Journal article

A Critical Analysis of Life Imprisonment in Malawi

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Publication Details

Author list: Gumboh E

Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Publication year: 2017

Journal: Journal of African Law

Volume number: 61

Issue number: 3

Start page: 443

End page: 466

Total number of pages: 24

ISSN: 0021-8553

eISSN: 1464-3731


The abolition of the mandatory death penalty for murder in Malawi has attracted
attention to life imprisonment as a possible punishment for capital crimes. This article
considers the human rights challenges that life imprisonment in Malawi raises in
view of the Bill of Rights and Malawi’s international obligations under the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights, and other international and regional human rights
instruments that prescribe various standards for punishment. The article argues
that, in the absence of a clear statutory definition of life imprisonment and an inadequate
release system, the application of life imprisonment in Malawi is inconsistent
with the Bill of Rights and international standards on punishment.


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Last updated on 2017-17-11 at 13:51