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Kiwanuka John v Uganda, Miscellaneous Application No. 213 of 2013 (High Court of Uganda at Nakawa)
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 04, 2014

"I take note that whereas the Applicant herein has not proved Exceptional Circumstances, which I have already noted is not mandatory as per Section 15 T.I.A see Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives vs. Attorney General (supra), I have put into consideration the period spent by the Applicant on remand that is from the time of his committal to the High Court on 9th/11/2011 to date and noticed that his detention was unduly prolonged given his condition of ailments. In the given circumstances, I take cognizance of the International Human rights treaties to which Uganda is a signatory where emphasis has been put on the distinction between people who have been found guilty, those convicted by a Court of law and sentenced to imprisonment and those who have not."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku March 2014
Author: jacob
Published: Mar 02, 2014

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from June 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 45
Author: Gwen
Published: Mar 01, 2014

Safety and security: Do the ANC and the DA advocate for more of the same or a shift in policy? This newsletter discusses the policy recommendations of the ANC and the DA on crime prevention and crime combating contained in their respective electoral documentation, in the wake of the next general election.

Protecting the right to personal liberty in Namibia: Constitutional, delictual and comparative perspectives
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2014

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 14 No 2 2014. Although the recent Supreme Court of Namibia cases of Alexander v Minister of Home Affairs & Others and Gawanas v Government of the Republic of Namibia were not merely decided under the Criminal Procedure Act 1977 (Namibia), but in terms of special statutes, namely, the Extradition Act 11 of 1996 and the Mental Health Act 18 of 1973 respectively, they nonetheless involved the determination by the Court of the individual right to personal liberty in terms of article 7 of the Constitution of Namibia of 1990, thus bringing the Court face to face with balancing the right to personal liberty against the public interest in the enforcement of the law. Alexander could properly be described as consisting of two parts: the trial judge’s treatment of the limitation clause in the Namibian Constitution, which survived on appeal, and the Supreme Court judgment which turned on the problem of granting bail in the circumstances of extradition proceedings. While Gawanas is a classic illustration of bureaucratic negligence, both cases involve the protection of personal liberty of the individual as against legislative interference and infringement by the agents of state. The lesson emerging therefrom is that the protection of personal liberty under the Namibian Constitution extends to persons, to citizens, foreigners within Namibia and to someone with some form of disability. The other lesson emanating from this study is that a person whose right to personal liberty or dignity has been infringed can ventilate that breach by way of judicial review, contesting the legality of the law or under the principles of administrative justice in the Constitution or the law of delict, alleging wrongfulness, fault and damage.

Constitution of the Tunisian Republic (2014)
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 26, 2014

This document constitutes a non-official translation of the text of the Constitution submitted for adoption, in plenary session of the National Constituent Assembly, on January 26, 2014. This translation is provided by the UNDP Project Supporting the Constitutional Process, the National Assembly and the National Dialogue With the financial contribution of Japan, Belgium, the European Union, Sweden, Norway, Denmark,Switzerland and UNDP.

Newsletter 7: Women in pre-trial detention in DRC; Conditions at Mpimba Prison; Legal assistance for detainees in Angola; Uniforms for remand detainees in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 22, 2014

In this edition of the PPJA Newsletter we look at: * Women in pre-trial detention: Held for their partners' crimes in Democratic Republic of Congo * Conditions at Mpimba Prison in Bujumbura: Failure to separate men and women and overcrowding * Legal Assistance for detainees in Angola: NGO gains access to impoverished detainees * Uniforms for remand detainees in South Africa: Pilot uniforms launched

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2013
Author: jacob
Published: Dec 04, 2013

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from June 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Survey of Detention Visiting Mechanisms in Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 03, 2013

People held in places of detention are at risk of suffering violations of human rights because they are usually detained out of sight and their well-being is not prioritised by states. Domestic and international laws prescribe the procedures through which and conditions under which people may be held in detention. The function of detention oversight institutions is to ensure that state institutions comply with these human rights laws and are held accountable for any non-compliance.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2013
Author: jacob
Published: Nov 04, 2013

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from June 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2013
Author: jacob
Published: Nov 04, 2013

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from June 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Newsletter 6: Estimating the average duration of pre-trial detention; Criminal procedural provisions unconstitutional in Mozambique; PPJA report on detention oversight
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 07, 2013

In this edition of the PPJA newsletter: • A back-of-the-envelope method of estimating the average duration of pre-trial detention • An explanation of the implications of sections of criminal procedural law affecting pre-trial detention being found unconstitutional in Mozambique • A preview of a soon-to-be released PPJA report on detention oversight through visiting mechanisms in Africa.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2013
Author: jacob
Published: Oct 01, 2013

This edition of 30 Days covers news items from May 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, corruption and governance, rehabilitation, and other African countries.

Understanding impunity in the South African law enforcement agencies
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 22, 2013

The probability that law enforcement officials will be held accountable for gross rights violations is very low. The reasons for this are discussed in this report. The report argues that there is no single reason for the current situation but rather that a myriad of factors, structural and functional, contribute to a greater or a lesser degree to the current situation. The authors contend that it would be inaccurate and superficial depiction to lay the blame at the door of only one institution, as this would ignore the effect of other factors. Moreover, the problem of rights violations and concomitant impunity is widespread and pervasive, and for this reason it is increasingly unconvincing for government to explain such cases as being the work of "a few rotten apples".

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 02, 2013

This edition of 30 Days covers news items from July 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, rehabilitation, South Africans imprisoned abroad, and other African countries.

No Justice for the Poor
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 09, 2013

This is a Preliminary Study of the Law and Practice Relating to Arrests for Nuisance-Related Offences in Blantyre, Malawi, by the Southern African Litigation Centre and the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA), funded by the Open Society Foundation for Southern Africa and the United Nations Democracy Fund.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 03, 2013

This edition of 30 Days covers news items from June 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, corruption and governance, rehabilitation, and other African countries.

Prison Management and Conditions of Detention
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 20, 2013

Good prison management can vastly improve conditions of detention in the context of scarce resources, which are often present in Africa, and protect detainees from assault and ill-treatment.

Prevention of Torture
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 20, 2013

The right not to be subject to torture and other ill-treatment is non-derogable; no one may be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment under any circumstance, including during times of war or public emergency. Pre-trial detainees are highly at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

Newsletter 5: Pre-trial detention in West Africa; guidelines on police custody and pre-trial detention; audit of pre-trial detention in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 06, 2013

Pre-trial detention in West Africa: Prohibitive conditions of release and the nature of bribery in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ghana; Guidelines on the use and conditions of police custody and pre-trial detention in Africa: African Commission draft guidelines to be followed by extensive consultation; Audit of pre-trial detention in Mozambique under way Data on conditions and process of pre-trial detention being collected across Mozambique

Presentation on Remand Detention Trends for the Round Table on Remand Detention
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 06, 2013

This presentation indicates that the state now incarcerates close to 3 remand detainees for every person a judicial officer eventually finds guilty and sentences to a term of imprisonment in a year. The current ratio of 3 to 1 implies that 2 out of 3 remand detainees will never be convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment. It further implies that the “correct” remand population should be one third of its current size i.e. around 17,000 people.

The Socio-economic Impact of Pre-trial Detention
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 03, 2013

Pretrial detainees may lose their jobs and homes; contract and spread disease while in detention; be asked to pay bribes to secure release or better conditions of detention; and suffer physical and psychological damage which persists after their detention ends.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku May 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 03, 2013

This edition of 30 Days covers news items from May 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, corruption and governance, rehabilitation, and other African countries.

Who are paralegals and what do they do in relation to pre-trial detention?
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 02, 2013

Paralegals are people with some legal training who offer basic legal advice, education and assistance, especially to those who have been arrested and are held in police stations, or those who are awaiting trial in prison. The work of paralegals is often focussed on securing the release of persons detained pre-trial, whether on bail, bond, via surety, or unconditionally. This they do by providing practical assistance, for example, by tracing friends or family who may be able to stand surety or post bail, and by offering advice, for example by explaining how to apply for bail.

Press Release on Overcrowding
Author: Jean
Published: May 30, 2013

CSPRI responds to the Minister of Justice’s claim that prison overcrowding is an indication of the NPA “doing a good job”. Statistics provided by CSPRI counters the Minister's claims on the efficacy of the NPA.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Algeria 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: May 28, 2013

"The constitution provides for the right to a fair trial, but in practice authorities did not always respect legal provisions regarding defendants’ rights. Defendants are presumed innocent and have the right to be present and to consult with an attorney, provided at public expense if necessary. Most trials are public and all are nonjury. Defendants can confront or question witnesses against them or present witnesses and evidence on their behalf. In the past, reports indicated that courts occasionally denied defendants and their attorneys access to government-held evidence, but there were very few reports of such incidents during the year. Defendants have the right to appeal. The testimony of men and women has equal weight under the law."

The Socio-economic Impact of Pretrial Detention in Sierra Leone
Author: Jean
Published: May 23, 2013

This study, carried out by Timap for Justice and Prison Watch Sierra Leone, in collaboration with UNDP and the Open Society Justice Initiative, found that pretrial detention primarily affects average Sierra Leoneans; breadwinners who are poor or on low-incomes, as well as their families. The study has detailed findings on the demography of detainees and the social, health, and human rights effects of pretrial detention on detainees.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2013
Author: Jean
Published: May 08, 2013

This edition of 30 Days covers news items from April 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, corruption and governance, rehabilitation, and other African countries.

Discussion paper: The Use and Practice of Imprisonment: Current Trends and Future Challenges
Author: Jean
Published: May 02, 2013

Penal Reform International side-event at the 22nd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Vienna 22-26 April 2013. Extract: "Latest UN data suggest that the share of the prison population in pre-trial detention worldwide decreased from 29 to 25 per cent between 2005 and 2011. Regionally, the percentage of pre-trial detainees fell from 61 to 35 per cent in Africa, from 25 to 24 per cent in the Americas and from 18 to 16 per cent in Europe, while it remained stable at 42 per cent in Asia.17 But official figures are likely to underestimate the numbers involved since in many countries detainees are held in police detention, escaping the prison statistics but not the fact of detention."

The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions 2013
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 26, 2013

The objectives of these Practice Directions are— (a) to set out the purpose for which offenders may be sentenced or dealt with; (b) to provide principles and guidelines to be applied by courts in sentencing; (c) to provide sentence ranges and other means of dealing with offenders; (d) to provide a mechanism for considering the interests of victims of crime and the community when sentencing; and (e) to provide a mechanism that will promote uniformity, consistency and transparency in sentencing.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Tanzania 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 10, 2013

"The constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but the judiciary remained underfunded, corrupt (see section 4), inefficient (especially in the lower courts), and subject to executive influence. Court clerks reportedly continued to take bribes to decide whether to open cases and to hide or misdirect the files of those accused of crimes. According to news reports, magistrates of lower courts occasionally accepted bribes to determine the outcome of cases."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Gambia 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 05, 2013

"The law provides for the presumption of innocence, a fair and public trial without undue delay, and adequate time and facilities to prepare defense. Under the law no one is compelled to testify or confess guilt. Trials were generally open to the public, unless closed-court sessions were necessary to protect the identity of a witness. In one instance, NIA officials denied accredited diplomats entrance to the final session of the Supreme Court appeal hearing regarding seven former government officials sentenced to death for treason (see section 1.e.). Juries were not used. Defendants can consult an attorney and have the right to confront witnesses and evidence against them, present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf, and appeal judgment to a higher court. The law extends these rights to all citizens, and no persons were denied these rights during the year; however, detainees were rarely informed of their rights or the reasons for their arrest or detention, according to Amnesty International. For example, outspoken Muslim cleric Imam Bakawsu Fofana, who was arrested on May 31 and held for nine days without charge, was never informed of the reason he was detained."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Mali 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 04, 2013

"The law stipulates that charged prisoners must be tried within one year, but this limit frequently was exceeded, and lengthy pretrial detention was a problem. Lengthy trial procedures, large numbers of detainees, judicial inefficiency, corruption, and staff shortages contributed to lengthy pretrial detention. Individuals sometimes remained in prison for several years before their cases came to trial. Many individuals could not afford bail. Approximately 45 percent of the prison population consisted of persons awaiting trial. Available data do not include prisons located in the country’s northern regions."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Nigeria 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 04, 2013

"The constitution provides for public trials in the regular court system and individual rights in criminal and civil cases. The constitution does not provide for juries or the right to access government-held evidence. However, the criminal procedure act provides for this access, and the defendant can apply to access government-held evidence either directly or through a lawyer. Defendants enjoy the right to presumption of innocence, to be informed promptly and in detail of the charges (with free interpretation as necessary), to a fair and public trial without undue delay, to communicate with an attorney of choice (or to have one provided at public expense), to adequate time and facilities to prepare defense, to confront witnesses against them and present witnesses and evidence, not to be compelled to testify or confess guilt, and to appeal. Authorities did not always respect these rights. Although an accused person is entitled to counsel of his choice, no law prevents a trial from going forward without counsel, except for certain offenses for which the penalty is death. The Legal Aid Act provides for the appointment of counsel in such cases and stipulates that a trial should not go forward without it. Defendants were held in prison awaiting trial for well beyond the term allowed in the constitution (see section 1.c.). Human rights groups alleged terror suspects detained by the military were denied their right to access to legal representation, due process, or the opportunity to be heard by a judicial authority."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku March 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 04, 2013

This edition of 30 days covers news items from March 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, corruption and governance, rehabiliation, and news from other African countries.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Sudan 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 02, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention was common. The large numbers of detainees and judicial inefficiency, such as the failure of judges to appear for court, resulted in trial delays. For example, at year’s end Jalila Khamis Kuku, a teacher and activist held in detention since March, was awaiting trial on several charges that carried the death penalty. Authorities changed the time and location of his trial on several occasions without explanation."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Rwanda 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 02, 2013

"The law provides for a presumption of innocence, but government officials did not always adhere to this in practice. The law requires defendants be informed promptly and in detail of the charges in a language they comprehend; however, judges postponed numerous hearings because this had not occurred. Defendants have the right to a fair trial without undue delay, but there were an insufficient number of prosecutors, judges, and courtrooms to hold trials within a reasonable period of time. In the ordinary court system (vice military and community justice “gacaca” courts) the law provides for public trials, although courts closed proceedings in cases involving minors, to protect witnesses, or at the request of defendants. Judges, rather than juries, try all cases. Defendants have the right to communicate with an attorney of choice, although few could afford private counsel. Minors are guaranteed legal representation by law. The law does not provide for an attorney at state expense for indigent defendants; however, the Rwandan Bar Association and 36 other member organizations of the Legal Aid Forum provided legal assistance to some indigent defendants, although they lacked the resources to provide defense counsel to all in need. The law requires that defendants have adequate time and facilities to prepare their defense, and judges routinely granted requests to extend preparation time. Defendants and their attorneys have the right to access government-held evidence relevant to their cases, but courts did not always respect this right. Defendants have the right to be present at trial, confront witnesses against them, and present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf. The law protects defendants from being compelled to testify or confess guilt, and judges generally respected that right during trial. However, there were numerous reports SSF coerced suspects into confessing guilt and of judges accepting such confessions despite defendants’ protests. The law provides for the right to appeal, and this provision was respected."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Kenya 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 01, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention continued to be a serious problem and contributed to overcrowding in prisons. Some defendants served more than the statutory term for their alleged offense in pretrial detention. Approximately 36 percent of inmates were pretrial detainees. The government claimed that the average time spent in pretrial detention on capital charges was 16 months; however, there were reports that many detainees spent two to three years in prison before their trials were completed. Police from the arresting locale are responsible for serving court summonses and picking up detainees from prison each time a court schedules a hearing on a case. Due to a shortage of manpower and resources, police often failed to appear or lacked the means to transport detainees, who then were forced to wait for the next hearing of their cases."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Equatorial Guinea 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 01, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention remained a problem, and many of those incarcerated were pretrial detainees; the exact number was unavailable. Although prison authorities were required to provide monthly lists of prisoners and detainees to the Ministry of Justice, this did not occur. Inefficient judicial procedures, corruption, lack of monitoring, and inadequate staffing contributed to the problem."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Morocco 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 28, 2013

"Although the government claimed that accused persons were generally brought to trial within two months, prosecutors may request as many as five additional two-month extensions of pretrial detention. Consequently, pretrial detentions may last as long as one year. There were reports that authorities routinely held detainees beyond the one-year limit. Government officials attributed these delays to inefficiency and lack of resources in the court system. According to the government, as of October 1, pretrial detainees made up approximately 41 percent of the 69,054 inmates in prison. The parliamentary committee that investigated the conditions at Oukacha Prison (see section 1.c.) reported that 80 percent of Oukacha inmates were in pretrial detention. In some cases detainees received a sentence shorter than the time they spent in pretrial detention. NGOs continued to report that more than half of incarcerated minors were in pretrial detention. In some cases minors were detained for as long as eight months prior to trial."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Republic of Congo 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 27, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention due to judicial backlogs was a problem. Pretrial detainees continued to constitute three-fourths of the prison population. On average detainees waited one to three months in noncriminal cases and at least 12 months in criminal cases, according to prison authorities, or 12 to 36 months, according to human rights activists, before going to trial."

