Liberia Publications

A sort criterion
The appointment and dismissal of the NDPP
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 24, 2018

The recent announcement by President Ramaphosa to call together a committee of experts to assist him to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is unprecedented, and an extremely important move in the right direction towards greater transparency and accountability at South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority. An earlier report by ACJR dealt in detail with the problems at the NPA and, amongst others, recommended that the appointment procedure of the NDPP be reformed. In this fact sheet the current procedure for the appointment and dismissal of the NDPP is set out and problems identified. This should inform debate and stimulate ideas on the reforms we would like to see.

Solitary Confinement - A review of the legal framework and practice in five African countries
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 23, 2018

This report investigates the legal frameworks of five African countries (Kenya Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia) as they relate to the use of solitary confinement. The effect of long periods of solitary confinement have been shown to have severe impacts on a prisoner’s mental and physical well-being. The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has noted that the use of prolonged solitary confinement may amount to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in breach of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In December 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules (‘2015 UNSMR’). The 2015 UNSMR addresses a key shortcoming in the protection and treatment of people in places of detention, as it, for the first time, sets down norms and limitations on the use of solitary confinement. The report concludes that there are major areas of non-compliance in each of the countries and this requires urgent attention.

S v Frederick & S v Maxhongo
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 11, 2018

S v Frederick & S v Maxhongo, Judgment on Review 11 July 2018, Review 18531 and Review 18532. The Court asked that in cases where there is a long history of drug use and abuse, the prosecution should rather request a probation officer’s report to investigate the accused’s circumstances and the desirability or not of prosecution.

Expungement of a criminal record: crimes committed by an adult
Author: Jean
Published: May 15, 2018

Since 2009 the Criminal Procedure Act provides for the expungement of certain criminal records depending on the sentence that was imposed. This fact sheet describes the requirements and process in relation to adults.

Expungement of a criminal record: crimes committed by a child
Author: Jean
Published: May 14, 2018

The Child Justice Act since 2008 makes provision for the expungement of criminal records for offences committed by a child. Eligibility for expungement depends on the offence that was committed and certain offences cannot be expunged. This fact sheet describes the requirements and the process.

Kruse v S
Author: Jean
Published: May 04, 2018

There was a miscarriage of justice on several grounds, namely the denial of the accused’s right to a properly qualified interpreter, the refusal to allow his son to testify, and the negative bias of the presiding officer. The accused was not afforded a fair trial and his murder conviction therefore cannot stand.

Developments in Addressing Torture in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 22, 2018

This article assesses developments in the prevention and eradication of torture in Mozambique. Despite several positive efforts and advances made, acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are still perpetrated by members of the security forces, especially police officials, often with impunity. The culture of impunity for such serious offences is a direct threat to human rights and the rule of law in the country and seriously compromises the country’s public integrity. Two issues are of deep concern and require more efforts by the state, namely: a) addressing impunity and ensuring prompt and impartial investigations of all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and b) protecting victims and providing the necessary restitution, rehabilitation and compensation. In conclusion we provide recommendations on how to improve the situation. These are: engaging in outreach and advocacy; improving and strengthening the national legislative framework; strengthening institutions; developing mechanisms for the reporting of torture: monitoring and evaluating existing reporting mechanisms; improving conditions of detention; establishing effective oversight over places of detention, and by maintaining records to improve transparency and availability of information.

Principles on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 15, 2017

In 2017, the Principles on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa were adopted by the African Commission, becoming the latest development in a broader regional effort to articulate standards for acceptable human rights practices, specifically concerning matters of access to justice.These Principles seek to guide States on measures that can be taken to enhance human rights protections at the critical intersection of poverty and criminal justice.

Journal article: The SocioEconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 04, 2017

The presumed link between the rule of law and development suggests that an operational justice system is key to development. The research sought to understand and quantify how the decision to detain an accused person affects his or her socio-economic situation. Data was collected in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia. The findings suggest that the use of the coercive power of the state exercised through the deprivation of an individual’s liberty has serious socio-economic consequences. While detention pending trial is justifiable sometimes, we argue that it is over-used, frequently resulting in excessively long detention. The deprivation of liberty interferes with the ability of individuals to be agents of their own development, infringing on socio-economic rights of individuals and their dependents. States can justify such infringements only if their coercive power is used within the ambit of democratic and rights-respecting laws complying with human rights standards. Access the journal article here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40803-017-0062-1

Bail and Bond in Zambia
Author: Kristen
Published: Sep 13, 2017

Challenges and Recommendations considering Legal and Administrative reforms

An Assessment of the National Prosecuting Authority - A Controversial Past and Recommendations for the Future
Author: Lukas
Published: May 22, 2017

Twenty years into democracy, the independence of the NPA, in particular the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), has become a highly contested and politicised issue. The Constitutional Court has noted that ‘[t]he constitutional obligation upon the State to prosecute those offences which threaten or infringe the rights of citizens is of central importance in our constitutional framework’. This report focuses on the substantive problems and dilemmas facing the NPA. In the discussion that follows the major challenges that the NPA is facing and have faced are set out. The report unpacks these and presents possible solutions and recommendations.

The Socio-economic Impact of Pre-trial detention in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 08, 2017

In many countries people accused of crimes are held in detention before trial. The law permits this detention usually in order to guarantee the appearance of the accused at trial. This project seeks to confirm and quantify the socio-economic impact of such pre-trial detention on detainees, their families, and associated households, in the main urban centres of Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia.

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.

Constitution de la Côte d'Ivoire (2016)
Author: Gwen
Published: Oct 16, 2016

Côte d'Ivoire's current constitution was adopted in October 2016. La dernière Constitution de Côte d'Ivoire fut adoptée en octobre 2016.

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