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January 16, 2007

Namibia exploring guideline reforms

As detailed below, I have sporadically reported on major sentencing reform news from other parts of the world.  Today, the news comes from Namibia, where this interesting article reports on a "plan to implement sentencing reforms in the Namibian justice system, according to remarks made by Justice Minister and Attorney General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana yesterday at the official opening of the High Court for 2007."  Here are snippet from the article:

An area that needs serious attention is sentencing reform in the criminal justice system, [Attorney General] Iivula-Ithana continued.  The current system, with sentences for most crimes not prescribed and courts having the discretion to treat each case on its own merits when deciding what sentences would be appropriate for a convicted offender, in her opinion "frequently results in sentencing disparities in more or less similar cases and between sentences in crimes committed against the person as distinct from property and other crimes," Iivula-Ithana said.  "It may also result in the unsatisfactory situation whereby the nature of sentence a convicted offender receives depends on who the sentencing judge was," she added. "I hold the firm view that our system, based as it is on indeterminate sentencing, has serious shortcomings," she said.

She proposed that sentencing reforms, "aimed at reducing disparity and increasing sentence uniformity, proportionality and precision", and also "geared at achieving racial parity in sentencing", should be undertaken. This, she said, can be done through adopting sentencing guidelines — to be determined by an independent body.

Related posts about guideline developments around the world:

January 16, 2007 at 07:29 AM | Permalink

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