Joint AIDS Law Project & Treatment Action Campaign Submission

Correctional Services Amendment Bill [B 32 - 2007]

ALP and TAC argue that the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons (“the Judicial Inspectorate”) should be further strengthened, with the powers of the Inspecting Judge expanded to enable him or her to discharge his or her public interest mandate appropriately. For example, instead of simply submitting a report, the Inspecting Judge should expressly be empowered to publish the report once the Minister has been given a reasonable period to respond to any adverse findings potentially contained in such a report. However, instead of strengthening the Judicial Inspectorate, the Correctional Services Amendment Bill [B 32—2007] (“the Bill”) seeks to achieve the very opposite. In this submission, therefore, attention is focussed on those provisions of the Bill that – if promulgated into law – would have this undesirable and constitutionally suspect outcome. In addition, certain provisions dealing with three issues of concern are addressed: the rights of inmates; the rights of members; and the unjustifiable expansion of the Minister’s authority. In respect of each area of focus, we make specific recommendations.