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Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee: Overview of cross cutting issues in Alternate Reports on South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 01, 2016

This overview of cross cutting issues emanates from five alternate thematic reports submitted by civil society organisations (the Alternate Reports) in response to the Initial Report by South Africa (the State Report), to be reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee during its 116th session. The Alternate Reports which provided the basis for this overview are:  Recognition of Civil and Political Rights: A continued struggle for Transgender and Intersex Persons in South Africa  Shadow Report on Participatory Democracy to South Africa’s State Report and their Responses to the List Of Issues On The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights (ICCPR)  Thematic Report on Criminal Justice and Human Rights in South Africa  Thematic Report on the Rights of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in South Africa  Thematic Report on Violence Against Women and LGBTI Persons in South 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

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.

Sex worker paralegals
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 01, 2015

Former sex workers affiliated to the Sisonke Sex Worker's Movement have been trained as paralegals by the Women's Legal Centre to provide paralegal advice and assistance to sex workers

Journal Article: Unconscionable and irrational: SAPS human resource allocation
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 01, 2015

The Khayelitsha Commission revealed that areas that are predominantly populated by people who are poor and black are systematically allocated only a small fraction of the average per capita allocation of police personnel in the Western Cape. These areas also suffer among the highest rates of murder and serious violent crime in the province. The allocation of human resources to policing impinges on various constitutional rights. Given the inequity and irrationality apparent in the allocation of police personnel, the Khayelitsha Commission recommended that this method be urgently revised. This article reviews the evidence heard on the allocations and the method currently used to allocate police personnel, suggests an alternative method, and calls on the government to heed the recommendation of the Khayelitsha Commission that the state urgently revise its method of allocation of policing resources.

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