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Criminal Law Reform

Ongoing Cases

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Criminal Justice

Malawi: Lilongwe informal traders challenge eviction and confiscation of goods

On 5 June 2023, the High Court of Malawi granted leave for judicial review to challenge the Lilongwe by-laws evicting informal traders from plying their trade on the streets and…
Criminal Justice

Kenya: Challenge to offence of attempted suicide

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre is supporting a constitutional petition in Kenya, for   Coalition Action for Preventive Mental Health in Kenya (CAMPHK) as an interested party challenging section 226 of…
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Criminal Justice

Zimbabwe: Challenge to criminalisation of personal possession of Marijuana

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre is supporting a constitutional challenge to sections 156 and 155 of the Criminal Law Act and sections 3 and 6 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.…
Criminal Justice

Malawi: Challenging the offence of begging

Factual Background Thirteen individuals were arrested and charged under section 180(b) of the Penal Code at different places in Blantyre. They appeared together before the magistrate on 12 April 2017…

Completed Cases

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Criminal Justice

Malawi: Man arrested and convicted for attempting to commit suicide

Background Suicide continues to be a global health concern, affecting all continents. During the lockdown period to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic between April and September 2020, Malawi…
Criminal Justice

Malawi: High Court of Malawi reviews harsh sentences imposed on possession of Indian hemp

Background On 15 June 2022, a 17-year-old boy was allegedly found in possession of 78 plastic bags (weighing about 134 kilograms) of Indian hemp at his home. He was subsequently…
Criminal Justice

Lesotho: Challenging mandatory HIV testing of accused persons and the mandatory death sentence of Persons Living With HIV (PLWH)

SALC is supporting the constitutional challenge of Section 30 and 32(a)(vii) of the Sexual offences Act, which provides for mandatory HIV testing of an accused person upon being charged with…
Criminal Justice

Zimbabwe: Challenging criminalisation of breastfeeding by women living with HIV

SALC is supporting private lawyer, Mr Tawanda Chakabva, in the criminal defence of a woman living with HIV who was  charged with Deliberate transmission of HIV in terms of section…


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African Court challenges States to rethink the basis of their criminal laws

Published on on 22 January 2021 On 4 December 2020, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights issued an Advisory Opinion which challenges the very notions which underpin…

SALC journal article: Litigating to protect the rights of poor and marginalised groups in urban spaces

PUBLISHED IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW REVIEW CAVEAT Anneke Meerkotter 74 U. Miami L. Rev. Caveat 1 (2020). Abstract For centuries, and across the world, penal laws have been…

African lawyers and journalists sensitised on HIV and TB criminalisation

Seychelles Nation 02 March 2018 The final of three training sessions for African lawyers on human rights based strategic litigation, legal defence and advocacy on HIV and tuberculosis (TB) justice…

Policing of petty offences

The Nation Victor Mhango and Anneke Meerkotter In January 2017, the Malawi High Court, in the case of Mayeso Gwanda, made a finding that would have reverberations throughout Africa. It…


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Civic Rights

SALC submission on Zimbabwe’s 3rd universal periodic review

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown restrictions have led to a decrease in manufacturing,…
Civic Rights

2019-2021 Biennial report

SALC's biennial report captures activities for March 2019 to February 2021. Read the report here.
Criminal Justice Criminal Law Reform

Joint Stakeholder Submission: Universal Periodic Review of Tanzania

In March 2021, an anonymous human rights defender from Tanzania, SALC and SRI made a joint stakeholders submission for the Tanzania UPR 39th session. Read the submission here.
Criminal Justice

Zambia: Submission on the review of the penal code and criminal procedure code

SALC made submission on the review of the Zambian penal code and criminal procedure code. Read the submission here.