Budget Vote Submission
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 27, 2013

The submission is made in response to the 2013/14 Budget Vote as accompanied by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Strategic Plan 2013/14 - 2016/17 and Performance Plan 2013/14 - 2016/17. The submission deals with three broad issues: (1) alignment between the Strategic Plan and the budget, (2) creating safer prisons, and (3) rehabilitation and reintegration. The latter two focal areas are in response to a general request from the Portfolio Committee for submissions on these two issues.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Libya 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 26, 2013

"The Constitutional Declaration provides for an independent judiciary and stipulates that every person has a right to resort to the courts. The judicial system under Qadhafi was not independent. While the part of the system processing day-to-day, nonpolitically tinged cases functioned reasonably well, the judicial system, despite tentative efforts to reform it, remained largely ineffective in dealing with the complex issues arising from the end of the Qadhafi era. Thousands of persons in detention were held without access to a lawyer and without being informed of the charges against them. Moreover, few trials were held, and only a few investigations were initiated into alleged abuses by either pro- or anti-Qadhafi groups. Qadhafi’s parallel court system for political cases no longer existed, and the Ministry of Justice no longer directed the day-to-day operations of the court system. However, the courts still struggled to deal with sensitive and complex political cases. In addition, judges cited concerns about the overall lack of security in and around the courts as one of the reasons that they had not yet returned to work, further hindering the judiciary’s reestablishment. Detainees were also subjected to threats that they would be killed if released."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Gabon 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 25, 2013

"The constitution provides for the right to a public trial and to legal counsel, and the government generally respected these rights. Trial dates were often delayed. A judge may deliver an immediate verdict of guilty at the initial hearing in a state security trial if the government presents sufficient evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent and have the right to be informed promptly and in detail of charges when booked at a police station. Defendants are tried by a panel of three judges. Defendants enjoy the right to communicate with an attorney of choice and to adequate time and facilities to prepare their defense. Indigent defendants in both civil and criminal cases have the right to an attorney provided at state expense; however, this right was seldom respected in practice. Defendants have the right to confront witnesses against them; present witnesses or evidence on their behalf; access through their lawyer government-held evidence against them; and appeal. Defendants may not be compelled to testify or confess guilt. The government generally respected these rights, which were extended to all citizens."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Sierra Leone 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 25, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem. Prison Watch reported that due to a severe shortage of legal professionals, 60 percent of prisoners were waiting to be charged or tried, or their trials were not completed. Pretrial and remand detainees spent an average of three to five years in pretrial detention before courts examined their cases or filed formal charges. In extreme cases, the wait could be as long as 10 years. According to the NGO Open Society Initiative for West Africa, remand prisoners frequently changed their pleas from “not guilty” to “guilty” to be removed from the remand section to the less substandard areas of a prison. The joint UNIPSIL-OHCHR prison conditions report noted that limited access to bail, the absence of magistrates, and the irregularity of court sittings resulted in prisoners on remand often waiting more than a year to appear before a court and reported that the majority of prisoners were not serving a sentence."

US State Department Comoros 2012 Human Rights Report
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 25, 2013

"Pretrial detention was a problem. By law pretrial detainees can be held for only four months, but this period can be extended. Detainees routinely await trial for extended periods due to a variety of reasons, including administrative delays, case backlogs, and time-consuming collection of evidence. Some extensions lasted several months."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Somalia 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 23, 2013

"Other major human rights abuses included harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary and politically motivated arrest and detention; denial of a fair trial; corruption; trafficking in persons; abuse of and discrimination against minority clans; restrictions on workers’ rights; forced labor; and child labor."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Mozambique 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Excessively long pretrial detention continued to be a serious problem, due in part to an inadequate number of judges and prosecutors and poor communication among authorities. Approximately 37 percent of inmates were in pretrial detention. The LDH reported that in many cases the length of pretrial detention far exceeded the maximum allowed by law."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Guinea-Bissau 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"The constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, but the judiciary had little independence and was barely operational. Judges were poorly trained, inadequately and irregularly paid, and subject to corruption. Judges went on strike several times during the year to protest their pay and working conditions. Courts and judicial authorities were also frequently biased and nonproductive. The attorney general had little protection from political pressure. A lack of materials and infrastructure often delayed trials and convictions were extremely rare. Authorities respected court orders when they were issued."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Namibia 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention remained a significant problem. In 2010 approximately 8 percent of the general prison population was awaiting trial. At Windhoek’s main prison, prison officials estimated that figure to be closer to 20 percent during the year. The lack of qualified magistrates and other court officials, high cost to the government of providing legal aid, slow or incomplete police investigations, and continued postponement of cases resulted in a serious backlog of criminal cases and delays of years between arrest and trial. During the year the High Court and Prosecutor-General’s Office continued to implement proposals made in 2010 to improve the pace of administering justice, including granting increased case management powers to judges."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Zambia 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Prolonged pretrial detention was a problem. Approximately 30 percent of prison inmates were in pretrial detention. On average detainees spent an estimated three years in pretrial detention, which often exceeded the length of the prison sentence that corresponded to their alleged crime. For example, on August 18, the High Court freed Mateo Mfula Kapotwe, who had been held for 11 years on charges of murder before the state decided not to prosecute him. Approximately one-third of persons in incarceration had not been convicted of a crime or had not received a trial date. Broad rules of procedure gave wide latitude to prosecutors and defense attorneys to delay trials. Judicial inefficiency, lack of resources, and lack of trained personnel also contributed to prolonged pretrial detention."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Madagascar 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"The law provides for a presumption of innocence; however, this was often overlooked. The constitution and law provide defendants with the right to a full defense at every stage of the proceedings, and trials are public. While the law provides that juries can be used in all cases, they were used only in labor disputes. Defendants have the right to be present at their trials, to be informed of the charges against them, to call and confront witnesses, and to present evidence. The government is required to provide counsel for all detainees held on criminal charges who cannot afford their own attorney; however, many citizens were not aware of this right, nor made aware of it by authorities. Defendants who do not request or cannot afford counsel generally are given very little time to prepare their case. Attorneys have access to government-held evidence, but this right does not extend to defendants without attorneys. Legislation outlining defendants’ rights does not specifically refer to the right not to be compelled to testify but includes the right to be assisted by another person during the investigation/trial. Defendants have the right to appeal convictions. Although the law extends them to all citizens without exception, these rights were routinely denied as the de facto government prolonged incarceration of suspects for weeks without charge and continually postponed hearings while denying bail."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Mauritius 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence, and trials are public. The law provides for the right to a fair trial and an independent judiciary generally enforced this right. Defendants have the right to be informed promptly and in detail of the charges against them with free interpretation, as necessary. Juries are used only in murder trials. Defendants have the right to be present at their trials and to consult an attorney in a timely manner. An attorney is provided at public expense when indigent defendants face felony charges. Defendants can confront or question witnesses against them and present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf. Defendants and attorneys have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases, and defendants have the right of appeal. The courts respected these rights, although an extensive case backlog delayed the process, particularly for obtaining government-held evidence. The law extends these rights to all citizens. Defendants have the right to adequate time and facilities to prepare defense. The law does not provide for the right to remain silent."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: São Tomé and Príncipe 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention greatly hindered investigations in criminal cases since delays often made it hard to uncover the facts and evidence of a case. Inadequate court facilities and a shortage of trained judges and lawyers contributed to lengthy pretrial detention. According to the director of the Sao Tome Prison, 25 percent of the country’s prisoners were awaiting trial during the year. Authorities held approximately 15 pretrial detainees for more than a year."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Senegal 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"At the end of 2011, 3,352 persons (44 percent of the total prison population) were in pretrial detention. The average time between the filing of charges and trial was two years. Trial delays were caused by judicial backlogs and absenteeism of judges. The law states that an accused person may not be held in pretrial detention for more than six months for minor crimes; however, authorities routinely held persons in custody until a court demanded their release. In cases involving allegations of murder, threats to state security, and embezzlement of public funds, there are no limits on the length of pretrial detention. In most cases, the length of pretrial detention was less than the length of sentence received. Criminals sentenced to prison terms received credit for time served in pretrial detention."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Seychelles 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Defendants have the right to a fair public trial, are considered innocent until proven guilty, and have the right to be present at their trials and to appeal. Defendants have the right to be informed promptly and in detail of the charges against them. Only cases involving murder or treason used juries. The constitution makes provision for defendants to present evidence and witnesses and to cross-examine witnesses in court. Defendants have the right to access government-held evidence; however, in practice, such requests were often delayed. The law provides the right of defendants to consult with an attorney of choice or to have one provided at public expense in a timely manner and to be provided adequate time and facilities to do so. These rights were enjoyed equally by all citizens."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Swaziland 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence. Defendants enjoy the right to be informed of charges promptly, in detail, and in a language that the defendant understands. The constitution provides for the right to a fair public trial without undue delay, except when exclusion of the public is deemed necessary in the “interests of defense, public safety, public order, justice, public morality, the welfare of persons under the age of 18 years, or the protection of the private lives of the persons concerned in the proceedings.” The judiciary generally enforced this right in practice. There is no trial by jury. Court-appointed counsel is provided to indigent defendants at government expense in capital cases or if the crime is punishable by life imprisonment. Defendants and their attorneys have access to relevant government-held evidence, generally obtained during pretrial consultations from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Defendants may question witnesses against them and present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf. Defendants may not be compelled to testify or confess guilt. Defendants and prosecutors have the right of appeal up to the Supreme Court."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Togo 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"The judicial system employs both traditional law and the Napoleonic Code in trying criminal and civil cases. Defendants officially enjoy a presumption of innocence and the right to be informed promptly and in detail of the charges against them, to a fair trial without undue delay, to communicate with an attorney of their choice, and to adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense. However, these rights were often not respected, and there were many delays in the justice system. Trials were open to the public, juries were used, and judicial procedures generally were respected. Defendants have the right to be present at their trials and the right to counsel and to appeal. All defendants have the right to an attorney, and the bar association sometimes provided attorneys for the indigent in criminal cases. Defendants have the right to be present at their trials, may confront witnesses, and may present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf. Defendants have the right not to testify or confess guilt. Those convicted have the right to appeal. Authorities respected these rights. Defendants have the right to access government-held evidence relevant to their cases, but this right was not respected. The law did not extend these rights to persons tried in the military court."

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Malawi 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 21, 2013

"Defendants are presumed innocent and have the right to a public trial but not to a trial by jury. The Ministry of Justice continued its indefinite suspension of jury trials in murder cases, since murder suspects sometimes were incarcerated for years awaiting trial by jury. Juries were used in other types of cases. Child Justice Courts in Blantyre, Mzuzu, and Zomba handled cases of child offenders. The law provides for an accused to be informed of charges by a court within 48 hours. Defendants have the right to be present at their trial, are entitled to an attorney, and, if indigent, to have an attorney provided at state expense. Such assistance generally was limited to homicide cases. Defendants have the right to present and challenge evidence and witnesses and have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases. By law, they are not compelled to testify or confess guilt. The law extends the above rights to all persons. All persons have the right of appeal; however, appeals often were delayed for years and sometimes never addressed by the higher court."

CSPRI Newsletter No. 43 - March 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 10, 2013

This newsletter is a continuation of the discussion in newsletter 42. The discussion covers the right to redress for victims of torture and other ill-treatment, and considers whether the new international guidelines will provide better access to redress for victims at a domestic level.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku December February 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 01, 2013

This edition of 30 days covers news items from February 2013, covering prison conditions, sentencing and parole, unsentenced prisoners, and news from other African countries.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: South Sudan 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Feb 04, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem, due largely to the lack of lawyers and judges, difficulties of locating witnesses, and the absence of a strong mechanism to compel witness attendance in court. The length of pretrial detention commonly equaled or exceeded the sentence for the alleged crime. Estimates of the number of pretrial detainees ranged from one-third to two-thirds of the prison population."

Recent Publications: Ernest Ojukwu et al Handbook on Prison Pre-trial Detainee Law Clinic
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2013

This book review was published in AHRLJ Volume 13 No 2 2013. The Handbook is a useful tool for navigating the relatively new idea of pre-trial law clinics in Nigeria. It presents the most relevant information in a reader-friendly fashion. Although there are a number of missing fundamentals, it is still a veritable resource material for those seeking to understand how pre-trial law clinics work in Nigeria.

Newsletter 4: Insight into pretrial detention in Mozambique; Zimbabwe's draft Constitution and pre-trial processes; South African court finds state liable for pre-trial detainee getting tuberculosis in prison
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 30, 2013

In this fourth PPJA newsletter Tina Lorizzo provides some insight into pre-trial detention in Mozambique, finding that Maputo's prisons are "tired"; Jean Redpath considers whether Zimbabwe's draft Constitution provides enough protection against abuse of pre-trial process?; and Clare Ballard and Jean Redpath discuss how the South African Constitutional Court decision which found the state liable for a pre-trial detainee getting tuberculosis in prison is a victory for rights but creates uncertainty in the law of delict.

Republic of Cameroon: Make Human Rights a Reality (Amnesty)
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 16, 2013

"During visits of New Bell and Kondengui prisons, Amnesty International noted conditions in both prisons which amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. In New Bell, the representatives came across five inmates who had their legs shackled in August 2010. The inmates said that they had been shackled for periods ranging from several weeks to several months. The shackles had been welded together and were permanently fixed to their legs. The shackles had visibly caused lacerations on the legs of the affected detainees. Senior officials at the Ministry of Justice told Amnesty International that they had not authorized this and were not aware of the use of shackles to restrain inmates. Prison authorities told Amnesty International that the inmates had been shackled after they had attempted to escape, which the prisoners denied. Prison officials at Kondengui and New Bell told Amnesty International delegates in December 2012 that shackles continued to be used, particularly against violent inmates or those who attempted to escape. However, use of shackles or leg irons breaches the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which states at Rule 33 that "Instruments of restraint, such as handcuffs, chains, irons and strait-jackets, shall never be applied as a punishment. Furthermore, chains or irons shall not be used as restraints". During their visit of Kondengui prison, Amnesty International found two wings which had particularly harsh conditions and which breached human rights standards. Wing 9 was known to the detainees as "Kosovo" (named after the war there). The wing, with a population of 1,402 in December 2012, consisted of 27 cells which were estimated to be on average approximately 30 square metres. Each cell held an average of 50 inmates. In December 2012, Wing 8 of a similar size as wing 9, had a population of 1.038. Because the cells did not provide enough space for all residents to sleep at the same time, many of the inmates slept in the open space outside the cell without a roof or bedding. This space also served as a kitchen for the inmates. Numerous detainees met by Amnesty International in this wing complained about their detention conditions. In a subsequent meeting with officials at the Ministry of Justice, Amnesty International urged the authorities to improve detention conditions in prison in general and Wing number 9 in particular."

CSPRI Newsletter No. 42 - December 2012 / January 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 12, 2013

This newsletter discusses the right to redress for victims of torture and other ill-treatment, and considers whether the new international guidelines will provide better access to redress for victims at a domestic level.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku December 2012 / January 2013
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 10, 2013

This edition of 30 days covers news items from December 2012 and January 2013, covering prison conditions, escapes, unsentenced prisoners, South Africans imprisoned abroad, and news from other African countries.

Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 18, 2012

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) promotes and advances human rights and the rule of law in southern Africa, primarily through strategic litigation support and capacity building.

African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF)
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 18, 2012

The African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) is a network of African practitioners active in policing reform and civilian oversight over policing in Africa.

Lee v Minister of Correctional Services CCT 20 /12, 11 December 2012
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 11, 2012

Mr Lee contracted tuberculosis (TB) while in prison. He sued the Minister for damages on the basis that the poor prison health management resulted in his becoming infected. The High Court upheld the claim on the basis that the prison authorities had failed to take reasonable steps to prevent Mr Lee from contracting TB.The majority of the court noted that there is a legal duty on the responsible authorities to provide adequate health care services as part of the constitutional right of all prisoners to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity.

Paralegal Alliance Network (PAN)
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 27, 2012

Paralegal Alliance Network (PAN) is a network of Zambian non governmental organisations (NGOs).

Prison Watch Sierra Leone
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 26, 2012

Prison Watch Sierra Leone was founded in 1996 which monitors and reports on prisons and detention conditions.

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 26, 2012

The Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) is a human rights monitoring, advocacy, and civic education organization. The JPC is a national organization with three independent jurisdictional dioceses in Gbarnga, Monrovia and Cape Palmas.

