Research Reports

Report - Overview and key findings COVID-19 restrictions and the impact on criminal justice and human rights (Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa & Zambia)
Author: Lukas
Published: Jul 29, 2022

This report makes a number of overview observations dealing with broader issues of governance, human rights, the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the criminal justice system. A central lesson to be taken from these findings is the need for continued vigilance in seeking a balancing of rights and the importance of evidence-based policy-making, especially where there is the potential that those already socio-economically vulnerable may be pushed deeper into poverty. Report by L Muntingh, J Mangwanda & K Petersen

NPA Issue Paper 1: In search of strategy | by Lukas Muntingh
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 17, 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.

NPA Issue Paper 2: Knowledge, skills and human resources | by Lukas Muntingh
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 17, 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 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.

NPA Issue Paper 4: Transparency in high-profile corruption matters | by Jean Redpath
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 17, 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.

NPA Issue Paper 5: Accountability of the NPA | by Jean Redpath
Author: Crystal
Published: Mar 17, 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.

Policy brief: Local Government and crime in light of the 2021 Local Government Elections
Author: Crystal
Published: Nov 25, 2021

In view of the local government elections scheduled for 1 November 2021, the DOI, through two if its projects, hosted a webinar on 27 October 2021 to reflect on local government and crime within the context of the elections. The panellists were Prof Jaap De Visser, Prof Lukas Muntingh, Dr Jean Redpath and Ms Kristen Petersen.

Country Survey Report: Kenya
Author: Crystal
Published: Oct 11, 2021

Report by J Mangwanda with L Muntingh, T Lorizzo, K Petersen and J Redpath

RESEARCH REPORT: The Prosecution Service and the Provinces
Author: Janelle
Published: Sep 10, 2021

This paper explores the relationship between the provinces and the NPA by looking at the legal framework as well as a few case studies and examples of cooperation that have emerged. Recommendations are made for a way forward.

Recommendations for reform of the National Prosecuting Authority
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 11, 2020

Following from previous work, this report looks at seven areas of reform for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). By its own admission the NPA is facing a long list of challenges, internally and externally. This report proposes seven areas of reform that can over the short to medium term, if followed, make a substantial and constructive contribution to rebuilding trust in the NPA. The seven areas are: • the appointment of the NDPP and other senior officials • the dismissal of the NDPP • the prosecution policy directives • referrals from other agencies • informal mediation • structuring the clusters of the NPA • general oversight. An unavoidable conclusion is that law reform is needed since the current legal framework enabled the hollowing-out and misuse of the NPA.

Alternativas à prisão em Moçambique: A implementação do trabalho socialmente útil
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 07, 2020

Em Dezembro de 2020 entrarão em vigor em Moçambique o Código Penal revisto, o novo Código de Processo Penal e o Código de Execução das Penas. Embora serão introduzidas mudanças substanciais relacionadas com as alternativas à prisão e especificamente ao trabalho socialmente útil (TSU), este relatório avalia a implementação do TSU em Moçambique entre 2015 e 2019. Examina o seu uso pelos tribunais e a implementação pelo Serviço Nacional Penitenciário (SERNAP). As conclusões apontam para vários problemas de implementação, como o seu uso pouco frequente pelos tribunais, bem como desafios na monitoria dos infractores pelo Serviço de Penas Alternativas à Pena de Prisão (SPAPP). Vários problemas sistémicos foram encontrados, como falta de gestão, directrizes processuais e formações e falta de recursos materiais e financeiros necessários para a implementação efectiva do TSU. Independentemente de uma nova estrutura legal, é evidente que será necessário retirar lições valiosas do período em análise. Nas conclusões, o relatório aponta algumas recomendações para abordar as deficiências.

Alternatives to imprisonment in Mozambique: The implementation of community service orders
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 07, 2020

In December 2020 a revised Penal Code and new Criminal Procedure Code and Code on the Implementation of Penalties will enter into force in Mozambique. While substantial changes related to alternatives to imprisonment and specifically to community service will be introduced, this report assesses the implementation of community service orders (CSO) in Mozambique between 2015 and 2019. It examines its use by the courts and implementation by the Department for Corrections. The findings point to several implementation problems, such as its infrequent if not rare use by the courts as well as challenges in monitoring offenders by the Service for Alternatives to Imprisonment. A number of systemic problems were found, such as the lack of management, procedural guidelines, and training; understaffing, and a serious lack of material and financial resources necessary for the effective implementation of CSO. Regardless of a new legal framework, it is submitted that valuable lessons need to be taken from the period under review. Based on the findings, the report concludes with recommendations to address the shortcomings.

Recommendations for reform of the National Prosecuting Authority
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 31, 2020

Following from previous work, this report looks at seven areas of reform for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). By its own admission the NPA is facing a long list of challenges, internally and externally. This report proposes seven areas of reform that can over the short to medium term, if followed, make a substantial and constructive contribution to rebuilding trust in the NPA. The seven areas are: • the appointment of the NDPP and other senior officials • the dismissal of the NDPP • the prosecution policy directives • referrals from other agencies • informal mediation • structuring the clusters of the NPA • general oversight. An unavoidable conclusion is that law reform is needed since the current legal framework enabled the hollowing-out and misuse of the NPA.

Powers of arrest curtailed by Constitutional Council of Mozambique – the impact of the 2013 decision
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 02, 2019

This report assesses the consequences of the 2013-decision of the Constitutional Council of Mozambique, which limits to judges the authority to order pre-trial detention for cases falling outside of flagrante delito (where the accused is caught in the act of committing the offence). Although the decision represents a progressive change in the jurisprudence of Mozambique’s highest court, judges, prosecutors and police encounter operational challenges in implementing the decision, in a country with a population of more than 28 million people. In 2017, there were 344 judges, 18 of which were Judges of Criminal Instruction, responsible for issuing warrants of arrest for cases outside of flagrante delito. Concerns were raised in relation to lack of financial and logistical resources for prosecutors, which are mandated to monitor the legality of police detention. As the criminal justice system is under-resourced, police officials have to wait for a judge to issue a warrant of arrest for cases falling outside of flagrante delito. Despite the decision, unlawful arrests continue to happen although there is anecdotal evidence that these have decreased. The 2013-decision has clarified who has the power to authorise arrest in these cases, but the situation is far from being resolved.

Liberty not the only loss - The Socio-Economic Impact of Remand Detention in the Western Cape
Author: Jean
Published: May 28, 2019

The evidence in this study suggests that the criminal procedural system metes out a disproportionate ‘punishment’ in the form of infringement of the socio-economic rights of the families of detainees, regardless of guilt or innocence.The study recommends a number of interventions to seek to ensure that remand detention is used only for short durations or when absolutely necessary, thereby minimising socio-economic harms.

Discussion Document: NPA Accountability, trust and public interest
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 19, 2019

This discussion document deals with three key concepts associated with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its relation to the public, namely accountability, public interest and trust. It is suggested that for the NPA to be regarded as a legitimate institution it needs to enjoy trust and in order to enjoy such trust, it needs to be seen and perceived to act in the public interest in an accountable manner.