The effect of law making bail pending appeal discretionary on the convict's right to appeal
Zulu, Harrison Alfred
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This paper reviews the law making bail pending appeal discretionary in Zambia and draws attention to the need for reforms that will help the courts strike an equitable balance between the convicts right to be granted bail pending appeal and the interest of society. In order to critically analyse the case at hand, qualitative research is used by focusing on primary and secondary information. The secondary data is drawn from authors of books, journals and scholarly articles who have systematically analysed the issues relating to bail pending appeal in relation to rights of convicts particularly right to liberty.The paper, in investigating the case of Zambia, also draws a comparative analysis from the Unites states of America, Nigeria, India and Australia and concludes that the most distinctive feature of Zambia's criminal justice system is the absence of legislative guidelines for exercise of discretionary power on bail pending appeal. This should be seen as a huge drawback of the criminal justice system that purports to deliver effective justice to accused persons in Zambia. The paper further concludes that since liberty of the subject is one of the most fundamental and treasured concepts in our society, in criminal appeal cases, it is important that the convict is allowed to attain the lost liberty at least temporary to go through the appeal process and fight for the valuable right to freedom. The paper, draws recommendations from a comparative analysis and notes inter alia that there is an urgent need for amendment to the Zambian Criminal procedure Code to set out visibly and in sufficient detail, criteria to be followed by the courts when granting bail pending appeal. In this vein, there is also need for reforms by judicial activism and provision of legal aid services and transparent justice to accused persons. Moreover, this will require not only the participation of government but also the private sector and the Zambian community in general.
- Law