Prison Fellowship Liberia
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 26, 2012

Chartered in 1989, Prison Fellowship Liberia seeks to provide help and healing for prisoners throughout the country. With the help of volunteers, education and restorative justice programs, mentoring, and legal assistance are available to inmates. In addition, PF Liberia is active and successful in seeking the release of pre-trial detainees in Liberia through its mediation programme run in partnership with East-West Management Institute.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2012
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 14, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items reported during November 2012 on prison conditions, rehabilitation, unsentenced prisoners, sentencing and parole and South African prisoners abroad.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Nov 07, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from October 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, prison conditions, unsentenced prisoners and rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Draft White Paper on Remand Detention Management in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2012

Following the outcome of an interdepartmental project led by the DCS aimed at re-engineering the way in which awaiting trial detainees are dealt with, the Cabinet Lekgotla decided in January 2009 that the DCS must establish a Branch that will be responsible for the management of awaiting trial detainees.This White Paper deals with the remand detention population as a very distinct entity from the population of sentenced offenders. It recognises the unique challenges associated with persons who are detained although not yet found guilty of any crime. It distinguishes this population from a population focused on rehabilitation and acknowledges the duty to hold such a population for purposes of attending court.

Submission to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 17, 2012

CSPRI made a submission to the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha. Bearing in mind the obligations under the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, the recommendations touch upon meaningful independent oversight, including at the provincial level; improved training of law enforcement officials; prompt and impartial investigations of allegations of torture; and public co-operation.

Independent Medico-Legal Unit
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 09, 2012

The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) is a non-governmental organization that seeks a torture free society by promoting the rights of torture victims and survivors, and which seeks to protect all Kenyans from all forms of state-perpetrated torture by advocating for policy reforms, monitoring government adherence to human rights, rehabilitating victims of torture and capacity building of key stakeholders.

Resource Oriented Development Initiative
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 09, 2012

Resource Oriented Development Initiative (RODI) Kenya aims to reduce crime and re-offending by training school pupils and prisoners in organic agriculture, agro-processing, natural resource management, HIV/AIDs, and substance abuse prevention.

Legal Resources Foundation
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 09, 2012

Legal Resources Foundation Trust (LRF) is an independent, not-for-profit Kenyan civil society organization that promotes access to justice through human rights education, research and policy advocacy.

Submission on the JICS Annual Report 2011/12
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 09, 2012

With this submission, CSPRI wishes to draw the Portfolio Committee’s attention to the fact that since its establishment in 2000, the JICS has not been the subject of a review process scrutinising whether it is indeed advancing prisoners’ rights in South Africa. CSPRI submits that continuous and regular review is necessary in order for state institutions to adapt to changing needs and improve efficiency and effectiveness. The submission discusses the independence of JICS and the current investigative regime and encourages JICS to include recommendations, based on national and international law and jurisprudence, whenever it reports concerns.

Muslims for Human Rights
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 08, 2012

The Kenyan Organisation Muslims for Human Rights comprises four main projects, one of which is "Access to Justice" : Prisons Reform.

Rwanda: Shrouded in secrecy Illegal detention and torture by Rwanda’s military intelligence
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 08, 2012

Amnesty International began to receive reports of enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment by Rwandan military intelligence in March 2010. This spate of human rights violations happened as military intelligence launched investigations into threats to national security in the run-up to the August 2010 presidential elections. Grenade attacks, rare in recent years, multiplied after February 2010. Some security analysts attributed them to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed opposition group based ineastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Growing tensions within the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) following the departure of the former army chief, General Kayumba Nyamwasa, in February 2010 also allegedly raised the spectre of potential security threats from within the army. As part of the Rwandan authorities’ investigations into security matters, individuals were arrested, often arbitrarily, by the military, sometimes acting in collaboration with the police. Those arrested were almost exclusively men aged between 20 and 45. Most of the cases documented here are of civilians, including demobilized military. Other cases include members of the Rwandan army or individuals suspected by the Rwandan authorities of belonging to the FDLR. After their arrest, the men were detained incommunicado and interrogated by military intelligence.

Submission on the DCS Annual Report 2011/12
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 08, 2012

This submission deals with human resources, staff training, children in prisons, discipline and turnstiles. Many of the problems facing the Department of Correctional Services are longstanding and the Portfolio Committee is familiar with these. CSPRI expresses concern about the persistence of these problems. For reasons that are not always clear the same issues undermine performance in the Department without a solution in sight. CSPRI makes a number of recommendations as to how to address the concerns noted.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Sep 15, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from August 2012 on governance and corruption, prison conditions and escapes, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Sep 11, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from August 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad and rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Rule of Law in Malawi: The Road to Recovery
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 31, 2012

Report of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

Punished for being poor: Outdated offences in the DRC
Author: Dignité K. Bwiza
Published: Aug 27, 2012

by Dignité K. Bwiza, University of the Western Cape. This article discusses the status of out-dated offences in the DRC, and its interconnectedness with imprisonment and poverty.

Newsletter 3: Progress on human rights in Mozambique; Outdated offences in Mozambique; Pre-trial detention in Burundi; 'Frais de Bougie'; Outdated offences in the DRC; Measures to improve custody time limit implementation in Malawi
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 22, 2012

In this third PPJA newsletter we report on matters related to pre-trial detention in Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, covering issues such as oversight and monitoring of places of detention, outdated offences resulting in detention, custody time limits on pre-trial detention, and abusive practices associated with poverty in African prisons.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Aug 06, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from July 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, extraditions, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad and rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Submissions on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill [B21 of 2012]
Author: Berber
Published: Aug 01, 2012

CSPRI made the following submissions to Parliament on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill. These submissions represent the views of a group of organisations and address, primarily, whether the contents of the Bill comply fully with the obligations imposed on the state in terms of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). These submissions also include recommendations on what the Bill should include and / or exclude as well as suggestions on how the text could be amended.

Guinea Criminal Code
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 24, 2012

Loi N ° 98/036 Du 31 Decembre 1998 Portant Code Pénal L’Assemblee Nationale

"I can arrest you": The Zimbabwe Republic Police and your rights
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 15, 2012

This report is by Sokwanele, a popular protest underground movement based in Zimbabwe. "This report focuses on the risk of arrest at the hands of the partisan Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) under the command of Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, who has publicly acknowledged his allegiance to ZANU-PF. Chihuri has served as police head since 1993 and his contract has been renewed by President Mugabe 13 times since 1997. Chihuri is a member of Joint Operations Command (JOC), the junta which continues to control Zimbabwe. In a country where the Rule of Law is no longer operational and the security forces operate with impunity, every citizen is vulnerable. A chance remark in a taxi, at a pub or even at a funeral could lead to arrest and possible incarceration in one of the country’s disgracefully maintained jails. Those who stand up for their rights and join demonstrations or canvass for political parties other than ZANU-PF face possible arrest, severe beatings and torture in custody."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Jul 09, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from June 2012 on governance and corruption, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, rehabilitation, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26 June)
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 20, 2012

A quarter of a century ago on 26 June, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment (Convention Against Torture) came into force. Places of pre-trial detention are high-risk for torture.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 41 - June 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Jun 08, 2012

This newsletter discusses recent changes regarding medical parole. On 1 March 2012 a new section 79 of the Correctional Services Act came into operation following adoption of the Correctional Matters Amendment Act 5 of 2011. The question asked is whether the new medical parole system gives effect to inmates’ right to dignity as well as the public’s right to safety.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku - May 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Jun 04, 2012

This month's edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers issues of governance and corruption, sentencing and parole, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Report on Children in Prison in South Africa
Author: Gwen
Published: May 30, 2012

This report is an update to the situational analysis of children in prison in South Africa prepared by the Community Law Centre in 1997. The Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 (Child Justice Act), promulgated on 1 April 2010, introduced a markedly different child justice regime than that which was previously regulated by the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and the common law. This development, along with various others which have emerged since 1997 (e.g. child justice jurisprudence and government’s renewed focus on children in conflict with the law), has changed the way in which South Africa’s courts and correctional system deal with children in conflict with the law. Accordingly, an updated analysis on children in prison became necessary.

Report on Children in Prison in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: May 28, 2012

"An important finding is that the policies in respect of the services and activities available to children are varied and inconsistent. Inconsistencies exist in relation to information provided at admission, orientation of new admissions, conditions of detention, the segregation of children from adults, access to education, access to recreation and preparation for release. ... Based on snapshot data, children remain awaiting trial in DCS facilities for an average of 70 days."

US Department of State Human Rights Report Central African Republic 2011
Author: Jean
Published: May 25, 2012

"Prison conditions were rudimentary, harsh, and substantially below international standards. Prison conditions outside Bangui generally were worse than those in the capital. Police, gendarme investigators, and presidential guards assigned as prison wardens continued to subject prison inmates to torture and other forms of inhuman, cruel, and degrading treatment. Most prisons lacked basic sanitation and ventilation, electric lighting, basic and emergency medical care, and sufficient access to potable water....According to BINUCA arbitrary arrest was a serious problem and was the most common human rights abuse committed by security forces during the year. Authorities continued to arrest individuals, particularly women, and charge them with witchcraft, an offense punishable by execution, although no one received the death penalty during the year. Prison officials at Bimbo Central Prison for women stated that accused witches were detained for their own safety, since village mobs sometimes killed suspected witches...Prolonged pretrial detention was a serious problem. For example, in November pretrial detainees constituted approximately 70 percent of Ngaragba Prison’s population and an estimated 60 percent of Bimbo Central Prison’s population. Detainees usually were informed of the charges against them; however, many waited in prison for several months before seeing a judge. Judicial inefficiency and corruption, as well as a shortage of judges and severe financial constraints on the judicial system, contributed to pretrial delays. Some detainees remained in prison for years because of lost files and bureaucratic obstacles."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2012
Author: Berber
Published: May 07, 2012

This month's edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers issues of governance and corruption, sentencing and parole, prison conditions, unsentenced prisoners, South Africans imprisoned abroad, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Prisoners are bottom of the pile: The human rights of inmates in Ghana
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 25, 2012

"Overcrowding is severe in many of the country’s prisons; food and medical care are inadequate and many prisoners rely on family members and outside organizations for additional food, medicines and other necessities. Skin diseases are common; and tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis and pneumonia are also prevalent but the prison health system is unable to guarantee adequate medical care within the prisons."

Submission to the 51st Ordinary Session of the ACHPR
Author: Berber
Published: Apr 18, 2012

On 18 April 2012, the Community Law Centre delivered a submission to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The submission dealt with three issues, namely compliance with the Robben Island Guidelines, domestic oversight over places of detention and limiting the use of pre-trial detention.

Legal Resources Foundation Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 12, 2012

Legal Resources Foundation Zambia is a non-profit Foundation, established in 1993 providing legal aid, promoting human rights and conducting litigation in the public interest. Legal Resources Foundation is the leading provider of legal services to financially disadvantaged persons in Zambia.

ACAT Côte d’Ivoire
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 12, 2012

ACAT Côte d’Ivoire’s mission is to raise awareness, educate and train the population on human rights and more particularly on the abolition of torture and the death penalty. In order to reach those goals, ACAT Côte d’Ivoire ensures the improvement of prison conditions by visiting prisons regularly. ACAT Côte d’Ivoire gathers information on cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and alerts the international and regional human rights mechanisms.

ACAT Burundi
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 12, 2012

The Action by Christians for the abolition of torture in Burundi (ACAT Burundi) is a non-profit association whose mission is to fight for the respect of human dignity, and particularly for the abolition of torture and the death penalty. ACAT Burundi acts for all those that are being tortured, detained in inhuman conditions, have been sentenced to death or have disappeared irrespective of their origins, political opinions or religious beliefs.

Burundi Bridges to Justice
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 12, 2012

Burundi Bridges to Justice is a locally registered NGO associated with International Bridges for Justice

US Department of State Human Rights Report South Sudan 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 10, 2012

"Prison conditions were harsh and life threatening, and prisons were overcrowded. Rumbek Prison in Lakes State, for example, was designed for 200 inmates but reportedly held more than 550. Health care and sanitation were inadequate, and basic medical supplies and equipment were lacking. Prisoners generally received one meal per day and relied on family or friends for food. Potable water was limited"...."Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem. Estimates of the number of pretrial detainees in prison ranged from one-third to two-thirds of the prison population. The country’s lack of lawyers and judges contributed to lengthy pretrial detention. During the year the UNMISS Rule of Law, Judicial Systems, and Prison Advisory Unit started a justice sector mapping project to collect data on pretrial detainees, including those held for more than one year"

US Department of State Human Rights Report Botswana 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 10, 2012

"Conditions in the country’s 22 prisons and two detention centers for irregular immigrants remained poor due to overcrowding. The prison system held approximately 15-20 percent more inmates than its authorized capacity of 4,219. Overcrowding, which was worse in men’s prisons, constituted a serious health threat due to the high incidence of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis."

Associação Mãos Livres
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 06, 2012

Associação Mãos Livres has been providing free legal aid to poor people since 2000, including those held in detention. It is the first organization in Angola that dares to call itself a "human rights organization", and is the first Angolan NGO to provide free legal aid.

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 06, 2012

The mission of CHRR is to "contribute toward the protection, promotion and consolidation of good governance by empowering rural and urban communities in Malawi to be aware of and exercise their rights through research advocacy and networking in order to realise human development."

Paralegal Advisory Service Institute
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 06, 2012

PASI started in Malawi in May 2000 as a partnership of Penal Reform International (PRI) with four Malawian NGOs, to provide legal assistance to people awaiting trial in prison and defend their legal and constitutional rights.

US Department of State Human Rights Report Algeria 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 04, 2012

"According to the director general of the Prisons Administration, there were 56,000 prisoners, including 411 minors, in the country’s 133 prisons."... "The law does not provide a person in detention the right to a prompt judicial determination of the legality of the detention. Those charged with acts against the security of the state, including terrorism, may be held in pretrial detention as long as 20 months, according to the penal code, and the prosecutor must show cause every four months for continuing pretrial detention. Hundreds of rioters in January charged with looting or public disorder were held in pretrial detention, usually for 24 hours, but sometimes for several days."

US Department of State Human Rights Report Burkina Faso 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 04, 2012

"Conditions in prisons and detention facilities were harsh and at times life-threatening. Prisons were overcrowded, and medical care and sanitation were poor. Although regulations require the presence of a doctor and five nurses at the Maison d’Arret et de Correction de Ouagadougou’s (MACO) health unit, only three nurses are on duty to treat the 1,506 detainees." ... "Government officials estimated that 48 percent of prisoners nationwide were in pretrial status. In some cases detainees were held without charge or trial for longer periods than the maximum sentence they would have received if convicted of the alleged offense. A pretrial release (release on bail) system exists; however, the extent of its use was unknown. Human rights advocates stated that the justice system, including prisons, had unreliable mechanisms to track detainees and occasionally “lost” some of them and/or their paperwork."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku - March 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Apr 04, 2012

This month's edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers issues of governance and corruption, rehabilitation, escapes, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, parole and sentencing as well as prison related news from other African countries.

US Department of State Human Rights Report Mozambique 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 26, 2012

"By law the maximum length of investigative detention without a warrant is 48 hours, during which time a detainee has the right to judicial review of the case. The individual may be detained another 90 days while the PIC continues its investigation. When a person is accused of a crime carrying a sentence of more than eight years, the individual may be detained up to an additional 84 days without being charged formally. With court approval, such detainees may be held for two more periods of 84 days each without charge while the police complete their investigation. The law provides that when the prescribed period for investigation has been completed and if no charges have been brought, the detainee must be released. .... Excessively long pretrial detention continued to be a serious problem, due in part to an inadequate number of judges and prosecutors and poor communication among authorities. Approximately 35 percent of inmates were in pretrial detention. The LDH reported in many cases authorities held inmates far beyond the maximum allowed under law before their trials began and that in the city and Province of Maputo alone in the first half of September there were 532 detainees that were being held beyond the legal limit."

US Department of State Human Rights Report Benin 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 26, 2012

"Prison conditions continued to be harsh and life threatening. Overcrowding and lack of proper sanitation and medical facilities posed risks to prisoners’ health. A July 2010 mediator of the republic’s (ombudsman) report on the condition in the nine civil prisons indicated that prisons were overcrowded, and malnutrition and disease were common."... "Approximately 75 percent of persons in prison were pretrial detainees; length of pretrial detention varied from two to 11 years. Inadequate facilities, poorly trained staff, and overcrowded dockets delayed the administration of justice."

