ACJR Publications

This section contains ACJR publications and those of CSPRI (Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative), its predecessor.
Statement under Agenda Item 3: Human Rights Situation in Africa | 71st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Author: Crystal
Published: Apr 26, 2022

ACJR statement to the African Commission under the item Human Rights Situation in Africa addresses the concerns around African States' handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that law enforcement officials implicated in rights violations against citizens in the context of COVID-19 have not been held accountable for their actions.

Presentation: Accountability and Transparency of the NPA | by Jean Redpath
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 18, 2022

Transparency, Accountability, Independence Independence is an essential feature of the proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Independence requires that justice be dispensed without ‘fear, favour or prejudice.’ Independence cannot exist alone: it must co-exist with accountability. Transparency is required to ensure accountability: if no-one is seen to be held accountable for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, how can the public ever have any assurance that decisions are not tainted or improper?

NPA Issue Paper 5: Accountability of the NPA | by Jean Redpath
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 18, 2022

Public accountability is crucial to demonstrating and achieving independence. Accountability through public transparency can achieve the level of prosecutorial independence and accountability required to ensure that the public has confidence in the decisions being made, thus ensuring the trust of public. Various kinds of accountability apply to the NPA: internal accountability, accountability to Parliament, and public accountability. This Issue Paper argues that heightened public accountability, through clarity and transparency of policies and processes, are required to ensure an objective, independent, Constitutional prosecution service, which enjoys public trust.

NPA Issue Paper 4: Transparency in high-profile corruption matters | by Jean Redpath
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 18, 2022

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) tends to follow a highly secretive and confidential approach to all prosecutions, including those in relation to high-profile corruption. The problem with this approach is that it fails to take into account the reasons for confidentiality and secrecy, and whether or not those reasons still pertain in high-profile corruption cases. The approach also fails to appreciate the risks posed by an unnecessarily secretive approach in these kinds of matters. This Issue Paper will consider the special case of high profile corruption and comment on the nature and extent of transparency necessary in such cases.

ISSUE PAPERS: Key issues in the NPA - Are we understanding the problem correctly?
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 18, 2022

In a series of five Issue Papers, Lukas Muntingh and Jean Redpath take a few steps back and ask whether we are indeed problematising the correct issues and, if so, are we problematising the issue in a manner that will restore trust and thus legitimacy in the NPA. From this position we can also examine our current and future expectations of the NPA.

NPA Issue Paper 3: Effectiveness and Efficiency | by Jean Redpath
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 17, 2022

The question of the effectiveness and efficiency of the NPA is key to the proper functioning of South Africa’s democracy. This is because the NPA is the sole custodian of criminal accountability. Properly measuring effectiveness and efficiency is key to ensuring that the NPA does in fact functioning correctly. The evidence suggests that the way in which effectiveness has been measured has not only failed to do this, but has created perverse incentives which have undermined effectiveness. Effectiveness and efficiency are separate enquires and should be interrogated separately.

Presentation: NPA - Human Resources | by Lukas Muntingh
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 16, 2022

The capacity, knowledge, skills and experience of an organisation's workforce will determine largely the extent to which it is able to fulfil its mandate. The aim is to problematise this particular issue in a succinct manner with the view to build consensus on understanding the problem properly in order to develop effective short to medium term responses.

NPA Issue Paper 2: Knowledge, skills and human resources | by Lukas Muntingh
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 16, 2022

The capacity, knowledge, skills and experience of an organisation's workforce will determine largely the extent to which it is able to fulfil its mandate. The aim in this issue paper is to problematise this particular issue in a succinct manner with the view to build consensus on understanding the problem properly in order to develop effective short to medium term responses. Transparency and accuracy in reporting on the NPA's human resources is a notable problem. Three broad issues are explored, being vacancies, job satisfaction and skills requirements of prosecutors. The problems are not new and there is ample guidance from the literature and practice to address the issues.

NPA Issue Paper 1: In search of strategy | by Lukas Muntingh
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 15, 2022

This paper problematises the strategy environment of the NPA and raises questions about how strategy is developed, the priorities set and how performance is measured. The overall impression is of a situation where strategy priorities and objectives emanate from different sources, but that the most measurable is what drives performance at operational level and not necessarily the most needed or most important to make the country safer and build trust in the state. The NPA finds itself in a complex strategy environment: various strategy documents not only have different time frames but also emanate from different sources and fundamentally different purposes. Finding harmony and synchronicity in this strategy environment must be difficult for the NPA leadership.