Law, Democracy & Development - Volume 9, Issue 1, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 9, Issue 1, 2005
Source: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp VIII –XIV (2005)More Less
The last few months have seen the development of an entirely new framework for South African corrections. First, the bulk of the 1998 Correctional Services Act (I II of 1998) was promulgated, some sections becoming operative with effect from 31 July 2004 and the remainder coming into effect from I October 2004. I The 1998 Act was drafted to replace the outdated Correctional Services Act 8 of 1959 and to bring correctional standards in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996). However, a lengthy period of more than five years elapsed before the Act was put into operation. In the event, however, the significance of the promulgation of the Act has been eclipsed. In March 2005, the Department of Correctional Services released a new White Paper on Corrections, setting a new agenda for prisons and prisoners in South Africa. A third significant development on the political front was that the Corrections portfolio in the cabinet is now headed up by a Minister and a Deputy Minister from the ruling party, unlike the previous era which saw Inkatha Freedom Party ministers in charge of Corrections since 1994.
Author Julia Sloth-NielsenSource: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp 1 –19 (2005)More Less
In June 2003, the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI) released a policy review concerning major developments in penal policy in South Africa since the advent of constitutionalism in 1994, This paper was widely disseminated. and drew quite healed reaction from some quarters at the time. By and large the policies discussed pertained to previous corrections administrations and the fact that a new commissioner had been appointed in August 2001. This article gives an overview of the issues to which attention had been drawn in the earlier policy review and provides an update to some key changes that have occurred subsequently
Author Lukas M. MuntinghSource: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp 21 –44 (2005)More Less
As instruments of control, prisons present an interesting part of society when one reflects on the human-rights regime of a country and the maturity of a democracy. The unequal power structure between prisoners and warders, the ever-present underlying threat of violence and coercion, and the common history of secrecy and inaccessibility to the public, seen collectively, place human rights in a high-risk situation. This article will rely on some basic descriptive statistics to provide an insight into South African prisons and highlight some pertinent human-rights issues that need monitoring in a constitutional democracy. The prison population is not a representative sample of the population nor are prisons simply buildings that merely hold people for a period of time. Prisons are complex institutions that, in many respects, reflect the challenges of society on the outside. They have also developed their own unique challenges as institutions that have essentially one purpose, namely to detain people against their will and thus limit their right to freedom of association and movement.
Author Saras JagwanthSource: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp 45 –65 (2005)More Less
Independent prison inspectorates and the oversight of prisons by laymen are designed to contribute to improving prison conditions and protecting the human rights of prisoners. The South African model, the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons (hereafter: the Inspectorate), is no exception and forms part of an array of independent institutions set up to bolster and support democracy and human rights. This report examines and assesses the work carried out by the Inspectorate since its inception in 1998. The conclusion of this report is that the Inspectorate is making a significant contribution to improving the human rights of prisoners in South Africa, but there are several areas of its work that need to be improved and modified in order to maximise its effectiveness.
Author Jacqui GallinettiSource: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp 67 –87 (2005)More Less
Author Pierre De VosSource: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp 89 –112 (2005)More Less
It is a sad fact that there IS often a huge gap in South Africa between the constitutional promise of a life lived with dignity and respect, on the one hand, and the actual lived reality of people who are supposed to be protected by that Constitution, on the other. The hearings at the Jali Commission of Inquiry into the system of corrections in South Africa have revealed that many prisoners are incarcerated in circumstances that fall far short of those guaranteed them in the South African Constitution.
Optional protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as adopted in 2002 by the UN General Assembly 57/1999 : implications for South AfricaAuthor Lovell FernandezSource: Law, Democracy & Development 9, pp 113 –136 (2005)More Less
Since the advent of democracy in 1994, the South African government has keenly supported the human-rights cause both nationally and internationally. South African lawyers, too, have played a prominent role in the international criminal tribunals created to try allegations of grave human rights violations. At the national level, the courts have over the past decade given concrete meaning to the fair-trial principle. Yet, for all the enlightened accomplishments in the area of criminal justice, the practice of torture, cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment reminds us that the constitutional command that the State protect and respect the dignity and inviolability of the person is violated repeatedly.