US Department of State Human Rights Report Angola 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 26, 2012

"According to the Ministry of Interior and press reports, the 34 prisons had 11,692 available places for 19,898 prisoners in November"..."There were 9,234 men in pretrial detention and 10,113 men serving a sentence. There were 551 women, of whom 253 were in pretrial detention and 298 were sentenced."..."The law states detainees should not be held longer than 24 hours, but many were held for days. Excessively long pretrial detention continued to be a serious problem. An inadequate number of judges and poor communication among authorities contributed to the problem. Police beat and then released detainees rather than prepare a formal court case. In some cases authorities held inmates in the prison system for up to two years before their trials began. NGOs reported that more than 50 percent of inmates were pretrial detainees, most of whom had not been formally charged. The government did not release detainees who had been held beyond the legal time limit, claiming that previous releases of pretrial detainees had resulted in an increase in crime."

Torture continues for Libyan detainees
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 12, 2012

A report released by Amnesty International in February 2012 says that a year after the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's militias are "largely out of control", with the use of torture ubiquitous and the country's new rulers unable – or unwilling – to prevent abuses.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku February 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Mar 08, 2012

This month's media summary report includes news about governance and corruption, escapes, and parole and sentencing, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in West Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 02, 2012

A look at the Criminal Justice System with Professor Chidi Odinkalu of the Open Society Justice Initiative. Published in October 2010 by West Africa Insight, which is a Publication of West Africa Horizon Scanning - Project of the Centre For Democracy Development in West Africa.

About PPJA
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 02, 2012

Promoting Pre-trial Justice in Africa (PPJA) aims to collect and organise information on pre-trial justice in Africa and make this available and accessible to a broad audience of stakeholders in a manner that can inform decision-making and improve practice, thereby promoting pre-trial justice in Africa.

Comoros
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 27, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Comoros.

Cape Verde
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 27, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Cape Verde.

São Tomé and Príncipe
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 27, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Mauritius
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 24, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Mauritius.

Seychelles
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 24, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Seychelles.

Militias Threaten New Hope for Libya
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 20, 2012

This report by Amnesty International says that a year after the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's militias are "largely out of control", with the use of torture ubiquitous and the country's new rulers unable – or unwilling – to prevent abuses. Thousands of detainees are being held in various prisons across the country. In at least 12 cases since October, prisoners have been tortured to death, including Omar Brebesh, Libya's former ambassador to France, who died in Tripoli last month.

Version authentique du Rapport de la Commission Nationale des droits de l'Homme sur les allégations de cas de torture faites par les personnes détenues dans le cadre de la procédure ouverte pour atteinte à la sûreté de l'Etat.
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 19, 2012

Version authentique du Rapport de la Commission Nationale des droits de l'Homme sur les allégations de cas de torture faites par les personnes détenues dans le cadre de la procédure ouverte pour atteinte à la sûreté de l'Etat. La Commission Nationale des Droits de l'Homme a adopté à sa séance plénière du 15 février 2012 le rapport sur les allégations de cas de torture faites par les personnes détenues dans le cadre de la procédure ouverte pour atteinte à la sûreté de l'Etat. Contrairement à ce qui a été adopté, le Gouvernement a fait publier un rapport travesti obtenu sur menaces. La Commission, fidèle à sa mission, tient à établir la vérité et publie par la même occasion le rapport dans sa forme originelle.

Sierra Leone
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 10, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Sierra Leone.

Senegal
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 10, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Senegal.

Guinea-Bissau
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 10, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Guinea-Bissau and lists research and documents relevant to pre-trial justice in Guinea-Bissau.

Lesotho
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 10, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Lesotho.

Togo
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 09, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Togo.

Swaziland
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 09, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Swaziland.

Gambia, The
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 09, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of The Gambia.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku - December 2011/January 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Feb 07, 2012

This edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers news items from December 2011 and January 2012, including issues of governance and corruption, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, rehabilitation, South Africans imprisoned abroad, parole and sentencing as well as prison related news from other African countries.

Eritrea
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 06, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Eritrea.

Equatorial Guinea
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 06, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Equatorial Guinea.

Djibouti
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 05, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Djibouti.

Congo, Republic of the
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 05, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Republic of the Congo.

Burkina Faso
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 05, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Burkina Faso.

Ghana
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 05, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Ghana.

Mali
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 25, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Mali.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 40 - January 2012
Author: Berber
Published: Jan 24, 2012

The South African parole regime has become a complex and confusing system. Recent case law has brought to light the effect of numerous amendments to the governing legislation and, to some degree, clarified how the eligibility of parole will be determined for various categories of prisoners. This newsletter sets out the governing legislation, explains the various amendments which have occurred, and discusses relevant case law.

Central African Republic
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 20, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of the Central African Republic.

Tunisia
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 20, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Tunisia.

Ethiopia
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 20, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Ethiopia.

Sudan
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 20, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Sudan.

Somalia
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 20, 2012

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Somalia.

Eritrea Human Rights Watch Country Summary 2012
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2012

"Eritrea marked 20 years of independence in 2011, but its citizens remain victimized by one of the world’s most repressive governments. They suffer arbitrary and indefinite detention; torture; inhumane conditions of confinement; restrictions on freedom of speech, movement, and belief; and indefinite conscription and forced labor in national service."

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.

Guinea
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 06, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Guinea.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2011
Author: Gwen
Published: Dec 01, 2011

This month's edition of 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku covers issues of governance and corruption, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad, parole and sentencing as well as prison related news from other African countries. Our next edition will be sent out at the end of January 2012.

Morocco
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 25, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Morocco.

Chad
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 14, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Chad.

Gabon
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 14, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Gabon.

Links
Author: calitz
Published: Nov 11, 2011
Niger
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 07, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Niger.

Madagascar
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 07, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Madagascar.

Guide to UN Convention Against Torture in South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2011

This publication, released in 2011, is an update to the earlier version published in 2008. It provides an up to date guide to the implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) which South Africa ratified in December 1998. As a guide to the UNCAT it is aimed at civil society organisations, human rights activists and officials working with people deprived of their liberty. The guide is divided in six chapters as follows: The absolute prohibition of torture in international law; Framing the problem of torture in a South African context; The UNCAT and South Africa’s obligations; The Committee against Torture and South Africa; Recent case law; Domestic and international stakeholders in preventing and combating torture.

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.

Rwanda
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 04, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Rwanda.

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.

Botswana
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 03, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Botswana.

Tanzania
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Tanzania.

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

Paul v Attorney General [2011] MWHC 10
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 25, 2011

"This matter is about the constitutionality of the applicant's detention whilst awaiting to he tried. Indeed what I am being asked to consider in this case is whether there was a breach of the reasonable time requirement as stipulated in Section 42(2)(f)(i) of the Constitution of Malawi. In this regard, I believe that the test that has to be adopted would be one that was laid down in. Attorney-General's Reference (No 1 of 1990)[1992] QJ3 630, which is that (in the absence of malpractice or misbehaviour by the prosecutor) the attention of the court is directed to the single issue whether, because of the delay which has occurred, a fair trial of the accused or defendant will or may be prejudiced."

A5I - CLC statement at the 50th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR
Author: Gwen
Published: Oct 25, 2011

This is the statement that the Community Law Centre (predecessor of the Dullah Omar Institute) and the Article 5 Initiative, a project of which CSPRI was part, made a the 50th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, which was held from 24 October until 5 November 2011.

Western Africa
Author: calitz
Published: Oct 17, 2011

In Western Africa there is the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS).

Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 16, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Cameroon
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 16, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Cameroon.

Benin
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 16, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Benin.

Uganda
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 16, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Uganda.

Mauritania
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 15, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Mauritania.

Algeria
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 15, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the criminal justice system of Algerua and contains research and documents relevant to pre-trial justice in Algeria.

South Sudan
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of South Sudan.

Egypt
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Egypt.

Libya
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Libya.

Nigeria
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2011

This section contains a brief description of the legal system in Nigeria.

Constitution of Zimbabwe
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2011

Constitution of Zimbabwe, as amended at the 14 September, 2005 (up to and including Amendment No. 17)

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Oct 01, 2011

In this issue, media reports deal with governance and corruption, unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, South Africans imprisoned abroad and news from other African countries.

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.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 39 - September 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 01, 2011

This newsletter discusses the problem of prison overcrowding in South Africa in light of recent foreign and international jurisprudential developments. It further explores the possibility of similar reform litigation in South Africa.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 01, 2011

This month's media summary report includes news about governance and corruption, unsentenced prisoners, parole and sentencing and prison conditions, as well as prison related news from other African countries.

'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."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2011
Author: calitz
Published: Aug 01, 2011

The media reports include issues within the topics of prisons conditions, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, extradition and escapes, as well as prison related media reports in other African countries.

Law on Legal Aid (2011)
Author: Suraj
Published: Jul 20, 2011

Loi n°136/AN/11/6ème L relative à l’aide judiciaire

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.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 09, 2011

"Freedom from Torture 18. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Fair Trial 19. (1) An accused person is presumed to be innocent until his or her guilt is proved according to the law. (2) Any person who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his or her arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him or her. (3) In all civil and criminal proceedings, every person shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent court of law in accordance with procedures prescribed by aw. (4) A person arrested by the police as part of an investigation, may be held in detention, for a period not exceeding 24 hours and if not released on bond to be produced in court. The court has authority to either remand the accused in prison or to release him or her on bail. (5) No person shall be charged with any act or omission which did not constitute an offence at the time of its commission. (6) Every accused person shall be entitled to be tried in his or her presence in any criminal trial without undue delay; the law shall regulate trial in absentia. (7) Any accused person has the right to defend himself or herself in person or through a lawyer of his or her own choice or to have legal aid assigned to him or her by the government where he or she cannot afford a lawyer to defend him or her in any serious offence."

S v Madzokere and Others [2011] ZWHHC 154
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 01, 2011

"The release of an accused person on bail is aimed at enabling him to attend trial from out of custody. It does not mean he or she has no case to answer. On the other hand the detention of an accused in custody is to secure his or her attendance to stand trial, if there are genuine grounds for believing that the factors mentioned in section 117 (2) have been established against him. That is why the seriousness of the charge the accused is facing is not on its own enough to deny an accused person bail. The court must therefore endevour to strike a balance between the interests of justice, and the accused’s liberty. Section 117 (1) leans in favour of the liberty of the accused person, hence the use of the words, “shall be entitled to be released on bail at any time after he or she has appeared in court on a charge and before sentence is imposed, unless the court finds that it is in the interests of justice that he or she should be detained in custody.” The intention of the legislature was obviously to make s 117 consistent with the presumption of the accused’s innocence until proved guilty. That proof or lack of it can only be established at the accused’s trial."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Jul 01, 2011

This month's media reports focusses on the topics of unsentenced prisoners, prison conditions, parole and sentencing and governance and corruption.

Joseph Amoshima v The State, Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja, 17 June 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 20, 2011

Death sentence constitutional in Nigeria: “It is settled law also that where a statute prescribes a mandatory sentence in clear terms as in the instant case, the courts are without jurisdiction to impose anything less than the mandatory sentence as no discretion exists to be exercised in the matter. It is a duty imposed by law.”

La Constitution Marocain de 2011
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 17, 2011

This is the French version of the Moroccan Constitution approved in a referendum in July 2011.

Mphembedzu v The Republic, Bail Case No.70 of 2011, High Court of Malawi
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 13, 2011

Chimwemwe Mphembedzu at 15 was arrested on suspicion of homicide. He was remanded in prison for four years when he contracted a life-threatening illness. His application for bail, some four years after arrest, succeeded, and was partly based on custody time limits provided for in section 161F of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code.

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.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 38 - June 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2011

This newsletter is about the Correctional Matters Amendment Bill (B41 of 2010), which is the sixth piece of amending legislation to the Correctional Services Act since its adoption by Parliament in 1998.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2011

This month's media summary report include news about governance and corruption, sentenced prisoners, rehabilitation and prison 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. ..."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku May 2011
Author: hannes
Published: May 01, 2011

Media reports include corruption; prison conditions; parole and sentencing; governance and corruption and South African imprisoned abroad.

Submission by CSPRI to the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill [B15 of 2010] and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill - B16 of 2010.PDF
Author: calitz
Published: Apr 13, 2011

The submission deals with two bills, being the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill. The first places the emphasis on the absolute prohibition of torture and argues for the inclusion of the crime of torture into the bill and strengthening the investigative powers of the proposed Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) as well as its independence. In respect of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill attention is paid to establishing a detention visiting mechanism to enhance transparency in line with OPCAT.

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.

Prison Exit Samples as a Source for Indicators of Pretrial Detention
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 01, 2011

With funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, (DFID), the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) at the Harvard Kennedy School has been supporting state officials and civil society organizations in Jamaica, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria to develop and use their own indicators to spark, reinforce, and communicate progress toward strategic goals in justice and safety. In 2010, PCJ began collaborating with officials in Papua New Guinea (PNG), extending existing efforts in the law and justice sector funded by the Australian Government Aid Program (AusAID). The aim of the project is to equip government and civil society organizations with the skills and experience to design their own indicators, routinely assess those indicators, and use them to drive meaningful reform in the justice sector.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 01, 2011

This month's media summary report includes news about extradition, parole and sentencing, unsentenced prisoners, as well as other news on prisons.

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights v Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 25, 2011

"...following the detention of an opposition lawyer, peaceful demonstrations took place on 16th February 2011 in the Eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, ...demonstrations ... were violently suppressed by security forces ... the court orders ... (Libya) (to) refrain from any action that would result in loss of life or violation of physical integrity of persons ... "

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku March 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Mar 01, 2011

The media reports include issues within the topics of governance & corruption; extradition; law reform; parole & sentencing and South Africans imprisoned abroad.

Challenges and Reforms in the Nigerian Prisons System
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 27, 2011

by Emeka E. Obioha, Department of Safety and Security Management, Tshwane University of Technology. In J Soc Sci, 27(2): 95-109 (2011). "In order to deal finally with prison congestion, this paper suggests that the decongestion committee needs to be strengthened in its work by changing their periodic visit to the prisons to be more regular and frequent, more prison yards need to be built, more non-governmental organizations should be encouraged and allowed to visit the prisons to monitor the activities there, from which they can make an input in form of suggestions to the various reform committees on what to do.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku February 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Feb 01, 2011

This month's media summary report includes news about extradition, parole and sentencing and prison related news from other African countries.

The Security Sector and Gender in West Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2011

This report by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) os an attempt systematically to document the status of gender integration within the security sectors in member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku December 2010 - January 2011
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 01, 2010

In this issue, media reports are covered under the topics of governance and corruption; awaiting trial prisoners; parole and sentencing; South African imprisoned abroad and prisoners' rights

Policy on the Prevention of Torture and the Treatment of Persons in Custody of the South African Police Service
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2010

This policy document seeks to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of persons in custody of the South African Police Service (SAPS). It contains instructions which will eventually be incorporated into SAPS National Orders. The commentary provided does not form part of the instructions, but is intended to give guidance to members.

McCallum v South Africa, UN Doc CCPR/C/100/D/1818/2008 (2 November 2010)
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2010

The Human Rights Committee has found that South Africa violated a prisoner’s rights not to be tortured or treated in a cruel, inhuman or degrading manner and to be treated with humanity and respected when deprived of liberty. South Africa was also found to have violated its obligation to investigate and remedy the violation of those rights.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 01, 2010

This month’s summary includes articles on governance & corruption, awaiting trial prisoners, parole & sentencing, prisoners’ rights and prison developments in other parts of Africa.

Constitution of Niger (2010)
Author: Suraj
Published: Oct 31, 2010

PRÉAMBULE Nous, Peuple nigérien souverain - Résolu à consolider les acquis de la République et de l'indépendance nationale proclamées respectivement le 18 décembre 1958 et le 3 août 1960 ainsi que ceux de la Conférence nationale souveraine qui a réuni du 29 juillet au 3 novembre 1991 l'ensemble des forces vives de la Nation ; - Résolu à bâtir un État de droit garantissant, d'une part, l'exercice des droits collectifs et individuels, la liberté, la justice, la dignité, l'égalité, la sûreté et le bien-être comme valeurs fondamentales de notre société et, d'autre part, l'alternance démocratique et la bonne gouvernance ; - Résolu à bâtir une nation unie, digne, pacifique, industrieuse et prospère ; - Profondément attaché aux valeurs de civilisation qui fondent notre personnalité ; - Soucieux de sauvegarder notre identité culturelle ; Proclamons notre attachement aux principes de la démocratie pluraliste et aux droits humains tels que définis par la Déclaration universelle des droits de l'Homme de 1948, le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques de 1966, le Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques, sociaux et culturels de 1966 et la Charte africaine des droits de l'Homme et des Peuples de 1981 ; Proclamons notre attachement aux instruments juridiques régionaux et internationaux de protection et de promotion des droits humains tels que signés et ratifiés par le Niger ; Réaffirmons notre attachement à l'Unité africaine et nous engageons à tout mettre en oeuvre pour réaliser l'intégration régionale et sous-régionale ; Exprimons notre volonté de coopérer dans l'amitié, l'égalité et le respect mutuel avec tous les peuples épris de paix, de justice et de liberté ; Réaffirmons notre opposition absolue à tout régime politique fondé sur la dictature, l'arbitraire, l'impunité, l'injustice, la corruption, la concussion, le régionalisme, l'ethnocentrisme, le népotisme, le pouvoir personnel et le culte de la personnalité ; Adoptons solennellement la présente Constitution, loi suprême de l'État à laquelle nous jurons respect, loyauté et fidélité et dont ce préambule est partie intégrante.

