Liberia Publications

A sort criterion
Constructing pre-trial detention indicators for African contexts: Problems and proposals
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 04, 2015

This discussion paper arose from the conundrum faced by a paralegal organisation working in an African country in demonstrating both that pre-trial detention is a problem in that country, and that their work has an impact on the problem. The indicators currently employed by states and organisations relating to pre-trial detention have a range of shortcomings in the African context. These shortcomings need to be understood in interpreting indicator values. Indicators should be adjusted, and additional indicators should be incorporated into data collection practice in order to provide a more complete and accurate picture of pre-trial detention in Africa. This paper is intended as a starting point for a broader discussion of the pitfalls and possibilities for the development of indicators in relation to pre-trial detention in Africa

Constructing pre-trial detention indicators for African contexts: Problems and proposals
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 04, 2015

This discussion paper arose from the conundrum faced by a paralegal organisation working in an African country in demonstrating both that pre-trial detention is a problem in that country, and that their work has an impact on the problem. The indicators currently employed by states and organisations relating to pre-trial detention have a range of shortcomings in the African context. These shortcomings need to be understood in interpreting indicator values. Indicators should be adjusted, and additional indicators should be incorporated into data collection practice in order to provide a more complete and accurate picture of pre-trial detention in Africa. This paper is intended as a starting point for a broader discussion of the pitfalls and possibilities for the development of indicators in relation to pre-trial detention in Africa

Arrested in Africa: An exploration of the issues
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2015

Recent research and advocacy efforts have drawn attention to the excessive use of and prolonged pre-trial detention in Africa. At any given moment there are roughly 1 million people in Africa’s prisons. Far more move through prisons each year. Their stay in prison, regardless of duration, starts with being arrested. Substantially more people are arrested than those who end up in prison for pre-trial detention. Pre-trial detention figures are thus a poor indicator of contact with the criminal justice system. The purpose of arrest and subsequent detention of a suspect is essentially to ensure the attendance of the person in court or for another just cause. The police’s powers of arrest are, in theory, curtailed to the extent that the arresting officer must be able to provide reasons for the arrest and continued police detention. Police officials have considerable discretion in executing arrests, especially when arresting without a warrant. This exploratory report focuses on arresting without a warrant and starts off with setting out the legal requirements in this regard by way of a case study. In order to understand current arrest practices, the report provides a brief description of the history of policing in Africa and concludes that much of what was established by the colonial powers has remained intact, emphasising high arrest rates, a social disciplinarian mode of policing, supported by myriad petty offences that justify arrest without a warrant. This combination enables widespread corruption and results in negative perceptions of the police. The report further argues that given the wide discretionary powers of the police to arrest without a warrant, it follows that 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 based on non-judicial factors. The report concludes with a number of recommendations calling for further research, decriminalisation of certain offences and restructuring of the police in African countries.

Submission to South Africa's Parliament - 2015 strategic planning session
Author: Gwen
Published: Sep 21, 2015

This submission to the South African parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services' strategic planning session addresses the issues of long periods of pre-trial detention, low prosecution rates, the independence of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, human rights abuses in prison, sentencing reform and effective prison oversight.

Submission to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 18, 2015

This submission deals with South Africa’s performance in relation to, and compliance with, international standards with reference to offender management, offender rehabilitation and independent monitoring, as was requested by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services (the Portfolio Committee).

Pocket Guide to Arrest and Detention in Malawi
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 31, 2015

This guide is for anyone who needs a quick reference to the laws around arrest and detention in Malawi. This may include police, court clerks, prosecutors, magistrates, paralegals and detainees. First there is an orientation to the criminal justice system and a diagram and summary of what happens in Malawi around arrest and detention, page 1. The main part of the book focuses on what the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code says. It starts with when and how arrest can happen and possibilities for release at the police station, page 4. This is followed by a section on how things happen in court and how people can be released by the court, page 12. There are special sections on the arrest and release of children, pages 7 and 11. There is also a list of children’s offences that are considered serious, see page 34, and there is a section on the maximum times allowed for the commencement and duration of trial, page 16. The rights of every person in Malawi, as well as the specific rights of those who have been arrested and detained are described, pages 18 - 21. The meanings of legal words can be found in the glossary near the back, page 22. At the very back is a long list of all the offences for which someone can be arrested in Malawi. These offences are divided into those that need a warrant for arrest, and those that do not, page 26

Challenging disadvantage in Zambia: People with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 23, 2015

This project investigated how individuals with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities are dealt with by the criminal justice system in Zambia, and developed recommendations for improving policy and practice. The project was undertaken by a consortium of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) comprising the Paralegal Alliance Network (PAN), Mental Health Users Network Zambia (MHUNZA), the Prisons Care and Counselling Association (PRISCCA), the Zambia Federation of Disability Organisations (ZAFOD), the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) and the UK-based Prison Reform Trust. The work was funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Human Rights Initiative at the Open Society Foundations, and was overseen by a steering committee chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Presentation on constructing indicators
Author: Jean
Published: May 21, 2015

This is the presentation made by Jean Redpath on an introduction to indicators at a seminar held in Cape Town in May 2015.

