muntingh and Gwen Dereymaeker took a delegation of the South African Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) to London, United Kingdom, on a study tour. The objective of the study tour was to engage with UK oversoght institutions to identify successes and challenges in the South African prison oversight structure.

Gwen Dereymaeker presents paper the 6th YCC Annual Conference at Koç University (Turkey)
Author: Gwen
Published: Apr 30, 2017

ACJR researcher Gwen Dereymaeker presented a paper on the constitutional compliance with international human rights law and the criminal justice process at the 6th Annual Conference of the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society for Comparative Law, which took place at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey.

CSPRI to change name to ACJR on 18 April 2017
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 22, 2017

The Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI) was established in 2003 to address the research and advocacy gaps around imprisonment and human rights in South Africa. Since the late 2000s the project expanded its scope geographically as well as thematically. ‘Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative’ no longer reflects its work and the name is to be changed to ‘Africa Criminal Justice Reform’ and will be referred to as Organisation pour la Réforme de la Justice Pénale en Afrique (in French) and Organização para a Reforma da Justiça Criminal em África (in Portuguese).

CSPRI reports on constitutionality in five countries
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 11, 2016

To what extent do countries make constitutional rights real in law? CSPRI has published reports on 5 African countries as well as a comparative report on the question of the extent to which countries ensure their laws are in accordance with their recently adopted constitutions.

Police allocate additional resources to townships ahead of equality case
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 05, 2016

Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, the Western Cape Commissioner of Police, has announced that an additional 1140 police officials will be deployed in the Western Cape, with 790 being deployed in seven priority areas, including Khayelitsha, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Harare, Manenberg, Nyanga and Mfuleni. The relatively low allocation of resources to these and other township areas is the subject of a case currently before the Equality Court, for which CSPRI researcher Jean Redpath is an expert witness.

CSPRI-PPJA hosts workshop on constitutionality and indicators
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 30, 2016

Figuring out where reforms should be targeted requires a thorough understanding of human rights and how those are reflected in national constitutions. Measuring the progress of reform efforts requires an understanding of indicators and measurement. A CSRPI-PPJA workshop held in June 2016 aimed to raise the bar on both.

Kenya's National Council on the Administration of Justice validates audit
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 15, 2016

At a seminar held in Nairobi, representatives from the National Council heard the findings, provided input and validated the finalisation of a comprehensive audit of the criminal justice system in Kenya. The report was prepared by Legal Resources Foundation Kenya, Resources Oriented Development Initiative Kenya, and CSPRI.

Pardons provide temporary relief for overcrowding in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 13, 2016

Around 1000 prisoners were pardoned by the President during his State of the Nation address in December 2015. While these pardons offer temporary relief for the overburdened penitentiary system, implementation of more comprehensive measures, which form part of ongoing legal reform, will be necessary to effect real change.

Paper on arrest in Africa released
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2015

PPJA has released a paper exploring the issues around arrest in Africa. The paper considers the historical roots of policing in Africa and how these have been translated in the post-colonial context. The paper suggests not all people are at an equal risk of arrest, but rather that it is the poor, powerless and out-groups that are at a higher risk of arrest. The report concludes with a number of recommendations, calling for further research, decriminalisation of certain offences, and restructuring of the police in African countries.

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