Republic versus Danson Mgunya and Kassim Sheebwana Mohamed
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 15, 2010

".. a murder suspect has a Constitutional Right to be released on bail. This is an inalienable right and can only be restricted by the court if there are compelling reasons for him not to be released"

Dr. Kizza Besigye & Others v Attorney General (Constitutional Petition No.7 Of 2007) [2010] UGCC 6
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2010

The petitioners are civilians accused of acts of treason and misprision of treason committed between 2001 and 2004. The petitioners, together with 12 co-accused who have since been discharged, were committed to the High Court for trial. The High Court granted the 2nd to 9th petitioners and 6 of the discharged co-accused conditional bail. To prevent the release on bail, various officials, authorities and agencies of the State deliberately and systematically committed acts which contravene several provisions of the Constitution and which are severally and cumulatively calculated to gravely prejudice the petitioners’ joint and several rights to a fair trial on any charges arising out of or in any way connected with the allegation of a plot to overthrow the Government of Uganda by force of arms between 2001 and 2004. The first petition for an order sought for a stay of all relevant criminal proceedings in all the courts succeeds. The second petition for an order permanently prohibiting the State from using the process of any court, military or civilian so as to initiate and prosecute the petitioners in connection of the alleged plot to overthrow the Government of Uganda by force of arms between December 2001 and December 2004.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Oct 01, 2010

This month’s articles include news on unsentenced prisoners, parole & sentencing, South Africans imprisoned abroad and prison-related news from other countries in Africa.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 36 - September 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Sep 01, 2010

This Newsletter focuses on South Africa’s obligation to report on implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and the role of civil society and parliament in this process.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Sep 01, 2010

This issue contains news articles on security & escape, parole & sentencing, prison conditions and prison-related news from other African countries.

Constitution of Kenya 2010
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 27, 2010

As published by the National Council for Law Reporting with the Authority of the Attorney General

Andrew Mujuni Mwenda & Another v Attorney General (Consolidated Constitutional Petitions No.12 of 2005 & No.3 of 2006) [2010] UGCC 5
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 25, 2010

Andrew Mujuni Mwenda, a journalist, sought declarations of nullification of the offences of sedition and promoting sectarianism preferred against him in the Chief Magistrate’s Court, contending that they were unconstitutional. The Eastern African Media Institution (U)Ltd on it’s own and in public interest petitioned the Court seeking declarations of nullification of the same offences of sedition, promoting sectarianism and criminal defamation. The court declared (i) Sections 39 and 40 of the Penal Code inconsistent with provisions of the Articles 29(1) (a) and 43(2) (c) of the Constitution and null and void (ii) Sections 42, 43 & 44 of the Penal Code which relate to sedition redundant (iii) Petitioners failed to prove that the offence of promoting sectarianism is inconsistent with the Constitution.

Parliamentary submission on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill (2010)
Author: Gwen
Published: Aug 11, 2010

This submission to the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on theCriminal Procedure Amendment Bill (Bill 39 of 2010) discusses the amendments to section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act (use of deadly force by police) and its deviation from the Constitutional Court case Ex parte Minister of Safety and Security: In re S v Walters. The Bill was adopted in 21012 (Act 9 of 2012).

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Aug 01, 2010

This month’s summary includes articles on governance & corruption, unsentenced prisoners, parole & sentencing and prison developments in other parts of Africa.

Child Care, Protection and Justice Act
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 29, 2010

An Act to consolidate the law relating to children by making provision for child care and protection and for child justice; and for matters of social development of the child and for connected matters

Correlates of violence in Guinea’s Maison Centrale Prison: A statistical approach to documenting human rights abuses
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 02, 2010

by Ronald E Osborn, published in 'Health and Human Rights'. Les Mêmes Droits Pour Tous (MDT) is a human rights NGO in Guinea, West Africa that focuses on the rights of prisoners in Maison Centrale, the country’s largest prison located Conakry. In 2007, MDT completed a survey of the prison population to assess basic legal and human rights conditions. This article uses statistical tools to explore MDT’s survey results in greater depth, shedding light on human rights violations in Guinea.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Jul 01, 2010

This month's prison-related topics cover South African news articles on governance & corruption, awaiting trial, parole & sentencing and articles in other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 18, 2010

This month’s articles include topics like parole & sentencing, security & escape and prison-related news from other countries in Africa.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku May 2010
Author: hannes
Published: May 18, 2010

This month's summary of newspaper reports include topics like Governance & Corruption; Parole & Sentencing; Prison Conditions and prison-related news from other parts of Africa.

CLC statement to the ACHPR 47th Ordinary Session on pre-trial detention in Africa
Author: Gwen
Published: May 12, 2010

This is the statement that the Community Law Centre (predecessor of the Dullah Omar Institute) made a the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, which was held from 12 to 26 May 2010. The submission addresses the issue of pre-trial detention in Africa.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 35 - May 2010
Author: hannes
Published: May 01, 2010

This Newsletter discusses the launch of the African HIV in Prison Partnership Network (AHPPN) along with its Declaration of Commitment for HIV and AIDS Prevention Care, Treatment and Support in Prisons (Adopted: Johannesburg, South Africa, 18 November).

Criminal Procedure Code of Seychelles (1955)
Author: Suraj
Published: Apr 15, 2010

As amended by the following: Act 13 of 1952 Act 9 of 1955 Act 3 of 1956 Act 13 of 1957 Act 23 of 1957 Act 3 of 1959 Act 11 of 1959 Act 39 of 1960 Act 7 of 1961 Act 4 of 1963 Act 31 of 1964 Act 2 of 1965 Act 8 of 1966 Act 6 of 1968 S.I.51 of 1959 S.I.53 of 1962 S.I.7 of 1963 S.I. 23 of 1971 Act 29 of 1973 S.I. 99 of 1973 Act 2 of 1974 S.I. 95 of 1975 Act 14 of 1975 Act 19 of 1975 S.I. 72 of 1976 Act 23 of 1976 Act 32 of 1980 Act 20 of 1981 Act 23 of 1981 Act 5 of 1982 Act 4 of 1986 Act 4 of 2007 Act 17 of 2008 Act 2 of 2010

Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB, and Abuse in Zambian Prisons
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 01, 2010

This report is the first analysis of prison health conditions in Zambia by independent human rights organizations. In preparing this report, PRISCCA, ARASA, and Human Rights Watch interviewed 246 prisoners, eight former prisoners, 30 prison officers, and conducted facility tours at six prisons throughout the central corridor of Zambia. The purpose of this research was to understand health conditions and human rights violations in Zambian prisons, and to provide recommendations for a future which respects the basic rights and minimum standards due to prisoners.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 01, 2010

This month's prison-related topics cover South African newspaper articles on governance & corruption; parole & sentencing; prison conditions; security & escapes and articles in other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku March 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Mar 18, 2010

Download this month's newspaper articles on the topics of governance & corruption; parole & sentencing; prison conditions; overcrowding; security & escapes; South Africans imprisoned abroad and prison-related articles in other parts of Africa.

Oatile v The Attorney General 2010 (1) BLR 404 (HC)
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 02, 2010

Headnote: The plaintiff claimed constitutional damages for the failure by the State to try him within a reasonable period of time. He alleged that the delay of over 12 years from the date of his arrest to the date of commencement of his trial violated his right to be tried within a reasonable period of time, as contained in s 10(1) of the Constitution of Botswana. He was first arrested and charged with murder in February 1995. The charge was withdrawn in 1998 but he was recharged in 2004. He was brought to trial in 2007, at the conclusion of which he was acquitted. The defendant offered no explanation for the delay in the commencement of the plaintiff's trial. Held: (1) Whether a particular delay was unreasonable depended on the circumstances of the case. Relevant factors included the length of the delay, the crime charged, the availability of witnesses, the efforts made to prosecute expeditiously and the availability of judges or magistrates. Busi v The State [1997] B.L.R. 69, CA at p 72E-F applied. (2) The withdrawal of the charge did not operate against the plaintiff. Sejammitlwa and Others v The Attorney-General and Others [2002] 2 B.L.R. 75, CA and In re Mlambo 1992 (4) SA 144 (ZS) at pp 151A-C and 151J-152A applied. (3) A period of over 12 years qualified as an inordinate delay in bringing the plaintiff to trial. (4) There was no explanation for why the plaintiff was not brought to trial subsequent to his release in 1998 or earlier and the delay was accordingly unreasonable. (5) The 'redress' to which an applicant was entitled for violation of his fundamental rights, in terms of s 18(1) of the Constitution of Botswana, included, where appropriate, an award of constitutional damages. Sekgabetlela v The Attorney-General and Another (Civ Case 954/07), H unreported at paras [45] and [46] followed; Maharaj v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago (No 2) [1979] AC 385 (PC) and Fose v Minister of Safety and Security 1997 (3) SA 786 (CC) at p 821 para 60 applied. (6) In the present case, the nature and circumstances of the breach of the plaintiff's constitutional rights justified his seeking to avail himself of his constitutional remedy. MEC, Department of Welfare, Eastern Cape v Kate 2006 (4) SA 478 (SCA) at p 491 paras 26-27 applied. (7) In the present case, an appropriate award of constitutional damages was A an amount of P100 000. Merson v Cartwright and Another [2005] UKPC 38 at para 18 applied.

Nkunga v The Attorney General 2010 (1) BLR 342 (HC)
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 22, 2010

Headnote: The plaintiff was a security guard who manned the front gate of the Botswana Power Corporation Training Centre. A number of police officers proceeded through the the gate without stopping and registering the necessary particulars, as required by the security procedures at the gate. When the plaintiff insisted that they comply with the procedures, they assaulted him by strangling him, pushing him to the ground and beating him up. After assaulting him, they arrested him on a charge of common nuisance and detained him for a day. The plaintiff instituted action for damages for assault and for wrongful arrest and detention. In defence of the action, the defendant gave a completely different account of events at the front gate. Held: (1) On the evidence, the plaintiff had established that the assault was deliberate and unlawful. (2) Further, the arresting officer had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the plaintiff had committed the offence of common nuisance and his arrest and subsequent detention were consequently unlawful. (3) During the assault, the plaintiff sustained injuries from his head to thigh regions. He was examined by a doctor three days later but the doctor considered it unnecessary to prescribe any treatment or medication for his injuries. In the circumstances, an appropriate award of damages for the assault was an amount of P7 500. Mosaninda v The Attorney-General [1994] B.L.R. 411 considered. (4) The plaintiff was detained for less than 24 hours, he received an apology from the station commander and there were no aggravating features that appeared from the evidence. In the circumstances, an appropriate award of damages for the unlawful arrest and detention was an amount of P7 500. Tlharesegolo v The Attorney-General [2001] 2 B.L.R. 730, Mosaninda v The Attorney-General [1994] B.L.R. 411, Onkabetse v The Attorney-General and E Others [1989] B.L.R. 120 and Kebafetotse v The Attorney-General [2004] 1 B.L.R. 419 considered.

State Violence in Chad: A statistical analysis of reported prison mortality in Chad's DDS prisons
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 02, 2010

This report documents the death of prisoners inside Chad's Direction de la Documentation et de la Securite (DDS) prisons between 1982 and 1990, and the extent to which former Chadian president Hissene Habre and senior officials within his government are responsible for human rights violations committed by the DDS. The report presents evidence which is consistent with the hypothesis that the policies and practices of Hissene Habre and senior DDS officials, whom Habre appointed, contributed to deaths in custody on a level substantially higher than the adult mortality rate of Chad at the time. The analysis tests the hypotheses that Habre had a superior-subordinate relationship with senior DDS officials and had knowledge of their actions, which resulted in substantial deaths in custody.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku February 2010
Author: hannes
Published: Feb 01, 2010

Download this month's summary of articles on governance and corruption; parole and sentencing; prison conditions; South African's imprisoned abroad; security and escapes, etc.

Mongakgotla v The Attorney General 2010 1 BLR 13 CA
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 28, 2010

"Headnote: The appellant was cautioned, and then arrested and detained, on suspicion of having been involved in the commission of a robbery that was still under investigation. He claimed damages for his alleged unlawful arrest and detention. The High Court found that the arresting officer had harboured a reasonable suspicion that the appellant was involved in the commission of the robbery and dismissed the appellant's action. The facts upon which the finding of 'reasonable suspicion' was based were that the arresting officer had been given a tip-off that the robbery was committed by members of the Mongakgotla family, the appellant had been pointed out as a member of the Mongakgotla family, and the appellant had refused to answer questions by the police while they were conducting their investigation. The appellant appealed against the High Court's decision. Held: (1) The suspicion of the arresting officer was not reasonable because it was based on nothing more than a tip-off that the robbery was committed by members of the Mongakgotla family and a pointing out of the appellant as a member of the Mongakgotla family. (2) As a cautioned suspect the appellant was entitled to refuse to answer questions and his silence did not strengthen the reasonableness of the suspicion at the time of his arrest. (3) It followed that the appellant's arrest and detention for 16½ hours was G unlawful. (4) The appellant spent the night in a dirty and smelly police cell, and the blankets were dirty. He was unable to sleep at all and was provided neither with access to a shower nor with food. (5) In the circumstances an amount of P5 000 would adequately compensate the plaintiff for his injuria.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Author: Suraj
Published: Jan 07, 2010

"... a comprehensive law prohibiting torture and providing for the prosecution of torturers was adopted in 2006. However, on the basis of discussions with public officials, judges, lawyers and representatives of civil society, interviews with victims of violence and with persons deprived of their liberty, often supported by forensic medical evidence, he found torture by the police to be systematic in the initial period after arrest and during interrogation, including by suspension, severe beatings, electroshocks, etc. A number of cases of corporal punishment were reported to the Special Rapporteur in Malabo, Black Beach and Bata prisons. The Special Rapporteur further observes that neither safeguards against ill-treatment, nor complaints mechanisms are effective and that perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment are not prosecuted, with the exception of one case in 2007. On the contrary, in many cases, victims of torture experience a total lack of justice, which, combined with the physical and psychological consequences of ill-treatment and the absence of any rehabilitation or compensation mechanism, may cause ongoing suffering that might amount to inhuman treatment."

ICRC Annual Report 2010 Algeria
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2010

International Committee of the Red Cross, Annual Report, 2010: Algeria. The ICRC carries out visits to people held in places of detention run by the Ministry of Justice and to people remanded in custody in police stations and gendarmeries.

Human Rights and Human Dignity in Madagascar
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2010

This report by Hans Maier published by the Human Rights Office of the Pontifical Mission Society provides on overview of the human rights situation in Madagascar, including prison conditions and remand detention.

Report of the International Commission of Inquiry mandated to establish the facts and circumstances of the events of 28 September 2009 in Guinea
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 18, 2009

The Commission is in a position to confirm the identity of 156 persons who were killed or who disappeared: 67 persons killed whose bodies were returned to their families, 40 persons who were seen dead in the stadium or in morgues but whose bodies have disappeared, and 49 persons who were seen in the stadium but whose fate is unknown. It confirms that at least 109 women were subjected to rape and other sexual violence, including sexual mutilation and sexual slavery. Several women died of their wounds following particularly cruel sexual attacks. The Commission also confirms hundreds of other cases of torture or of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Dozens of persons were arrested and arbitrarily detained in the military camps of Alpha Yaya Diallo and Kundara and in the barracks of the riot police (CMIS), where they were tortured. The security forces also systematically stole demonstrators’ property and engaged in looting. The Commission considers that, during the abuses on 28 September and the immediate aftermath, the Guinean authorities deliberately embarked on destruction of the traces of the violations committed, with the aim of concealing the facts: cleaning of the stadium, removal of the bodies of the victims of executions, burial in mass graves, denial of medical care to victims, deliberate alteration of medical records and military take-over of hospitals and morgues. This operation created a climate of fear and insecurity among the population. The Commission therefore believes that the number of victims of all these violations is quite probably higher.

Roundtable Discussion on the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 09, 2009

In March 2005 the Department of Correctional Services released the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa which articulated a new 20-year vision for the correctional system. This vision articulates an antithesis of what was inherited from the previous regime. But it does raise serious questions about its attainability. Nearly five years into the implementation of the White Paper, results in respect of rehabilitation services to prisoners remain modest. The lack of budgetary alignment to the vision of the White Paper has also been remarked upon by Parliament. In many regards, conditions of detention fail to meet the minimum standards set out in the Constitution and the Correctional Services Act. This roundtable discussion focussed on a critical examination of the White Paper as a policy document and also on progress towards realising the objectives of the White Paper. Some may argue that the White Paper has made a valuable contribution by providing the Department with a new purpose and paradigm, whilst others state that meeting the minimum standards of humane detention is a pre-requisite for large scale rehabilitation services. Did the ambitious vision of the White Paper set the Department up for failure?

