Guinea Publications

A sort criterion
Caught between progress, stagnation and a reversal of some gains: Reflections on Kenya's record in implementing children's rights norms
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2012

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 12 No 1 2012. The enactment in 2001 of the Children's Act was a significant development in the implementation of international children's rights norms in Kenya. The Act still stands as the first statute which substantially attempts to domesticate Kenya's obligations under any human rights treaty (in this case, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child). Almost a decade since the Act entered into force, there is a poignant lesson to be learned. This is that in contexts such as Kenya's, where full compliance with international child rights norms requires a process of comprehensive audit of existing laws and policies, not even the enactment of a consolidated law such as the Children's Act suffices. Rather, the process requires a continuous review of all laws, on the one hand, and the putting in place of administrative and other practical measures, on the other. A significant development is the passage of a new Constitution, 2010. However, realising this potential under the new dispensation will require decisive political commitment to ensure the allocation of resources and the institution of practical measures for the implementation of child rights-related laws. The Free Primary Education programme still stands out as an example of a positive measure geared towards addressing the situation of some of Kenya's poor children. The challenge remains of replicating its example to other key areas, including health and child support to poor families. The need for further legal provisions, for example in the area of juvenile justice, the required repeal of laws such as in relation to corporal punishment and the gaps in enforcing existing laws mean that the process of harmonising Kenyan law with CRC and the African Children's Charter is far from complete.

The law and the business of criminal record expungement in South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 06, 2011

This report reviews the use and expungement of criminal records in South Africa and was prompted by a recent amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act which created, for the first time, a mechanism for certain criminal convictions to be expunged. The situation of criminal records and their expungement is, however, not a simple one and the creation of additional registers (Sex Offender Register, Child Protection Register and Diversion Register) have added another dimension to the issue. The overall impression from the legal framework is that different pieces of legislation use different yardsticks in respect of expungements. It is furthermore a general conclusion that the scope of the mechanism created in the Criminal Procedure is extremely narrow and that very few former offenders would in fact benefit from it. The creation of this mechanism also saw the private sector creating a profit opportunity with some companies charging amounts as high as R7 500 for handling the expungement application, a procedure that should cost no more than R100. The report concludes by recommending that the retention and expungement of criminal records should be selective, purposeful and based on knowledge.

Remand detention in South Africa: An overview of the current law and proposals for reform
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 05, 2011

This research report provides an overview of the necessary research to develop possible solutions for limiting the amount of time remand detainees spend in custody. The report discusses, firstly, the bail provisions in the Criminal Procedure Act with regard to the right to liberty and in the broader constitutional notion of proportionality. Second, case law from regional and international bodies dealing with pre-trial release is explored, and third, detention time limits and automatic bail review proceedings are discussed. Fourth, the conceptual distinction between fair trial rights and liberty interests and the South African courts’ treatment of “undue delay” cases is described. The report concludes with the recommendation that a constitutional challenge, based on the Criminal Procedure Act’s failure to adequately protect the accused’s right to liberty, be brought on behalf of South Africa’s remand detainees. Such a challenge would be based on the right to liberty and argue that without custody time limits and a regular, automatic review of bail decisions, the law in relation to bail, as it currently stands, is unconstitutional.

Survey of Detention Oversight Mechanisms Provided for in the Laws of SADC Countries.pdf
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 04, 2011

Given the slow rate at which SADC countries have signed and ratified OPCAT, this paper explores existing statutory detention oversight mechanisms in the domestic laws of SADC countries with a particular emphasis on prisons. The notion of individuals or institutions visiting places of detention to inspect conditions of detention and treatment of detained persons is not new and is found even in the antiquated laws of several countries reviewed here.

