Criminal Law Reform Sudan
In 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ended the North-South war in Sudan. The CPA envisages a transitional period of six years, which is colloquially referred to as democratic transformation. This process includes a number of measures to enhance democracy, guarantee the right to self-determination, and strengthen human rights protection and the rule of law. The CPA provides for an Interim National Constitution (INC), which was duly adopted in 2005. The Constitution makes international human rights binding on Sudan an integral part of its bill of rights and recognizes a number of fundamental human rights. Legislative reforms to overcome the legacy of human rights violations are fundamental both to the CPA and the INC.
Criminal laws are a crucial yardstick for the rule of law and the protection of human rights. In Sudan, criminal laws are often overly broad and vague and criminalise conduct that is protected by such rights as the freedom of expression. A range of offences are subject to whipping or other cruel and inhuman punishment. The law fails to protect the most vulnerable from crimes such as rape or torture, which frequently go unpunished. Persons detained are by law not provided with adequate safeguards, which exposes them to violations in custody.
The Project for Criminal Law Reform in Sudan (PCLRS) is a joint initiative of REDRESS and the Sudanese Human Rights Monitor. The Project seeks to advocate crucial reforms and thereby advance the legal recognition of rights of all people in Sudan. To date, it has engaged in a number of campaigns, such as on the reform of laws pertaining to sexual violence, public order laws, security laws and legal provisions seeking to enhance accountability of perpetrators of serious human rights violations.