Absence of spent conviction law in Malawi denies ex-convicts new life –Law Commission

The Law Commission said on Tuesday that the absence of legislation on Spent Conviction is undermining the reintegration and incorporation of ex-convicts into society as a critical process towards the development of this nation.

Chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the Development of Legislation on Spent Convictions, Commissioner Hon. Justice MCC Mkandawire officially opens the workshop at Lilongwe Hotel-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the Development of Legislation on Spent Convictions, Commissioner Hon. Justice MCC Mkandawire officially opens the workshop at Lilongwe Hotel-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Law Commissoner, Mrs. G.L. Hiwa SC gives her remarks at the Regional Consltative Workshop on the Development of Legislation on Spent Convictions at Lilongwe Hotel-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Law Commissoner, Mrs. G.L. Hiwa SC gives her remarks at the Regional Consltative Workshop on the Development of Legislation on Spent Convictions at Lilongwe Hotel-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Participants from various stakeholders attend the Regional Consultitave Workshop on the Development of Legislation on Spent Convictions-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Participants from various stakeholders attend the Regional Consultitave Workshop on the Development of Legislation on Spent Convictions-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the Development of Legislation on Spent Conviction Justice Charles Mkandawire said this in Lilongwe during a one-day regional consultative workshop held at Lilongwe Hotel.

The concept of spent conviction entails removing from records a conviction upon completion of sentence.

“In the absence of spent conviction, a criminal record continues to haunt an ex-convict despite serving a sentence to its fullest and lawful extent.

This conviction record continues to punish a person by stigmatising him or her in relation to reintegration and incorporation into society,” Justice Mkandawire said.

He further said that this result in many of them failing to contribute to the development of this nation since they are denied a number of opportunities.

“They struggle to get employment, meaningfully engage with society or enjoy meaningful participation in the social, economic and political opportunities that life has to offer,” Mkandawire said.

The Law Commission is in the process of consulting various stakeholders in the development of this legislation and it is expected to source inputs from the public through its secretariat and other approaches like workshops.

“We want to seek input at all levels so that we can develop a good balance of the various competing interests that the scheme of this law affects,” he said.

On whether the commission has specific offences and sentences that the proposed legislation to spent conviction is targeting to address, Mkandawire said that it is up to the general public to make suggestions on which offences to avoid compromising with other legislations and the enjoyment of human rights.

In her remarks, one of the commissioners in this special commission Gertrude Hiwa said that consultative process is one way of promoting stakeholder and public participation in the law reform process.

“The process account for public ownership, awareness and support from the general public while at the same time reflecting the wishes and aspirations of Malawians,” Hiwa said.

The development of the legislation on spent conviction is part of the broader framework of criminal justice reforms that include the review of the Penal Code, the review of Police Act, the development of Legislation on Fines.

The exercise is being funded by the European Union’s Democratic Governance programme (DGP).

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1 thought on “Absence of spent conviction law in Malawi denies ex-convicts new life –Law Commission”

  1. Masozi Mwenifumbo says:

    Guilt for for wrong doing can only be truly removed when such a person does what Paul the Apostle, and our brother on the right hand cross at Golgotha did, that TRUE CONVICTION, REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION OF HEART of any sinner (FOR ALL OF US ARE NATURALLY-BORN SINNERS FROM OUR NATURAL SINFUL FATHERS), THROUGH THE WASHING POWER OF THE ONLY PURE AND PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD THAT TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD!!!!

    And the society at large is THEREFORE commanded to forgive such ones, and help them realise that even if men reject them, God will still receive them, for He came for the lost, not the righteous, knowing, “FOR ALL OF US MEN ARE BORN PRISONERS OF SIN (JOHN 8:34-36), PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE, BUT THE ONLY SURE AND ETERNAL HELP IS ONLY FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST. If the Son of God sets you free, you shall be free indeed!!!!!”

    Discipline starts with God, such that even in Churches, erring brethren under sin are put under Disciplinary Observation by responsible leadership FOR GENUINE REPENTANCE AND FRUITS OF REPENTANCE TO BE SEEN before DISCIPLINE IS LIFTED UP FROM THEM, AND BEFORE BEING FULLY ACCEPTED TO THE NORMAL FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCH (2 COR 2, 7).

    Therefore PRISONS SHOULD IN PART BE HAVING SUCH REFORMATORY FACILITIES, AND THERE SHOULD BE CLOSE PRISONS/CHURCHES OF GOD CO-ORDINATION PROGRAMMES, IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT GOD HIMSELF IS INVOLVED IN THE REFORMATION PROCESS! Otherwise if there is no evidence of repentance/behavioral change and transformation, such physically released people may still continue to cause havoc amongst societies, and societies may still reject them (Rememeber apostle Paul; FOR IT TOOK TIME FOR HIM TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE CHURCH, THE PEOPLE HE HAD BEEN PERSECUTING, UNTIL PROVEN EVIDENCE VINDICATED PAUL THROUGH PEOPLE LIKE ANANIAS AND BARNABAS)..

    God bless Malawi.

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