Muitos problemas que comprometem os direitos dos reclusos em prisão preventiva
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2015

Este artigo apresenta os resultados de uma pesquisa realizada em Maputo, em 2012, sobre a prisão preventiva. As condições de reclusão e de acesso à representação legal de um grupo de reclusos que aguardam julgamento são analisados dentro do contexto do sistema penitenciário então em vigor em Moçambique. Enquanto a autora está ciente de que o quadro jurídico-legal do sistema penitenciário avançou nos últimos três anos, a pesquisa mostra que as condições de reclusão e acesso à representação legal de um grupo de pessoas em prisão preventiva em 2012 não respondiam aos princípios internacionais e nacionais que regulavam o sistema penitenciário no país.

Measuring Pre-trial Justice: A comprehensive approach
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 18, 2015

This fact sheet was based on indicators developed by the Latin America Network for Pretrial Justice through country studies, analysis from past experience and a series of regional expert meetings.

Lawyer at the Police Station Door: How REPLACE Provides Legal Aid in Nigeria
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 16, 2015

The central element of the project, the Police Duty Solicitors Scheme (PDSS), sought to reduce the excessive use of pretrial detention by providing free legal advice to suspects at police stations—the point at which the decision to detain or to release pending trial is made. This 12-page illustrated briefing summarizes the successes achieved.

Innovative Efforts, Proven Results: How Timap for Justice Provides Legal Aid in Sierra Leone
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 16, 2015

In 2009, Timap for Justice began an innovative project to provide frontlinel legal assistance to pretrial detainees, using local community members who have received basic legal training as paralegals. The results have been impressive: Timap’s paralegals have succeeded in getting inappropriate charges dropped in 28 percent of cases, and have secured bail for an additional 55 percent of suspects

A Survey Report on the Application of Bond and Bail Legislation in Zambia 2014
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 07, 2015

This report by the Zambian Human Rights Commission was based on a survey conducted to collect information on factors affecting access and conditions regarding bail among people found to be in conflict with the law in Zambia. The findings are meant to provide a basis for the review of current bail legislation relating to bail conditions in Zambia by promoting easy access for suspects or inmates to bail regardless of their social and economic conditions.

Evidence obtained through violating the right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2015

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 15 No 1 2015. Although South African courts have expressly held that any evidence obtained through torture is always inadmissible, the author is unaware of a decision from a South African court to the effect that evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is, like evidence obtained through torture, inadmissible in all circumstances. In this article, the author first deals with the issue of evidence obtained through torture and thereafter relies on the practice of international and regional human rights bodies, such as the Committee against Torture, the Human Rights Committee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the European Court of Human Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and some of the sections of the South African Constitution, to argue that South Africa has an international obligation to exclude any evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In support of this argument, the author relies on the jurisprudence of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal on the nature of the right to freedom from torture and argues that the same approach could be applied to the right to freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

Time Limits Poster
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 03, 2014

This poster explains the various time limits which apply to arrest and detention in criminal procedure in Malawi.

Release at Court Poster
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 03, 2014

This poster explains how an arrested person can be released at court in Malawi criminal procedure.

Women in Pre-trial Detention in Africa
Author: Marilize Ackermann
Published: Nov 07, 2014

This is a publication of of the project 'Promoting Pre-trial Detention in Africa' (PPJA). The objective of this review is to explore existing literature in respect of the reasons for female remand detention in Africa and the challenges women experience in prison. The biggest challenge to compiling this review was the lack of centralised and comprehensive statistics. The subject is under-researched and statistics referred to represent snapshot data obtained either from the database of the International Centre for Prison Studies or from various ad hoc reports. Literature pertaining to South Africa was available, but authoritative studies from less developed countries do not exist, or were last undertaken as long ago as the 1980s. The failure of states to allocate resources to female detainees and the absence of consistent and clear policies and legislation around the issues they commonly encounter suggest a lack of awareness or a lack of political will to improve the situation.

Submission to South Africa's Parliament on the DCS 2013/14 Annual Report
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 15, 2014

This submission discusses the 2013/14 Department of Correctional Services (South Africa) Annual Report. More specifically, it discusses human rights violations in prison (including allegations of torture), the mandate of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, rehabilitation and the review of the White Paper on Corrections, the SIU investigation into corruption in prison, lengthy pre-trial detention and leadership instability.

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