Criminal Justice

SALC’s Criminal Justice work is integrated within its other programmatic areas and focuses on the following objectives:

  • To challenging the constitutionality of minor petty offences through law reform, advocacy and litigation.
  • To improve access to health care services and recognition of the health needs of all prisoners.
  • To improve prison conditions and reduce overcrowding in prisons.
  • To support challenges to the death penalty.
  • To develop jurisprudence on the rights of military detainees.
  • To challenge police arrest practices, including sweeping exercises.

Current cases:

Malawi: Case challenging the constitutionality of the begging and begging with deformities offences.
Malawi: Case challenging the constitutionality of offence criminalising poverty, and police mass arrest practices.
Malawi: Case challenging the constitutionality of the offence of soliciting for an immoral purpose. 
Zambia: Challenging the Mental Disorders Act, including provisions relating to detention.
Nigeria: Challenging police arrest practices.
Nigeria: Challenging police arrest practices.

Completed cases:

Malawi: Case challenging the imprisonment of children.
Zambia: Case challenging prison conditions and provision of adequate food for prisoners with HIV.
Malawi: Case challenging the constitutionality of the offence of being a rogue and vagabond.
Malawi: Challenging refusal to grant bail for terminally ill remandees.
Lesotho: Application for access to healthcare for military detainee.
Malawi: Case challenging unmet palliative care in detention.
Botswana: Challenging the refusal to provide antiretrovirals to foreign prisoners.
Malawi: Challenging sentencing practices which result in the incarceration of children with their caregivers.
Malawi: Discriminatory sentencing of persons with albinism.
Swaziland: Appealing the refusal to grant bail for persons charged under sedition and terrorism laws.
Lesotho: Seeking open arrest for military detainees subjected to torture.
Malawi: Challenging police arrest practices which unlawfully target sex workers.
Lesotho: Challenging police torture.
Malawi: Asserting the right to legal representation.
Malawi: Challenging the use of common nuisance offence.

21 Jan 2021 Staff Writer
NEWS RELEASE: SALC STATEMENT ON THE ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN ZIMBABWE...

21 January 2021 – SALC is deeply concerned by the arrest and detention of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and lawyers…

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04 Dec 2020 Staff Writer
NEWS RELEASE: AFRICAN COURT DECLARES VAGRANCY OFFENCES CONTRARY TO THE AFRICAN C...

4 December 2020 - Many African Union Member States have retained colonial-era criminal offences which criminalise the status of individuals…

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09 Oct 2020 Staff Writer
Petty Offences Newsletter: Digest of Campaign Activities in September 2020...

In September 2020, the Regional Campaign to Decriminalise Petty Offences hosted a virtual conference entitled Policing Pandemics, Balancing Rights. The…

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27 Aug 2020 Staff Writer
Petty Offences Newsletter: Increased Criminalisation in Response to the COVID-19...

Regional Campaign partners remain deeply concerned about the criminalisation of poverty across our continent. It is critical that the Principles…

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05 Aug 2020 Staff Writer
Petty Offences Newsletter: Digest On Excessive Use Of Force In Response To COVID...

The Regional Campaign to Decriminalise Petty Offences has long argued for a change in police arrest practices and increased accountability…

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28 Jul 2020 Staff Writer
Petty offences newsletter: Decongest prisons now!...

The COVID-19 pandemic has again highlighted the urgent need to decongest prisons throughout Africa. Although many countries have initiated decongestion…

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17 Jul 2020 Staff Writer
CIVIL SOCIETY CALLS FOR THE URGENT DECONGESTION OF PRISONS AFTER COVID-19 CASES ...

We the undersigned organizations reiterate our call for the immediate decongestion of prisons following two confirmed cases of COVID 19…

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26 May 2020 Staff Writer
SALC Policy Brief: A Legal Overview of the Impact of COVID-19 on Justice and Rig...

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, various countries in the Southern African region have put in place restrictions on gatherings,…

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