Mozambique

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.

Solitary Confinement - A review of the legal framework and practice in five African countries
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 23, 2018

This report investigates the legal frameworks of five African countries (Kenya Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia) as they relate to the use of solitary confinement. The effect of long periods of solitary confinement have been shown to have severe impacts on a prisoner’s mental and physical well-being. The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has noted that the use of prolonged solitary confinement may amount to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in breach of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In December 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules (‘2015 UNSMR’). The 2015 UNSMR addresses a key shortcoming in the protection and treatment of people in places of detention, as it, for the first time, sets down norms and limitations on the use of solitary confinement. The report concludes that there are major areas of non-compliance in each of the countries and this requires urgent attention

‘Closed for the holidays’- Mozambican Justice
Author: Jean
Published: May 10, 2018

In Mozambique the courts close for 60 days from December until February for the ‘judicial vacation’ (férias judiciais). For emergency matters, shifts are arranged by the Supreme Court only at the court of first instance as regulated by articles 27 and 28 of Law 24/2007. At the moment there is a proposal before the First Commission of Parliament to revise this system and reduce the duration of the holidays to 30 days.

Fechada por férias – A Justiça Moçambicana
Author: Jean
Published: May 10, 2018

Em Moçambique, os tribunais fecham por 60 dias, entre Dezembro e Fevereiro para as férias judiciais. Por casos de emergência, turnos são organizados pelo Tribunal Supremo apenas nos tribunais de primeira instância, como regulados pelos Artigos 27 e 28 da Lei n. 24/2007. Actualmente uma proposta está na I Comissão da Assembleia da República para reduzir a duração das férias judiciais para 30 dias.

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.

Centro de Formação Jurídica e Judiciária
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 13, 2017

Estudo Comparação sobre Constitucionalidade da Legislação Penal e Penitenciaria; Constitucionalidade da Legislação Penal e Penitenciaria em Moçambique. Estudo de Comparação sobre Caução; Estudo sobre Caução em Moçambique.

ACJR collaborates with Mozambican NGOs
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 08, 2017

Lukas Muntingh and Jean Redpath shared experiences of measuring performance and proposal writing with a range of Mozambican NGO's.

Mozambique's Judicial Training Institute hears perspectives on constitutionality and bail
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 07, 2017

ACJR researchers Gwen Dereymaeker and Kristen Petersen shared the results of their comparative investigations into the constitutionality of criminal procedures, and bail regimes, in selected African countries, to judges at the Centro de Formação Jurídica e Judiciaria (Judicial Training Institute) of Mozambique. ACJR associate Tina Lorizzo, of REFORMAR, presented the results relevant to Mozambique in particular.

Lançamento do Estudo "Impacto Socioeconómico da Prisão Preventiva em Quénia, Moçambique e Zâmbia"
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 06, 2017

O projeto procurou compreender e quantificar a forma como a decisão de deter um arguido afecta os direitos socioeconómicos, isto é, os recursos dos indivíduos, inclusive aqueles além das pessoas em prisão. Os locais de reclusão, selecionados para o estudo, estão situados nos principais centros urbanos do Quênia (Nairobi), Moçambique (Maputo) e Zâmbia (Lusaka). O projeto descobriu que, embora existam semelhanças significativas observadas entre os três Centros Urbanos, também há notáveis tendências particulares, no impacto socioeconómico em cada país.

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. --

Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa A comparative study of Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 01, 2016

This study reviews 41 rights of arrested, accused and detained persons under Burundian, Ivorian, Kenyan, Mozambican and Zambian law. These countries were chosen because they represent Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa as well as countries that have a civil law and common law tradition. The study begins by reviewing 17 rights of those arrested and detained in police custody; it goes on to examine 18 rights of accused persons; and ends by considering six rights of those detained in prison on remand or as sentenced prisoners. Each right is examined from three angles: first, whether it is recognised under international human rights law; secondly, to what extent the right is enshrined in the domestic constitution of the jurisdiction under review; and thirdly, to what extent the right is upheld and developed in subordinate legislation.

Reformar
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 17, 2016

Reformar (Research for Mozambique) carries out research in criminal justice reform in Mozambique.

Pardons provide temporary relief for overcrowding in Mozambique
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 13, 2016

Around 1000 prisoners were pardoned by the President during his State of the Nation address in December 2015. While these pardons offer temporary relief for the overburdened penitentiary system, implementation of more comprehensive measures, which form part of ongoing legal reform, will be necessary to effect real change.

Muitos problemas que comprometem os direitos dos reclusos em prisão preventiva
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2015

Este artigo apresenta os resultados de uma pesquisa realizada em Maputo, em 2012, sobre a prisão preventiva. As condições de reclusão e de acesso à representação legal de um grupo de reclusos que aguardam julgamento são analisados dentro do contexto do sistema penitenciário então em vigor em Moçambique. Enquanto a autora está ciente de que o quadro jurídico-legal do sistema penitenciário avançou nos últimos três anos, a pesquisa mostra que as condições de reclusão e acesso à representação legal de um grupo de pessoas em prisão preventiva em 2012 não respondiam aos princípios internacionais e nacionais que regulavam o sistema penitenciário no país.