News

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.

High Court rules against prisoners in torture damages claim
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 07, 2015

Judgment was recently handed down by the Port Elizabeth High Court in the much publicised St Alban’s case, as it became known, which emanates from an alleged mass assault of prisoners at the St Alban’s prisons in Port Elizabeth in July 2005.

"Long list" of indicators proposed toward pre-trial justice in Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 10, 2015

At a seminar held in Cape Town in May 2015, participants from PPJA partner organisations discussed indicators for measuring pre-trial justice in Africa. A "long-list" of draft proposed indicators was agreed upon by the end of the seminar. Further consultations are planned to expand the extent of consultation and to refine the proposed indicators.

Malawi launches new criminal justice case flow system
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 31, 2015

Mobile training unit members were trained in the last week of July 2015 on the new registers, case folders and court diary, designed to ensure pre-trial detainees do not get "lost" and that time limits in the criminal justice system are met.

CSPRI co-hosts seminar on allocation of policing resources in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 24, 2015

The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry recommended that the South African Police Service (SAPS) review the allocation of police resources across South Africa, after finding that the comparative allocation to Khayelitsha compared to other policing areas was irrational and unjust. To date neither the relevant Minister nor the SAPS has responded to the Commission Report.

CSPRI co-hosts seminar on allocation of policing resources in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 24, 2015

The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry recommended that the South African Police Service (SAPS) review the allocation of police resources across South Africa, after finding that the comparative allocation to Khayelitsha compared to other policing areas was irrational and unjust. To date neither the relevant Minister nor the SAPS has responded to the Commission Report.

CSPRI works with LRF and RODI-KENYA on pre-trial audit
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 20, 2015

In June and July 2015 CSPRI worked with the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) - Kenya, and Resource Oriented Development Initiative (RODI) toward commencing their work for Kenya's National Council on the Administration of Justice.

CSPRI contributes to development of General Comment on Article 5
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 08, 2015

At the 56th ACHPR Ordinary Session, which was held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 21 April to 7 May 2015, the ACHPR Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) decided that its first General Comment on Article 5 and the prevention and prohibition of torture would examine the right to redress for victims of torture and other ill-treatment.

O Governo Angolano prende jovens activistas políticos e defensores de direitos humanos em Angola
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 24, 2015

No Sábado dia 20 de Junho, os Serviços de Investigação Criminal (SIC) e a Polícia Nacional prenderam e encarceraram treze jovens activistas políticos e defensores de direitos humanos, numa residência onde discutiam questões políticas relacionadas com o estado da democracia em Angola. Depois de serem presos cada um deles foi levado para a sua residência algemados e a polícia fez buscas e confiscou equipamento informático e documentos, nomeadamente; computadores, máquinas fotográficas, agendas pessoais, revistas, documentos vários e cartões de recarga telefónica que encontraram. Muitos destes equipamentos e documentos são pertença de membros da família. A operação policial aconteceu sem qualquer “mandado de prisão ou de busca” e muitas vezes a polícia armada usou violência para entrar nas residências.

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