Audit of pre-trial detainees in Malawi and Zambia

By Richard Lee | July 08th, 2011

The project aims - through an audit of eight police station/court/prison precincts in Malawi and Zambia - gather information on both the legal status of awaiting trial detainees and issues pertaining to conditions of incarceration in those two countries.

In phase 2 the information gathered through the audit process will be used in both Malawi and Zambia to develop an advocacy agenda where civil society organisations can advocate for changes in the existing legislative and policy environment in order to promote the speedy resolution of trials, the increased use of diversion and alternative sentencing and improvement of prison condition in line with the UN Standard Minimum Rules.
 
The project will also aim to build the capacity of local civil society organisations to develop and implement projects aimed at addressing the problems and concerns indentified during the scoping phase.
 
The project, which is a partnership between OSISA, the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) and the OSFs Global Criminal Justice Fund (GCJF), will run from July 2011- July 2013.
 
In the second phase of this project, the information gathered through the pre-trial audits will be used for three purposes in both Malawi and Zambia namely to:
 
Develop an advocacy agenda where civil society organisations can advocate for changes in the existing legislative and policy environment in order to promote the speedy resolution of trials, the increased use of diversion and alternative sentencing and improvement of prison condition in line with the UN Standard Minimum Rules.
 
Build the capacity of local civil society organisations to develop and implement projects aimed at addressing the problems and concerns indentified during the scoping phase or alternatively to strengthen existing initiatives (although this does not preclude work with government if this is deemed necessary). We are also interested in exploring the potential for strengthening the oversight architecture (i.e. working with parliament or the National Human Rights Institutions).
 
Consider strategic public interest litigation, either at a national or regional level will form part of the advocacy strategy. Funding for litigation has been provided to the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) by the OSF Global Criminal Justice Fund. SALC will work closely with OSISA to ensure that positive judgments handed down through their work find traction and are effectively implemented.
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