CSPRI Newsletter No. 33 - December 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 01, 2009

This Newsletter focuses on the Improved monitoring and reporting to promote and protect the rights of prisoners under the African human rights system

Roundtable Discussion on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

The second, in a series of three roundtable discussion, focused on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services. Since its establishment in 1998 the Inspectorate has made a valuable contribution to promoting and protecting prisoners’ rights and South Africa. The Inspectorate has the mandate to inspect prisons in order that the Inspecting Judge may report on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons. After nearly a decade in existence, it is necessary to examine how the Inspectorate has fulfilled its mandate and how oversight over the prison can be improved in cooperation with other stakeholders, such as civil society, Parliament and the academic community. The discussion focused on the state of correctional centre and the prevention of human rights violations.

Roundtable discussion on oversight over the prison system
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

This roundtable discussion, hosted by CSPRI, is the first in a series of three, and included representatives from Parliament, the Judicial Inspectorate for Prisons, SAHRC, media and civil society organisations. The discussions focused on the different oversight mandates, successes achieved in exercising oversight as well as the problems faced. Strategic priorities in prison oversight were identified by the participants.

Reducing Prison Violence: Implications from the literature for South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

Few would argue that prisons are violent places and South Africa is no exception. The consistently high number of deaths and complaints of assaults recorded by both the DCS and the JICS over several years indicate that violence is a “normal” feature of the South African prison system. Amongst all the strategic objectives towards transformation of the prison system and the distractions, the most important objective of any correctional system is to detain prisoners under safe and humane conditions. This, very explicitly, means that individuals, when imprisoned, must not only be safe but they must also feel safe. Regrettably this is not the case and thus the need for this paper to take a closer look at violence in South Africa’s prison system. This is done by reviewing the literature on prison violence to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and also to establish whether there have been any effective measures implemented elsewhere to reduce prison violence. Based on these a number of recommendations are made to improve prison safety in South Africa.

Ex-prisoners' Views on Imprisonment and Re-Entry
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

In the past 15 years much research has been conducted on the prison system in South Africa focusing on governance, law reform and human rights. It is, however, of particular concern that the voices of prisoners and ex-prisoners had not been heard in the current discourse, one that has been dominated by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Parliament, service delivery organisations, academics and human rights activists. In essence, there has been a lot of talk about prisoners and ex-prisoners but there has been little listening to prisoners and ex-prisoners taking place.

A Societal Responsibility: The role of civil society organisations in prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

There is a growing number of civil society organisations in South Africa working with offenders and prisoners focusing on prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration, reflecting in many ways the ‘societal responsibility’ that the White Paper on Corrections advocates for. These organisations provide services broadly aimed at promoting offender reintegration and reducing the chances of re-offending.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 01, 2009

This issue reports on topics around corruption and governance; sentencing and parole, health issues and on reports from other African countries.

Parliamentary Submission on the 2008/9 DCS Annual Report
Author: Gwen
Published: Oct 12, 2009

This submission to the South African parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the 2008/9 Department of Correctional Services Annual Report addresses the issues of safe custody, challenges faced by the pre-trial detention population, staff management and social reintegration.

'I can't believe in justice anymore': Obstacles to justice for unlawful killings by police in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 08, 2009

This report renews Amnesty International’s call on the Mozambican authorities to ensure that there are thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into all cases of use of force by the police resulting in death; that the officers responsible for unlawful killings are brought to justice in fair trials; and that families of those killed receive adequate reparation. It highlights the obstacles to accessing justice for families of victims of unlawful killings by the police and calls on the authorities to remove these obstacles.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Oct 01, 2009

This month's newspaper articles focus on Prisoner Exchange and Transfer; Condition of Detention; Sentencing and Parole; Government and Corruption as well as prison related news from other parts of Africa.

Masangano v Attorney General & Others [2009] MWHC 31
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 11, 2009

"The Applicants’ affidavits show that he is a convicted prisoner serving a 12 year prison term effective 2006. He was first at Chichiri Prison but presently he is at Domasi Prison. He avers that ever since his imprisonment, he and his fellow prisoners have been subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment which is an infringement of his rights which he believes to be non-derogable as per Section 44 of the Constitution."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Sep 01, 2009

This month's newspaper articles focus on the following topics: Governance and Corruption; Parole and Sentencing; Overcrowding; Safe Custody; Escapes; and Prison-related information in other African Countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Aug 01, 2009

Media Reports for August included within the following topics are: Conditions of Detention; Governance and Corruption; Labour Relations; Sentencing, Pardons and Parole; Escapes, Deaths and Security; and reports on prison reform in other parts of Africa.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Jul 18, 2009

This month's newspaper articles focus on the following topics: sentencing and parole; overcrowding; prison conditions; governance and corruption; and articles about prison related information in other African countries.

Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea
Author: Suraj
Published: Jul 09, 2009

"Human Rights Watch has documented real or perceived government opponents’ experiences of abuse ranging from arbitrary arrest and detention without trial to torture, harassment, and extrajudicial killing. As documented below, Equatoguinean security forces have also kidnapped opposition politicians in exile in order for them to stand trial in Equatorial Guinea."

LEI DE BASES DA ORGANIZAÇÃO JUDICIÁRIA
Author: Suraj
Published: Jul 08, 2009

elaboração da presente proposta de Lei de Bases da Organização Judiciária é o resultado de um longo trabalho de investigação e de reflexão, com a participação de uma pluralidade de actores do sistema de justiça e da comunidade na elaboração do diagnóstico dos problemas e das propostas de solução

CSPRI Submission to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services on the Correctional Services Budget Vote 2009-10 Vote 18.pdf
Author: calitz
Published: Jul 06, 2009

The submission deals with the following: the size of the budget; the size of the prison population; Meeting the minimum standards of humane detention; Performance and operations indicators; Engaging prisoners in programmes and employment; Development of sentence plans; Preparing for release and post-release support; and the handover report.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 31 - June 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 26, 2009

This newsletter focuses on the List of Issues recently released by the UN Committee against Torture in view of South Africa's next periodic report that is due 31 December 2009.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2009

Media articles on prison related issues include the following: prisoners' rights, South Africans in foreign prisons, medical parole, sentencing, parole and pardons, unsentenced prisoners.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku May 2009
Author: hannes
Published: May 01, 2009

This issue captures news reports on the following topics: Sentencing and Parole; Conditions of Detention; Unsentenced Prisoners; Security and Escapes; and News reports from other countries in Africa.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2009
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 01, 2009

Sentencing and Parole; Deaths in Custody; Election 2009; Security & Escapes; Medical Parole; as well as Media articles from other African countries.

Preliminary Note of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Author: Suraj
Published: Jan 23, 2009

"Another major problem identified by the Special Rapporteur was the allegation that some persons suspected of political crimes had been held in solitary confinement in Black Beach Prison for up to four years, without being allowed the one hour of exercise per day required by the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Moreover, they were said to have been held in leg irons practically all the time. Prolonged solitary confinement and the permanent use of leg irons amount to inhuman treatment. In addition, the Special Rapporteur received allegations from various sources about persons held incommunicado and in secret detention, which he could not verify because of lack of access."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 18, 2008

This issue has South African media reports on the topics: Governance and Corruption; Unsentenced prisoners; Security & Escapes; Parole & Sentencing; Conditions of Detention; and Media reports from other African countries.

Prisoner Re-Entry in Cape Town – An Exploratory Study
Author: calitz
Published: Nov 07, 2008

Every month in South Africa approximately 6000 sentenced prisoners are released, some on parole and some on expiry of sentence. After serving their prison sentences it is society’s expectation that they will refrain from committing crime and be productive citizens. They are expected to find employment, rebuild relationships with their families and communities, and cease from engaging in certain activities and avoiding the risks that caused their imprisonment in the first instance. Unfortunately, it is the case that many released prisoners commit further offences and find their way back to prison, some in a remarkably short period of time while others return after several years. This study is concerned with the immediate post-release period and asked a very simple question: “What happens to people immediately after they have been released from prison?” The question is aimed at gaining a deeper and empirical understanding of what prisoner re-entry and reintegration into society mean and what the obstacles are to successful reintegration. When people’s lives have effectively been put on hold for several months or years, how do they pick up the strings where they had left them, if there are indeed strings to pick up?

The Changing Face of Life Imprisonment in South Africa.pdf
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2008

This article investigates the meaning and use of life imprisonment in South Africa in four major legal historical eras: life imprisonment at the time when the death penalty was still lawful in South Africa (including life imprisonment as early as 1906); life imprisonment in the immediate aftermath of the abolition of the death penalty (1994-1998); life imprisonment following the introduction of the minimum sentences legislation (1998-2007); and life imprisonment after December 2007, when the sentencing jurisdiction of the regional courts was extended to include life imprisonment.

An Assessment of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Correctional System governance with Special Emphasis on Correctional Services Staff
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2008

The incidence of HIV/AIDS infection in South African prisons has been extensively documented in recent years. This research has focused variously on the geographic and demographic spread of the disease and on the rights of inmates to prophylactics and to appropriate treatment and care. In contrast, little research has been directed towards the incidence and impact of the pandemic amongst correctional officials. From this research it is evident that whilst the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has developed a fairly coherent (albeit unevenly implemented) programme for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS amongst inmates, and notwithstanding the recent launch of a “Framework for the Implementation of a Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Programme” it has yet to develop and implement systematic measures to manage the disease amongst its own staff.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Oct 01, 2008

The October's media reports included: Clive Derby-Lewis' parole application; Increase in TB infection of nurses at Pollsmoor; National Commissioner of Correctional Services shifted to Sports; Correctional Services Minister welcomes new DG; UN Human Rights Commissioner says prison should be reserved for serious criminals; And many more newspaper articles.

UNODC and UNAIDS: Women and HIV in Prison Settings
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 01, 2008

Women prisoners present specific challenges for correctional authorities despite, or perhaps because of the fact that they constitute a very small proportion of the prison population. This document discusses matters affecting women in prison settings and why women are at risk of HIV in prisons.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Sep 01, 2008

Media articles focussed on: Whistleblowers at C-Max; Prisons overcrowding affects community - CSPRI; Medical parole discussed; Cell-phones confiscated from awaiting trial prisoners in a maximum security prison; Prisoners' rights activist imprisoned for eight years; Book on human rights in African prisons launched; Download the full 30 Days/ Dae/ Izinsuku below for more newspaper articles from other African countries.

Parliamentary Submission on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill (2008)
Author: Gwen
Published: Aug 31, 2008

This submission discusses the South African Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill 42 of 2008, which aimed at allowing audio-visual link-up with the courts and at addressing the expungement of criminal records. The Criminal Procedure Amendment Act was adopted in 2008 (Act 65 of 2008).

CSPRI Newsletter No. 27 - August 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Aug 01, 2008

This issue focuses on the latest amendments to the Correctional Services Act, which is written by Amanda Dissel (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation)

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Aug 01, 2008

Media reports are on the following topics: Sentencing; Governance And Corruption; Unsentenced Prisoners; Prison Conditions; Parole And Medical Parole; Prison Labour; and prison-related reports in Other African Countries.

Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives v Attorney-General (2008) AHRLR 235 (UgCC 2008)
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 01, 2008

This petition is brought by a non governmental organization (NGO) known as the Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives whose objectives include protection, promotion and observance of human rights. The petitioner asserts that: (a) Certain provisions of the Trial on Indictments Act (CAP 23) impose restrictions, and limitations on the person’s right to liberty, freedom of movement, the right to a fair and speedy trial and the presumption of innocence (b) Provisions of the Magistrate’s Courts Act (CAP 16) are inconsistent with articles 20, 23(1), 23(6), 28(1) and 28(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda insofar as they exclude certain offences from the grant of bail, thereby infringing on the constitutional right to liberty, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and the right to bail. (c) The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Act 7 of 2005 (UPDF) which subjects accused persons to lengthy periods of detention bail, is inconsistent with articles 20, 23(6), 28(1), and 28(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and as such violate the inherent rights and freedoms of the individual which are guaranteed by the said Constitution (d) The Police Act (CAP 303), section 25(2), which permits the police to detain a suspect for seven days without being charged in a court of law is inconsistent with article 23(4) of the Constitution and is an infringement of the right to liberty and the presumption of innocence.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Jul 01, 2008

South African media reports on the following: Prison officials investigated for tender fraud scandal; Pan Africanist Congress suspected of taking bribes from prisoners to facilitate pardons; Child Justice Bill promoting non-custodial punishments tabled in Parliament; Awaiting-trial prisoners account for prison overcrowding - at over 300% in some facilities; Fears of a strike rise over pay deal delay; And many articles on other African countries.

Manneh v The Gambia (2008) AHRLR 171 (ECOWAS 2008)
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 05, 2008

"..The Plaintiff was arrested by two officials of the National Intelligence Agency of The Gambia at the Daily Observer’s premises in Banjul on 11 July 2006 without any warrant of arrest ... The Court holds these acts clearly violate the provisions of articles 2, 6 and 7(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Furthermore, in view of the fact that these violations of applicant’s human rights were caused by the defendant, which refused to appear in Court, it entitles the applicant to damages. And the Court considers that this violation should be terminated and the dignity of the applicant’s person is to be restored..."

Guide to the UN Convention against Torture in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2008

"This publication aims to provide guidance on how the UN Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) can be used as a resource in South Africa to eradicate torture and ill-treatment...This prohibition of torture imposes on states obligations which are owed to all other members of the international community; each of these obligations has a correlative right. It signals to all states and to the people under their authority that 'the prohibition of torture is an absolute value from which nobody must deviate.' At the national level it de-legitimates any law, administrative or judicial act authorising torture."

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2008

The media articles report on the following topics: awaiting trial prisoners; prison overcrowding; sentencing and parole; prisoner's rights; security and escapes; and rehabilitation.

Submission by CSPRI to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Bill [B12-2008]
Author: calitz
Published: May 13, 2008

This submission focuses on the prevention and combating of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment within the context of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Bill [B12- 2008]. The overall objective is to promote the use of two international instruments (UNCAT and OPCAT) and, more specifically, to assist in creating the enabling legislation to give effect to section 12 of the Constitution.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 26 - May 2008
Author: hannes
Published: May 01, 2008

This newsletter focusses almost exclusively on the prevalence of HIV in South Africa's prison system. This article is written by CSPRI's co-ordinator, Lukas Muntingh.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku May 2008
Author: hannes
Published: May 01, 2008

The media reports in this issue include: Lawyer reminds court of appalling prison conditions; Awaiting-trial prisoner admitted to a private clinic after assault; Police officer to stand trial for allegedly interfering with evidence of parolee's breach of parole conditions; Department ordered to reinstate karate training in prison; Bail law is not the problem, researcher reminds ANC President; Judge optimistic that juvenile offender will be rehabilitated after 8 years.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 01, 2008

Media reports in this issue include: Police officer allegedly tampered with Yengeni's blood sample; Torture in South Africa prisons remains a challenge, Human Rights Commission chief; Department to investigate the cause of prison gang violence; Prisoners awaiting trial for years because of lack of enough judges; Prisoner's relative suggests correctional supervision instead of imprisonment; Five new prisons will cost a lot more than estimated; Department discovers escape of internationally wanted criminal after 8 days.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 25 - March 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Mar 01, 2008

This newsletter looks at the Department of Correctional Services' (DCS) Medium Term Expenditure Estimates focussing on five issues: The cost drivers and priorities in the budget; The real and nominal trends in the budget; The internal distribution of the budget between DCS programmes; The prison construction programme; Budget trends and the White Paper on Corrections; and The budget in relation to other budgets in the crime and security cluster.

Submission on South Africa's DCS Budget Vote 2008/09
Author: Gwen
Published: Mar 01, 2008

This submission was made in response to South Africa's Department of Correctional Services tabling of its 2008/09 budget. It addressed the size of the prison population, the seven-day establishment, the PPPs, and the implementation of the White Paper on Corrections.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku March 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Mar 01, 2008

Media reports in this issue include: Prisoners to be monitored electronically; Younger offenders should be sent for correctional supervision; Human Rights Commission criticises death penalty move; Awaiting-trial prisoner's lawyer unhappy with the postponement of client's trial; Awaiting-trial prisoners escape from a police van; Bill could reduce the age of babies living with imprisoned mothers; Department and Portfolio Committee disagree on private prisons; Department of Correctional Services recovers 22 million rand; Department of Correctional Services ordered to reinstate fired warder; Correctional Services Portfolio Committee chairperson says prisoners should be stripped of privileges; and many more newspaper articles on prison-related issues.

Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Mission to Equatorial Guinea
Author: Suraj
Published: Feb 18, 2008

"The report also notes the excessive power of the armed forces which effectively control the prisons, carry out arrests, and exercise military jurisdiction over civilians. Secret detentions and the abduction of opposition politicians in neighbouring countries are of particular concern. The report describes cases of people detained for merely exercising their political rights; it looks into the detention of illegal immigrants at police stations, notes the absence of effective defence rights and limitations on legal aid, refers to the physical conditions of detention as a contributing factor to the lack of adequate defence and cites the lack of an effective registration system at prisons and police stations."

Conditions of Police Cells in Namibia
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2008

This report written by University of Namibia academics discusses the distinction between police cells and holding cells, and the conditions of police cells in terms of Namibia's legal obligations.

Law, religion and human rights in Nigeria
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2008

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 8 No 2 2008. This paper explores the relationship between law, religion and human rights in Nigeria. The level and intensity of religious strife in Nigeria justify this inquiry, whose aim should be the design of a framework that enables individuals to enjoy the freedom of religion and ensures that religious conflicts are managed in Nigeria’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious context. Almost a decade to the introduction of Islamic criminal law in the 12 northern states of Nigeria, there is no longer any doubt that religion is fundamental to the survival of Nigeria. The basic thesis of this paper is that the key to understanding the relationship between law, religion and human rights in Nigeria lies in the unacknowledged dominance of Islam and Christianity, which I characterise as de facto state religions, and the resulting neglect of other religions. It is this reality, its denial and misunderstanding of attendant constitutional obligations that define the relationship between the Nigerian state and religion.

Religion, law and human rights in post-conflict Liberia
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2008

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 8 No 2 2008. Liberia has had a turbulent recent history, and today deals with extreme poverty, high crime, ethnic tensions, widespread impunity and corruption. In addition to this, there is a complex and contradictory relationship between law and religion, which further complicates the ongoing efforts towards peace building and reconstruction. This paper aims to highlight the fundamental question of whether certain laws and human rights — in this case, religious or cultural freedom — can or should be actively promoted by the state and by society in such a unique scenario as fragile, post-conflict Liberia. The paper first addresses this question with respect to the country's contradictory dual-justice system, highlighting the problems that arise when the weak state struggles to enforce statutory and human rights law, while much of the population still sees legitimate justice to be rooted in traditional mechanisms, such as trials by ordeal, which oppose these laws. The second section of the paper considers the extent to which all Liberians enjoy religious freedom. It is shown that, while Liberia is de facto a secular state, it is essentially de jure a Christian country. Although there are historically and presently few indications of unrest based strictly on religion, it is argued that there is underlying religious tension that makes it dangerous for the state or society to suggest any major integration of Islam into public life. Some of this tension can be attributed to the growing number of Pentecostal and charismatic churches, which are especially vocal about the encroachment of non-Christians. However, because of Liberia's fragility, it might be the case that promoting religious equality and actively eliminating the Christian bias might cause more harm than good in Liberia today.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku February 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Feb 01, 2008

This issue contains media articles on: Children; Governance and Corruption; Prisoner's Rights; Trial & Sentencing; Overcrowding; Prison reform in other African countries.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 24 - December 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 01, 2007

In this CSPRI Newsletter, Senior Researcher, Lukas Muntingh, writes on Prison Oversight in South Africa. He asks the question: Has it come of age? Reflections on the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons and the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku December 2007 - January 2008
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 01, 2007

Note from the Editors: Due to the festive season and general winding down of activities at the end of 2007, a December 2007 issue of CSPRI 30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku was not circulated. This issue covers two months; December 2007 and January 2008. We will also welcome any feedback on this newsletter and whether or not our readers find it useful. Any suggestions on improvement are welcome; Lukas Muntingh, Julia Sloth-Nielsen & Jamil Mujuzi; This issue has media reports on: Safety and security (including a report on Load- shedding compromising prison work); Deaths in custody; Unsentenced prisoners; Governance (including an article on the Court orders prison doctor should get his job back); Corruption (including an article on Correctional Services tenders should be investigated, Democratic Alliance); Prison conditions; Health care (including an article on HIV prevalence rate is higher among prisoners).

On Colonial Laws and the Treatment of Young Female Delinquents in Senegal: The Case of Léonie Guèye
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 30, 2007

This article provides a rethinking of juvenile delinquency in colonial Senegal using gender as a critical category of analysis. It focuses on the case of Léonie Guèye, a thirteen-year-old girl sentenced three times for robbery. Acquitted in all three trials in virtue of Article 66 - as having acted without discernment - Léonie was nevertheless sent to Bambey penitentiary, a male institution. Wiener Zeitschrift für kritische Afrikastudien

Prisons in South Africa's Constitutional Democracy
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2007

Prisons serve a set of complex, mutually conflicting and hard-to-achieve goals. Prisons must house people in a humane manner but simultaneously appeal to the punitive nature of prisons — order and security must be maintained while providing an effective deterrent, and appease political opinion. It is in this “inherent policy vagueness” that stakeholders (for example, politicians, bureaucrats and civil society) must find a compromise (Boin, James and Lodge, 2005: 7). Can a constitutional democracy, such as South Africa, find an acceptable compromise, and what would “acceptable” mean under the rules of a constitutional democracy? This report investigate these questions and looks at what are the constitutional requirements for prisons as well as the threats and stumbling blocks en route to meeting these.

Jali Commission Report - Summary and Comment
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2007

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Corruption, Maladministration and Violence in the Department of Correctional Services – The Jali Commission - wrote a comprehensive report that investigated various areas of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). The Jali Commission established that the DCS had various problems that made it function in a manner that left a lot to be desired. The Jali Commission made various recommendations (114+) in its 1800+ page report. The CSPRI summarised the Jali Commission report and put in a user-friendly language for most of us who do not have time to read and comprehend the whole report and also for ease of reference.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku November 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 01, 2007

This issue has South African media reports on the topics: Governance and Corruption; Unsentenced prisoners; Security & Escapes; Parole & Sentencing; Conditions of Detention; and Media reports from other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku October 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Oct 01, 2007

This issue contains media reports on: parole & sentencing (including the article on permission granted to Mrs Najwa Petersen to attend her father's funeral); deaths in custody; a report on a movie shot at Pollsmoor Prison; Inmates observe Corrections Week; Prison news in other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku September 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Sep 01, 2007

This issue consists of media reports on: Health Care; Prisoners' Rights; Prison Population; Legislation; Rehabilitation; Escapes; Other African Countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku August 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Aug 01, 2007

This issue consists of news on: Governance and Corruption; Sentencing; Prisoners' Rights; Escapes; Parliament and Oversight; HIV/AIDS; Rehabilitation; News from other African countries.

Submission to the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the Implementation Plans for the Victim’s Charter
Author: calitz
Published: Jul 01, 2007

This submission to the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development deals with the Implementation Plans for the Victim’s Charter with a focus on the status of, and services to victims of torture, particularly in places of detention. It addresses redress for victims of torture and victim participation in parole board hearings.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku July 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Jul 01, 2007

This issue contains media reports on: size of the prison population; prisoners' rights; escapes; governance and corruption; parole and sentence administration; rehabilitation and reintegration; other African countries.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 22 - June 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2007

The June 2007 issue of the CSPRI Newsletter consists of: Protecting Prisoners' Rights before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights: The Role of Civil Society; SA Prisons at a glance.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku June 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2007

This issue contains the following: prison conditions and security; governance and corruption; sentencing; human resources; prisoners' rights and death; prison construction; rehabilitation.

Governance, Justice and Law and Order Sector Reform Programme: Administrative Data Collection and Analysis Report
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2007

This review focused on administrative data collection and analysis in support of the following four indicators: (i) percentage increase in crime detection, prosecution and conviction rates of selected crimes (ii) percentage decrease in the awaiting trial population (iii) percentage decrease in the case backlog of selected crimes and (iv) percentage of litigants receiving legal aid, disaggregated by economic status, age and gender.

Article 19 v Eritrea (2007) AHRLR 73 (ACHPR 2007)
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2007

"...On 14 April 2003, the Secretariat of the African Commission received a communication brought by Article 19 against the state of Eritrea, a state party to the African Charter ... Article 19 states that it is concerned especially about the continued detention incommunicado without trial of at least 18 journalists in Eritrea since September 2001... "the Commission: Holds a violation of articles 1, 5, 6, 7(1), 9 and 18 by the state of Eritrea;Urges the government of Eritrea to release or to bring to a speedy and fair trial the 18 journalists detained since September 2001, and to lift the ban on the press; Recommends that the detainees be granted immediate access to their families and legal representatives; and Recommends that the government of Eritrea takes appropriate measures to ensure payment of compensation to the detainees. "

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku May 2007
Author: hannes
Published: May 01, 2007

This issue contains information on: Governance; Sentencing; Overcrowding; Rehabilitation; Parole; Prisoners' rights and treatment; Prison staff; Privatisation; News from other African countries.

30 Days/Dae/Izinsuku April 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 01, 2007

This issue contains information on the following: Children; Prisoners' rights; Rehabilitation and Reintegration; Governance and Administration; Parole; Overcrowding; News from other African countries.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 21 - March 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Mar 01, 2007

Lukas Muntingh (senior researcher of CSPRI) provides a detailed article on the Correctional Services estimates of expenditure for the period 2007/8 to 2009/10 following the Minister of Finance's budget speech. This year, the Department of Correctional Services will be requesting from Parliament a mere 0.9% more than the previous year's request.

Ghana Justice Sector and the Rule of Law
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2007

This discussion paper is by AfriMAP, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the Institute for Democratic Governance.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 20 - 2007
Author: hannes
Published: Jan 01, 2007

In this issue: In this newsletter, Robyn Ballntyne (Research Assoc. of Omega Research) writes on the mechancial restraint on prisoners and detainees and Lukas Muntingh (Senior researcher of CSPRI) writes on torture not being a crime in South Africa.

Prisons in a Democratic South Africa - a Guide to the Rights of Prisoners as Described in the Correctional Services Act and Regulations
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2006

The Correctional Services Act (CSA) was promulgated in 2004 creating a human rights based framework for South Africa's prison system. In a sense the prison system was delayed in its transformation compared to other government functions in the justice and protection services cluster. Whilst the CSA was passed by Parliament in 1998 it was only in part promulgated and the final and full promulgation took place in October 2005, nearly seven years later. With a new legislative framework in place, the following questions can then rightly be asked: What does a constitutional democracy mean for prisoners? How are the rights of prisoners described in the new Act? What are the rights of children, women, and Aids patients in prisons? How does overcrowding affect prisoners' rights? The purpose of this resource book is to describe in an accessible and user-friendly format the human rights framework for prisoners in South Africa based on the Constitution, Correctional Services Act and the Regulations accompanying the legislation. Where appropriate, reference is made to other legislation that has a direct bearing on the rights of prisoners. It is not a legal text and it is not aimed at lawyers and persons studying prison law, although they may find it useful as a first introduction to a particular topic.

The Effect of Sentencing on the Size of the South African Prison Population
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2006

This report was commissioned by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF) and recently presented at a conference on sentencing held in Cape Town. South Africa has a serious prison overcrowding problem. The total number of prisoners has grown steadily and dramatically over the last 11 years. The cause of the increase has changed during this time. Between 1995 and 2000, the major driver of the prison population rise was a massive increase in the size of the unsentenced prisoner population. After 2000, the number of unsentenced prisoners stabilised, and then began to decrease. But the prisoner population continued to grow, now as a result of an increase in the number of sentenced prisoners. This growth continues, despite the fact that the number of offenders admitted to serve custodial sentences is decreasing. The bulk of this increase consists of prisoners serving long sentences. Thus, the rate of release of sentenced prisoners is slowing down.

Investigating prison corruption
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2006

Who investigates corruption, what is investigated and who makes these decisions are important considerations in the fight against corruption. Investigating corruption is one component of anti-corruption strategies. Investigations can be done in different ways, can be based on different assumptions and be driven by different motivations. These assumptions and motivations are reflected in their respective mandates and terms of reference. Some investigations are fact-finding missions with fairly broad and open mandates, while others may be very specific with the intention of bringing about prosecutions and recovering state assets.

Corruption in the prisons context
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2006

The point of departure of this paper is that corruption is a human rights issue, which is accentuated in the prison context given the nature of imprisonment. Three factors create an intrinsic risk for corruption in prisons. Firstly, the all-encompassing nature of imprisonment regulates every aspect of prisoners' daily lives: from having the most basic necessities to having access to luxury items, or even illegal items and activities. Secondly, the state as the controller, establishes a highly unequal power relationship between the prison bureaucracy (represented by the warder) and the prison population. Thirdly, the closed nature of prisons and their general marginalisation from the public eye and political discourse do not assist in making prisons more transparent. Against this backdrop, poor management, weak leadership or organised crime can have a devastating impact on the overall operation of a prison system and, ultimately, on the human rights of prisoners. The paper seeks to clarify key concepts relating to prison corruption. By means of defined relationships, for example between individual warders and individual prisoners, or prisoners and warders as collectives, the nature of prison corruption is described. It concludes that there are fundamental differences between prison corruption and corruption found in others sectors of the public service. The research was done prior to the release of the Jali Commission Report Executive Summary and relied on publicly available documents.

Rwanda's Troubled Gacaca Courts
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2006

This article by Christopher Le Mon from Human Rights Brief, a publication of the American University's Washington College of Law, considers the gacaca courts established to try perpetrators of the 1994 genocide and their problems.

Mozambique: Justice Sector and the Rule of Law
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2006

This Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) report published by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) in 2006 is a comprehensive report on the Mozambican legal system.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 19 - 2006
Author: hannes
Published: May 26, 2006

In this issue: Rob Allen (Director of International Centre for Prison Studies) writes on the Future of Crime and Imprisonment in Africa and CSPRI comments on the Release of the Jali Commission Report.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 18 - 2006
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 26, 2006

In this issue: Lukas Muntingh (senior researcher of CSPRI) and Christopher Mbazira (doctoral intern of the Socio-Economic Rights Project) writes about Prisoners' access to anti-retroviral treatment; Update on EN and Others v the Government of South Africa and Others (access to ARV treatment at Westville Correctional Centre); An overview of South African Prisons until March 2006

CSPRI Newsletter No. 17 - 2006
Author: hannes
Published: Mar 26, 2006

In this issue: Post independence prison reform in Namibia by Tarrin-Rae Oxyche; nominations of Independent Prison Visitors by the Office of the Inspecting Judge by CSPRI staff; SA prisons at a glance - update by CSPRI staff

CSPRI Newsletter No. 16 - 2006
Author: hannes
Published: Feb 01, 2006

In this issue: Lukas Muntingh (senior researcher of CSPRI) writes about the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) budget for the MTEF for 2006/7 to 2008/9. He touches on the DCS budget in relation to the national budget, trends in the budget and key issues for comment in the budget in this issue of the CSPRI Newsletter.

Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States: Mapping the Justice Sector
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 31, 2006

This Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights publication specifically addresses the issue of mapping the justice sector and some key related institutions. It is intended to assist United Nations field staff in understanding how the justice sector actually worked in the State prior to and during the conflict, and how it should function if the rule of law is to take root. It provides an overview of the key institutions, related entities or mechanisms, and identifies priorities such as the linkages between core institutions and the utility of oversight bodies.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 15 - January 2006
Author: hannes
Published: Jan 01, 2006

In this issue: Martin Schonteich (senior legal officer of Open Society Justice Initiative, NY) writes on the Pre-trial Dentention in Africa; The CSPRI staff give an update on the South African prisons from May to August 2005

Angolan Policing Overview
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 30, 2005

This overview of policing in Angola by Julie Berg of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cape Town is drawn from an overview of policing oversight in select SADC countries.

The Treatment of Children in South African Prisons - A Report on the Applicable Domestic and International Minimum Standards (Research Paper No. 11)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2005

The purpose of this report is to describe the compliance requirements in terms of domestic and international law for the Department of Correctional Services as it pertains to the treatment of children in prison. International law is replete with normative standards applying to the treatment of children in prison. As this research paper focuses on children in prison, the emphasis is placed on the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Rules on Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, as well as some of the provisions of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Further, the Correctional Services Act of 1998 is an important legal framework in the administration of prisons and the treatment of all prisoners, including children. The White Paper on Corrections, released in March 2005 by the Department of Correctional Services, constitutes a comprehensive blueprint augmenting the legal framework in the Act. The report also pays attention to the situation at ground level and identifies particular problem areas. This paper makes a number of observations in relation to the need to upgrade some areas of these domestic laws and policies to ensure compliance with the international law framework. Examples of practical compliance and non-compliance are also highlighted, calling for the need to go beyond progressive laws and policies.

