Procedural justice and the power of the judge in the courtroom: a comparison between Africa and the West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

In this chapter, the author conducts a critical analysis and comparison of laws and practices that legitimise discretionary power in the courtroom from a selection of global north and south jurisdictions. The specific offence of contempt of court in facie curiae is the central focus, where the use of full judicial autonomy, summary, and arbitrary hearings have survived now well into the 21st century. The research conducted shows that there is a global problem with significant overreach of power by members of the judiciary in nearly all jurisdictions investigated. In some cases, this could be viewed as being extreme enough in its overreach to justify being described as abuse of power. Further evidence is presented showing little by way of accountability being held against those judges who misuse their discretionary powers in the courtroom. Recommendations are that there should be reform or development of practice through both judicial training and proportionate disciplinary action where overreach is proven to have occurred in order to minimise future overreaches of power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on Reforming the Criminal Justice System
EditorsMichael Pittaro
PublisherIdea Group Inc
Chapter12
Pages202-235
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781799868866
ISBN (Print)9781799868842, 1799868842, 9781799868859
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameGlobal Perspectives on Reforming the Criminal Justice System
PublisherIdea Group Inc

Keywords

  • judiciary
  • overreach
  • misuse
  • power
  • independence
  • objective
  • neutral
  • contempt of court
  • colonialism
  • common law
  • mens rea
  • Canada
  • England
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • USA

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