Liberia Publications

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ACJR Submission on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill (2018)
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 28, 2018

It is our submission that the issue to be addressed, namely the independence of IPID also relates to the relationship between IPID and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and this submission focuses on that relationship as described in section 7(4-5) of the IPID Act. It will be submitted below that the effectiveness and impact of IPID is essentially at the mercy of the NPA.

Journal article: Modest beginnings, high hopes: The Western Cape Police Ombudsman
Author: Lukas
Published: Jun 01, 2018

In 2013 the Western Cape legislature passed the Western Cape Community Safety Act (WCCSA) to improve monitoring of and oversight over the police. One creation of the WCCSA is the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, which became operational in 2015. This article reviews its history and context, as well as results from its first year. The Police Ombudsman, the only one in the country, must be seen as one of the results of efforts by the opposition-held province to carve out more powers in the narrowly defined constitutional space, and in so doing to exercise more effective oversight and monitoring of police performance, and improve police–community relations. The Ombudsman must also be seen against the backdrop of poor police–community relations in Cape Town and the subsequent establishment of a provincial commission of inquiry into the problem, a move that was opposed by the national government, contesting its constitutionality. Results from the Ombudsman’s first 18 months in operation are modest, but there are promising signs. Nonetheless, the office is small and it did not do itself any favours by not complying with its legally mandated reporting requirements.

ACJR Submission on Parole in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: May 28, 2018

In late May 2018 the Department of Correctional Services in South Africa hosted a roundtable to discuss its “Position paper: a revised parole system for South Africa”. Submissions were invited prior to the round table and ACJR made a submission critical of the position paper. Key problems identified, amongst others, are: the lack of quantitative data in the position paper making it difficult to formulate policy in the absence of fact; the large number of prisoners serving life imprisonment received scant attention; and that proposed separate legislation to govern parole may not solve problems in the current system.

Expungement of a criminal record: crimes committed by an adult
Author: Jean
Published: May 15, 2018

Since 2009 the Criminal Procedure Act provides for the expungement of certain criminal records depending on the sentence that was imposed. This fact sheet describes the requirements and process in relation to adults.

Expungement of a criminal record: crimes committed by a child
Author: Jean
Published: May 14, 2018

The Child Justice Act since 2008 makes provision for the expungement of criminal records for offences committed by a child. Eligibility for expungement depends on the offence that was committed and certain offences cannot be expunged. This fact sheet describes the requirements and the process.

Kruse v S
Author: Jean
Published: May 04, 2018

There was a miscarriage of justice on several grounds, namely the denial of the accused’s right to a properly qualified interpreter, the refusal to allow his son to testify, and the negative bias of the presiding officer. The accused was not afforded a fair trial and his murder conviction therefore cannot stand.

Developments in Addressing Torture in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 22, 2018

This article assesses developments in the prevention and eradication of torture in Mozambique. Despite several positive efforts and advances made, acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are still perpetrated by members of the security forces, especially police officials, often with impunity. The culture of impunity for such serious offences is a direct threat to human rights and the rule of law in the country and seriously compromises the country’s public integrity. Two issues are of deep concern and require more efforts by the state, namely: a) addressing impunity and ensuring prompt and impartial investigations of all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and b) protecting victims and providing the necessary restitution, rehabilitation and compensation. In conclusion we provide recommendations on how to improve the situation. These are: engaging in outreach and advocacy; improving and strengthening the national legislative framework; strengthening institutions; developing mechanisms for the reporting of torture: monitoring and evaluating existing reporting mechanisms; improving conditions of detention; establishing effective oversight over places of detention, and by maintaining records to improve transparency and availability of information.

Principles on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 15, 2017

In 2017, the Principles on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa were adopted by the African Commission, becoming the latest development in a broader regional effort to articulate standards for acceptable human rights practices, specifically concerning matters of access to justice.These Principles seek to guide States on measures that can be taken to enhance human rights protections at the critical intersection of poverty and criminal justice.

Journal article: The SocioEconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 04, 2017

The presumed link between the rule of law and development suggests that an operational justice system is key to development. The research sought to understand and quantify how the decision to detain an accused person affects his or her socio-economic situation. Data was collected in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia. The findings suggest that the use of the coercive power of the state exercised through the deprivation of an individual’s liberty has serious socio-economic consequences. While detention pending trial is justifiable sometimes, we argue that it is over-used, frequently resulting in excessively long detention. The deprivation of liberty interferes with the ability of individuals to be agents of their own development, infringing on socio-economic rights of individuals and their dependents. States can justify such infringements only if their coercive power is used within the ambit of democratic and rights-respecting laws complying with human rights standards.