Offender rehabilitation and reintegration: taking the White Paper on Corrections forward (Research Paper No. 10)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2005

This research paper focuses on offender reintegration and based on international and domestic research, interrogates the notion of offender reintegration. In an effort to support the further realization of the White Paper it formulates principles, based on extensive international meta-analysis supported by local research, on what works and what does not work in offender reintegration. It argues for an approach to offender reintegration that is based on knowledge and rigorous in design and, implementation and evaluation.

A study of best practice in prison governance (Research Paper No. 9)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2005

Despite the fact that the Department of Correctional Services has attracted significant media attention as a result of the Jali Commission's investigations, this paper focuses on examples of good governance. The purpose is to demonstrate that despite adverse conditions, individual managers are able to delivery effectively on the department's mandate. The intention is that such examples should be sued for internal learning and replication purposes.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 14 - November 2005
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 01, 2005

In this issue: Parole pandenonium by Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen (senior law professor, UWC); Victims of crime and the parole boards by Lukas Muntingh (senior research, CSPRI); South African prisons at a glance (February 2005 to May 2005)

CSPRI Newsletter No. 13 - September 2005
Author: hannes
Published: Sep 01, 2005

Find out more about the possible new sentencing principle in the context of HIV/AIDS, access to antiretroviral treatment, as well as an overview of prisons between February 2005 and August 2005.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 12 - August 2005
Author: hannes
Published: Aug 26, 2005

In this issue: Interview with Dennis Bloem MP, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services; Members of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services and their contact details; South African prison at a glance

Equatorial Guinea: A Trial with Too Many Flaws
Author: Suraj
Published: Jun 01, 2005

"The prison conditions this group of prisoners have endured in pre and post-trial detention are particularly harsh. This is aggravated by the fact that they are foreigners with no family in Equatorial Guinea and no, or limited, knowledge of the Spanish language. Furthermore, they seem to have been subjected to treatment which is considerably harsher than that of their codefendants. - The Equatorial Guinean authorities must immediately end the incommunicado detention of all prisoners currently being held incommunicado in Equatorial Guinea; - improve the conditions of imprisonment under which all prisoners are held, including by providing them with an adequate diet and prompt and adequate medical treatment as needed; - allow the prisoners visits by their lawyers and, in the case of the foreign nationals, by consular representatives from their countries, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; - make all efforts to facilitate family visits whenever the families request them; - encourage frequent visits to the prison by the ICRC."

CSPRI Newsletter No. 11 - June 2005
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 01, 2005

In this issue: Lukas Muntingh talks about the CSPRI project moving over to the Community Law Centre, UWC; Amanda Dissel (CSVR) writes on an intergrated approach to offender reintegration; Frikkie Venter (Mangaung Correctional Centre) touches on the human impact in prisons with regards to HIV/AIDS; Stats in brief

Community Service in Uganda as an Alternative to Imprisonment: A Case Study of Masaka and Mukono Districts
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2005

by Charles Birungi Mini-Thesis Presented to the Institute for Social Development, Faculty of Arts, University of the Western Cape, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the MA Degree in Development Studies p66: "... community service sentencing procedures are lengthier and involve much more paper work than the normal court proceedings...This lengthy process leads to an increase in the number of the prison population on remand ..."

CSPRI Newsletter No. 10 - April 2005
Author: hannes
Published: Apr 26, 2005

Articles available for download are: Prison reform in Africa: recent trends by Makubetse Sekhonyane (senior researcher for the Crime & Justice Programme, Institute fro Security Studies); The quanitative impact of Minister of Home Affairs v Nicro (Constitutional Court case where the Electoral Laws Amendment Act was declared unconstitutional); South African prisons at a glance, from February 2004 to November 2004.

Tanzania: the death sentence institutionalised?
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 01, 2005

This report, by the Legal Human Rights Centre (Tanzania) and the International Federation for Human Rights, on the death sentence in Tanzania contains some information in Chapter V about the duration of pre-trial detention and the conditions of pre-trial detention in Tanzania.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 9 - February 2005
Author: hannes
Published: Feb 26, 2005

In this issue: Women and Prisons in South Africa by Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen (this article is based on a survey examining the situation of women in South African prisons); South African Prisons at a glance, from February 2004 to October 2004; Farewell to Ahmed Othmani: a passionate defender of human dignity

Lilongwe Declaration on Accessing Legal Aid in the Criminal Justice System
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 24, 2004

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights meeting at its 40th Ordinary Session, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 15 - 29 November 2006: Recalling its mandate under Article 45(b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) “to formulate and lay down principles and rules aimed at solving legal problems relating to human and peoples’ rights and fundamental freedoms upon which African states may base their legislation”; Recalling Articles 7 and 26 of the Charter, which guarantee the right to a fair trial and legal counsel before independent courts; Recalling its Resolution on the Right to Recourse and Fair Trial, adopted at its 11th Ordinary Session in Tunis, Tunisia in 1992; Recalling further its Resolution on the Respect and Strengthening of the Independence of the Judiciary, adopted at its 19th Ordinary Session in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1996; Recognising its Resolution on the Right to Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, adopted at its 26th Ordinary Session in Rwanda in 1999; Recalling the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, adopted in 2001; Concerned with the continued lack of legal aid in most parts of Africa and its adverse impact on the right to access to justice in Africa; Supports the Lilongwe Declaration on Accessing Legal Aid in the Criminal Justice System in Africa , adopted by the Conference on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice: the Role of Lawyers, Non-Lawyers and other Service Providers, Lilongwe , Malawi , November 2004; Urges all stakeholders to make every effort to make these declarations widely known in Africa and invites State Parties to the Charter to take into account the principles in the Declaration when formulating policies and domestic legislation; Appeals to Member States to take all necessary measures in order to uphold their obligations under the Charter and other international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights providing for the right to fair trial and access to justice; Calls on Members States to extend their full collaboration with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa in monitoring prisons and conditions of detention in Africa. Done in Banjul , The Gambia, 29th November 2006.

Report of the Evaluation of the Independent Prison Visitors (IPV) System (Research Paper No. 5)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2004

In 1999 the relevant sections of the Correctional Services Act was promulgated to provide for the establishment of the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons. The Independent Prisons Visitor, as provided for in the Act, is the main mechanism of the Judicial Inspectorate to hear and address the complaints of prisoners. With hundreds of Independents Prison Visitors appointed by 2003, this paper reviews the effectiveness of the system to address the complaints of prisoners.

Alternative Sentencing Review (Research Paper No 6)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2004

Whilst the South African legislation makes ample provision for non-custodial sentencing options, practice reveals that these sentencing options are severely under utilized. Research in a number of jurisdictions reveals a system beset by practical problems, lack of knowledge, infrastructure problems, and attitudinal obstacles. Practical recommendations are provided on promoting non-custodial sentencing options as a result of the research.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 7 - October 2004
Author: hannes
Published: Oct 26, 2004

This issue consists of the following articles: Review of the Correctional Services Budget 2004/5 to 2006/7, written by Lukas Muntingh; Milestones reached for the establishment of a human rights basis for corrections, written by Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen (published in the Mail and Guardian, 10-17 September 2004; SA Prisons at a glance (February 2004 to May 2004)

State Violence in Benin
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 11, 2004

Alternative report to the Committee on Human Rights. Association des Femmes Juristes du Bénin, Enfants Solidaires d'Afrique et du Monde, Human Rights Task Group, & Organisation Mondiale contre la torture.

Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services Report: Solutions & Recommendations to Prison Overcrowding
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 07, 2004

The problem of overcrowding within the South African prison system has been identified as a key challenge, which negatively affects the ability of the Department of Correctional Service (DCS) to rehabilitate offenders. The first objective of the report is to describe the main causes and consequences of overcrowding. Secondly, is to highlight some of the current initiatives to address the problem of overcrowding in prisons. Lastly, the report seeks to identify specific recommendations by the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services to alleviate prison overcrowding.

The Republic v Gorman and Others (2004) AHRLR 141 (GhSC 2004)
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 07, 2004

"Drawing on our general analysis of the law above, we summarize our holdings as follows: 1. The constitutional presumption of innocence embedded in article 19(2)(c) of the 1992 Constitution does not import an automatic right to bail. 2. The constitutional duty of the Court under article 14(4) of the Constitution, to grant bail to the accused if he is not tried within a reasonable time, is applicable irrespective of the nature of the accusation or the severity of the punishment upon conviction. 3. In the cases falling outside the direct duty to grant bail under 14(4), there is a constitutional presumption of grant of bail drawn from the spirit of the language of articles 14(1) and (3), and 19(2)(c), in further protection of persons charged with offences in situations which do not mandate the grant of bail. 4. The said constitutional presumption of grant of bail is rebuttable; and it is in fact rebutted by a statutory provision that expressly disallows bail, such as the circumstances outlined in section 96(7) of the Criminal Procedure Code. 5. Outside the strictures of section 96(7) of the Code and article 14(4) of the Constitution, the presumption of the grant of bail is still extant, and is exercised under judicial discretion which is itself fettered by other provisions of section 96. 6. There is no prima facie inconsistency between the relevant provisions of the Code and the 1992 Constitution. 7. Considerations of the nature of an accusation and the severity of punishment upon conviction, as part of the decision not to grant bail under section 96(5) and (6), are constitutional; and that the gravity of an offence may be viewed as an aid in understanding and categorizing the nature of an accusation. 8. The Court of Appeal, in arriving at its judgment of 3 March, 2004 to rescind bail in this matter, at variance with the judgment in the Benneh case to grant bail, did not violate the constitutional provision on stare decisis; and 9. The Supreme Court is not bound by the specific result of the Benneh case since the factual contexts are distinguishable.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 6 - June 2004
Author: hannes
Published: Jun 26, 2004

In this issue: Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen writes about Parole and the separation of powers: the implications of S v Botha (Case no 318/03)

Report on the evaluation of the Independent Prison Visitors System
Author: calitz
Published: May 13, 2004

The report provides a detailed analysis and evaluation of the Independent Prison Visitors (IPV) system of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS). Recommendations focus on the appointment process of IPVs; the performance management system for IPVs; the quality of feed-back given to prisoners; the training of IPVs; Interaction between IPVs and DCS officials; additional IPVs or the allocation of more time; Interaction with prisoners and work outside mandated duties, and political oversight.

Review of the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons of SA
Author: calitz
Published: May 13, 2004

This report provides a detailed analysis of the legal mandate and powers of JICS. A number of recommendations are made to enhance its independence, efficiency and effectiveness.

Council of Europe - 2004 - European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - The CPT Standards
Author: calitz
Published: Apr 01, 2004

The CPT is required to draw up every year a General Report on its activities, which is published. In a number of its General Reports the CPT has described some of the substantive issues which it pursues when carrying out visits to places of deprivation of liberty. The Committee hopes in this way to give a clear advance indication to national authorities of its views regarding the manner in which persons deprived of their liberty ought to be treated and, more generally, to stimulate discussion on such matters. The "substantive" sections drawn up to date have been brought together in this document.

State Violence in Morocco: Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee on Torture
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 01, 2004

This report on state violence and torture in the Kingdom of Morocco was presented at the 31st session of the Committee against Torture, which took place in Geneva from 10-21 November 2003 and during which the Moroccan Government’s report was examined. This report was jointly prepared by three Moroccan human rights NGOs: • The Democratic Association of Moroccan Women (ADFM), • The Bayti Association, • The Moroccan Prison Observatory (OMP).

Access to Justice for the Poor of Malawi? An appraisal of the access to justice provided to the poor of Malawi by the lower subordinate courts and the customary justice forums
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 23, 2004

This report by Wilfried Schärf, Chikosa Banda, Ricky Röntsch, Desmond Kaunda, and Rosemary Shapiro sought to inform Malawi Law Commission deliberations. "In rural areas the study found that customary justice forums handle some of the criminal cases as well as the vast majority of civil disputes occurring throughout the country. Proceedings are guided by locally-based customary rules. This despite the fact that since 1995 chiefs and traditional authorities have been stripped of their formal adjudicative powers by their exclusion from any formal judicial duties."

CSPRI Newsletter No. 5 - February 2004
Author: hannes
Published: Feb 01, 2004

In this issue: The Prison Report by the Law Society of South Africa, as well as upcoming events, and the SA prisons at a glance.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 3 - December 2003
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 26, 2003

In this issue: A brief overview of South African prisons; The Constitutional Court's decision on the right of prisoners to vote.

Prisoners' Rights Litigation in South Africa Since 1994, a Critical Evaluation (Research Paper No. 3)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

Prisoner's rights litigators face serious challenges when they take on the Department of Correctional Services. There is a lack of respect for the Rule of Law within prison services, which means existing rules are disobeyed, court orders ignored and corruption and misconduct condoned or covered up; representatives of prison services often fear taking responsibility and therefore often fail to act, passing on cases to court in an attempt to "pass the buck"; the leadership in the Department often does not know what is going on in individual prisons; the public and the newspapers have little sympathy for prisoners and there is little publicity for the plight of prisoners and consequently representatives in the prison service feel that they can get away with actions that would otherwise not be tolerated; and conditions of overcrowding in the prisons are often caused by problems in the criminal justice system and must be addressed if one wants to improve the conditions under which prisoners are kept. This means that at present litigation against the Department of Correctional Services seldom brings lasting changes in the conditions of prisoners and/or in the way prison officials and the political leadership in the Department operate. Despite these problems, prisoners' rights litigation could be a powerful weapon deployed to address the lack of respect for the Rule of Law, which lies at the heart of the problems faced by the Department. Other non-legal strategies could be used alongside litigation strategies to place ever more pressure on relevant officials and the political leadership in the Department. Such pressure would then force the prison leadership to act because inaction would become impossible.

Policy Developments in South African Correctional Services 1994 - 2002 (Research Paper no. 1)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

The period 1994 to 2002 in South African Correctional Services history is reviewed in this paper and was prompted by the apparent confusion characterizing correctional policy during this period. During this period substantial policy changes were adopted, such as the privatization of prisons, but with limited debate and oversight. The paper records for historical purposes important trends and mistakes made during this period, but also serve as a clear reminder of the importance of transparent knowledge-based policy development.

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel and Inhumane Treatment (Research Paper No. 2)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

South African ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in December 1998 and played a significant role in the drafting of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). The UN General Assembly adopted the OPCAT in December 2002 and since February 2003 the OPCAT has been open for signature. By October 2005 there have been 48 signatures and 13 ratifications. The Protocol requires 20 ratifications to become binding on UN members. The OPCAT is a powerful international human rights instrument as it provides for national and international visiting mechanisms to all places where people are detained. This includes prisons, police cells, immigration centres, and psychiatric hospitals, amongst others. Regular visits to such facilities have been proven as an effective measure against torture and the ill treatment of people deprived of their liberty. This paper investigate the implication for South Africa should it sign and ratify the OPCAT.

A Review of Civilian Oversight over Correctional Services in the Last Decade (Research Paper No. 4)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

The restricted and hidden nature of the prison regime was dramatically apparent in apartheid South Africa, where prisons shunned outside scrutiny and engagement in all correctional matters. The correctional system was an inherent part of the political apparatus that upheld the apartheid state. Prisoners were segregated according to race, and the staff hierarchy echoed similar racial lines. The adoption of the Bill of Rights in firstly the interim and then the final Constitution in 1993 and 1996 finally established the right of prisoners to be treated with human dignity and set out the mandatory minimum rights of people deprived of their liberty and those held in custody. These guideline principles, later amplified in the Correctional Services Act of 1998, seek to define how the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) should implement its correctional mandate in keeping people in custody. Recognising the importance of accountability and oversight mechanisms in respect of public institutions, the Constitution created vehicles for civilian oversight. Mechanisms were also created to focus exclusively on prisons. A decade after this transition, it is timeous to evaluate how these mechanisms are functioning, and to what extent they are serving their envisaged purpose.

CSPRI Newsletter No. 4 - October 2003
Author: hannes
Published: Oct 26, 2003

In this Issue: Draft discussion document towards a Green Paper on Correctional Services in South Africa; Reintegration in South African Corrections

Combating Torture: A Manual for Judges and Prosecutors
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 05, 2003

This manual outlines the duties and responsibilities of judges and prosecutors to prevent and investigate acts of torture, and other forms of ill-treatment, to ensure that those who perpetrate such acts are brought to justice and to provide redress for their victims. It also provides practical advice, drawn from best practice, about how torture can be combated at a procedural level. Although primarily aimed at judges and prosecutors, it can be used as a resource by defence lawyers and others concerned with the prevention and investigation of acts of torture. A well-informed and sensitised legal profession has a vital role to play in eradicating torture and this manual is also aimed at helping its members to fulfil that professional function.

Penal Code of Niger (2003)
Author: Suraj
Published: Jun 13, 2003

Loi N° 2003-025 du 13 Juin 2003 modifiant la loi N° 61-27 du 15 Juillet 1961, portant institution du Code Pénal, Journal Officiel Spécial N° 4 du 7 Avril 2004