Fact and information sheets

Fact Sheet 17: The right of prisoners to vote in Africa (Updated)
Author: Janelle
Published: Jul 13, 2020

This fact-sheet provides a brief update on the right of prisoners to vote in Africa. There have been substantive advances and breakthroughs in the promotion of this right as courts in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and most recently in Uganda have granted prisoners the right to vote. In Mozambique, the Ombudsman has made a recommendation that measures be put in place to allow prisoners to vote in future elections. The enfranchisement of prisoners is a positive step in the promotion of their basic human rights, it is therefore important that countries on the continent that are still lagging behind consider the above examples and follow suit.

Fact Sheet 25: Arrest without a warrant in Malawi
Author: Janelle
Published: May 12, 2020

This fact sheet deals with arrest without a warrant in Malawi. Currently in Malawi there remain laws on the statutes that have not been tested against constitutional requirements resulting in all likelihood in arrests that are not compliant with the Constitution.

Fact Sheet 24: Arrest without a warrant in Kenya
Author: Janelle
Published: May 12, 2020

This fact sheet focuses on arrest without a warrant in Kenya. Currently in Kenya the situation has been complicated by the legislative powers granted to the counties and some have used this opportunity to expand policing powers.

Fact Sheet 16: Arrest without a warrant: Guidelines against arbitrary and unlawful arrests
Author: Lukas
Published: Mar 05, 2020

This fact sheet deals with the process of arrest without a warrant and aims to provide guidance on how police officers should test and use their discretion when contemplating an arrest without a warrant. The fact sheet is not country specific and describes the overall and generally accepted requirements for arrest without a warrant.

Fact Sheet 15: Democratic Policing: A Conceptual Framework
Author: Lukas
Published: Mar 02, 2020

This fact sheet discusses democratic policing as meaning (1) the police’s abidance to the rule of law, (2) accountability of the police, and (3) procedural fairness by the police in service of the public. Nine dimensions required for democratic policing are identified with the intended final outcome being public trust in the police which results in the police having legitimacy. The conceptual framework presented is not merely meant to describe democratic policing but rather to guide strategic planning in police organizations including the South African Police Service (SAPS). This relates in particular to the strategic objectives formulated in Medium Term Strategic Framework and annual performance plans with particular reference to the input variables and the outputs they need to deliver.

Fact Sheet 22: Arrest without a warrant in Zambia: Law reform to prevent arbitrary arrest
Author: Janelle
Published: Feb 06, 2020

This fact sheet deals with arrest without a warrant in Zambia. It highlights the legal framework governing arrest without a warrant, the shortcomings in the legislation as well as some challenges with implementation as is evident from case law. The fact sheet recommends that the Zambian Criminal Procedure Code Act and the Police Act are reviewed and that the provisions on arrest without a warrant are amended to comply with international best practice on arrest in accordance to the obligations of the African Charter which seek to protect the right of life, dignity, equality and security of all people.

Fact Sheet 23: Arrest without a warrant in Mozambique: Law reform to prevent arbitrary arrest
Author: Janelle
Published: Oct 25, 2019

This factsheet deals with the power to arrest without a warrant in Mozambique. A 2013-decision by the Constitutional Council of Mozambique resulted in significant changes in law on who can arrest without a warrant, thus reducing the risk of arbitrary arrest. These changes and other developments bode well for reform in the criminal justice system. However, resource constraints place a substantive limitation on the Mozambican criminal justice system in general and specifically on complying with the 2013-decision of the Constitutional Council.

Fact Sheet 21: The role of the court in dealing with petty offences
Author: Janelle
Published: Oct 02, 2019

This fact sheet addresses alternative ways in which offenders of minor crimes can be dealt with at a court level using a more restorative justice approach. It proposes various forms of non-custodial sanctions that the court can impose; for example, community service, good behaviour orders as well as the completion of life skills programs.

Fact Sheet 20: The role of prosecutors in dealing with petty offences
Author: Janelle
Published: Oct 02, 2019

This fact sheet addresses the role that prosecutors can play in dealing with offenders of minor crimes. It emphasizes the use of restorative justice approaches such as mediation, life skills programs and community service as a more appropriate way of dealing with minor offending rather than resorting to a criminal justice response.

Fact Sheet 19: The role of the police in dealing with petty offences
Author: Janelle
Published: Oct 02, 2019

This fact sheet addresses the role that law enforcement officials can play in dealing with offenders of minor crimes. It emphasizes the use of restorative justice approaches such as warnings and fines in combination with other programs as a more appropriate way of dealing with minor offending rather than resorting to a criminal justice response.

Fact Sheet 18: A guide to reading government annual reports
Author: Janelle
Published: Sep 06, 2019

Government departments use annual reports to report on their performance against set objectives stated in their Annual Performance Plans (APP) and the Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF). Annual reports also serve the function of promoting accountability and transparency which should improve trust and confidence in government’s ability to deliver on services. It is especially for civil society organisations that annual reports can be invaluable when holding government accountable. There are, however, certain challenges that readers of annual reports encounter, most notably the fact that annual reports are generally long and complex. Furthermore, the issue of erroneous and intermittent reporting is cause of concern when it comes to analysing an annual report. This fact sheet serves as a guide on how to read government department annual reports and highlights key issues to consider.

Fact Sheet 9: Failing to discipline in SAPS
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 19, 2019

This fact sheet looks at accountability in SAPS by firstly outlining the accountability framework with reference to the Constitution. Quantitative data is presented on disciplinary code enforcement in SAPS and comparisons are drawn with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). The relationship between the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as two important players in the accountability architecture is considered.