Bail and Bond in Zambia
Author: Kristen
Published: Sep 13, 2017

Challenges and Recommendations considering Legal and Administrative reforms

An Assessment of the National Prosecuting Authority - A Controversial Past and Recommendations for the Future
Author: Lukas
Published: May 22, 2017

Twenty years into democracy, the independence of the NPA, in particular the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), has become a highly contested and politicised issue. The Constitutional Court has noted that ‘[t]he constitutional obligation upon the State to prosecute those offences which threaten or infringe the rights of citizens is of central importance in our constitutional framework’. This report focuses on the substantive problems and dilemmas facing the NPA. In the discussion that follows the major challenges that the NPA is facing and have faced are set out. The report unpacks these and presents possible solutions and recommendations.

The Socio-economic Impact of Pre-trial detention in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 08, 2017

In many countries people accused of crimes are held in detention before trial. The law permits this detention usually in order to guarantee the appearance of the accused at trial. This project seeks to confirm and quantify the socio-economic impact of such pre-trial detention on detainees, their families, and associated households, in the main urban centres of Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia.

An Audit of the Criminal Justice System in Kenya
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 23, 2017

The 2010 Constitution ushered in a new era for governance in Kenya, with notable emphasis on rights codified in the Bill of Rights under Chapter Four of the Constitution. It is against this background that, under the auspices of the National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ), the Legal Resources Foundation Trust (LRF) and Resources Oriented Development Initiatives (RODI-Kenya) - with technical support from University of Western Cape South Africa - CSPRI and financial support from Open Society Foundations - partnered to conduct an audit study on Kenya’s Criminal Justice System. The focus was on pretrial detention with specific emphasis on conditions of detention and case-flow management. The audit was commissioned by the NCAJ Council on the 15th May, 2015 and thereafter conducted under the supervision of an NCAJ National Steering Committee, comprising of members drawn from the various agencies of the Criminal Justice System.

Journal Article: Ten years after the Jali Commission: The state of South Africa's prisons
Author: Lukas
Published: Dec 01, 2016

Ten years have lapsed since the Jali Commission’s final report became publicly available, and it is therefore an opportune time to assess the state of South Africa’s prison system. The Jali Commission was appointed when it became clear that the state had lost control of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). A decade on, some notable advances have been made in regaining control, and addressing corruption and maladministration. However, serious and persistent challenges remain. These are explored in this article, with a particular focus on policy development, the performance of the DCS against set targets, governance and human rights violations. In all four of these areas substantial shortcomings remain. Impunity for human rights violations is perhaps the most critical challenge, as the DCS has been reluctant to acknowledge the scale of this problem or to seriously address it.

Constitution de la Côte d'Ivoire (2016)
Author: Gwen
Published: Oct 16, 2016

Côte d'Ivoire's current constitution was adopted in October 2016. La dernière Constitution de Côte d'Ivoire fut adoptée en octobre 2016.

A Comparative Study of Bail Legislation in Malawi, Mozambique and Burundi
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 12, 2016

The deprivation of liberty is a serious intervention in any person’s life, and therefore the possibility of releasing an accused person from custody pending trial is a fundamental part of criminal justice systems across the world. Criminal justice systems have developed various ways to ensure, at least in law, that accused persons appear for trial without depriving them of their liberty. Such release may be conditional or unconditional. Unconditional release usually takes the form of a warning to appear in court at a later date, while conditional release can be secured through bail, bond, surety, and supervision. This paper reviews the laws on conditional release in Burundi, Malawi and Mozambique. These three countries were selected on the basis that they represent not only different types of legal systems but Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone legal traditions, respectively. --

Constitutionnalité des lois relatives à la procédure pénale et à la détention en Afrique: Côte d’Ivoire
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 02, 2016

A la suite de l'adoption de conventions internationales des droits de l'homme dans la deuxième moitié du dernier siècle et de nouvelles constitutions à la fin du 20e siècle, la question se pose de savoir si les droits reconnus dans ces conventions et constitutions sont reconnus dans la législation applicable. Dès lors, ce rapport examine la question de la constitutionnalité du droit pénal et du droit de la procédure pénale en Côte d'Ivoire. Une étude comparative des cadres normatifs au Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique et Zambie est également disponible en anglais.