Tuberculosis in a South African prison – a transmission modelling analysis
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2011

Simon Johnstone-Robertson, Stephen D Lawn, Alex Welte, Linda-Gail Bekker, Robin Wood. From South African Medical Journal 2011;101:809-813. Prisons are recognised internationally as institutions with very high tuberculosis (TB) burdens where transmission is predominantly determined by contact between infectious and susceptible prisoners. A recent South African court case described the conditions under which prisoners awaiting trial were kept. With the use of these data, a mathematical model was developed to explore the interactions between incarceration conditions and TB control measures

Libya: Human Rights Agenda for Change
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 13, 2011

In this document Amnesty International calls on the Transitional Libyan Authorities to reform the security and law enforcement sector, reform the criminal justice system, end arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and eradicate torture and ill-treatment.

'You Don't Know Who To Blame: War Crimes in Somalia'
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 02, 2011

by Human Rights Watch. "...The population in areas controlled by the Transitional Federal Government and its allies has also been subjected to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. These include arbitrary arrest and detention, restrictions on free speech and assembly, and indiscriminate attacks harming civilians... "Somalis seeking safety in Kenya contend with police harassment, arbitrary arrests, and deportation back to Somalia. Somali refugees en route to the sprawling complex of refugee camps at Dadaab, Kenya, take hazardous back roads to avoid the Kenyan police and the official border post that until recently remained closed. They are then at the mercy of well organized networks of bandits who engage in robbery and rape."

Tanzania Univseral Periodic Review National Report to the UN Human Rights Council
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 19, 2011

The Tanzania Government with the support of the United Nations under the one UN system, held several consultative workshops for purposes of gathering information on the situation of human rights for inclusion in this National Report. The report indicates that Tanzania retains the death penalty.

Imprisoned and imperiled: access to HIV and TB prevention and treatment, and denial of human rights, in Zambian prisons
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 02, 2011

Journal of the International AIDS Society 2011, 14:8. "To better understand the relationship between prison conditions, the criminal justice system, and HIV and TB in Zambian prisons, we conducted a mixed-method study, including: facility assessments and in-depth interviews with 246 prisoners and 30 prison officers at six Zambian prisons; a review of Zambian legislation and policy governing prisons and the criminal justice system; and 46 key informant interviews with government and non-governmental organization officials and representatives of international agencies and donors."

A citizen's handbook on the law governing bail in Uganda
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 02, 2011

This is a publication of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) and seeks to be a resource to the justice sector and legal profession, as well as a useful guide to the general public on the application of bail in Uganda.

Zimbabwe at the Crossroads
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2011

by Takawira Musavengana, OpenSpace Issue 1 June 2011 page 28 "Security Sector - No transition without transformation"

Police Station Visitors' Week Report, Nigeria 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2011

The fifth edition of Police Station Visitors' Week (PSVW) was conducted from 31st of October to 6th of November, 2011 in Nigeria. Eight hundred and fifty-four (854) visitors in teams of three people inspected 261 police stations in six police State Commands, namely: Akwa Ibom, FCT, Imo, Kano, Lagos, Rivers state. These visitor teams completed a checklist of 20 questions covering five areas of interest: community orientation, physical conditions, equal treatment of the public, transparency and accountability, and detention conditions.

The role of the Uganda Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Case Backlog Reduction Programme: Achievements and Lessons Learned
Author: Jean
Published: May 27, 2011

by Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa, Senior Technical Advisor, Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS). ".. the Justice Law and Order Sector came up with the case backlog reduction strategy to change the way case backlog had always been handled to one where resources – human and financial would be focused on the result rather than processes. The strategy also emphasized taking deliberate steps to stop the growth of new case backlog. The JLOS Quick Wins Reduction Programme was designed to remove cases which were more than two years old from the system. ..."

US Department of State Human Rights Report 2010
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 08, 2011

"The law requires arrest warrants and stipulates that the government may not detain a person beyond 48 hours without an examining magistrate's formal charge; however, the law was not always enforced in practice, especially in rural areas. Detainees may be held another 48 hours with the prior approval of the public prosecutor. There were unconfirmed reports that detentions exceeding the allowed time limit became more frequent during the year, which was attributed to the government's response to minor reports of vandalism and stone throwing between juvenile gangs. The law provides that detainees be promptly notified of the charges against them, although in practice there were occasional delays.

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