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Legislators debate law on policing in Africa

Legislators debate law on policing in Africa

African legislators have kick-started the process of developing legislation on policing in Africa.

Titled, “The Draft Model Police Act”, the proposed legislation addresses issues of governance, human rights and justice.

It also spells out the role, functions, powers and duties of a police officer including appointment, promotion, and conditions of employment, resignation and retirement.

The draft law was presented for debate to the Pan African Parliament by the Chairperson of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Ignatienne Nyirarukundo on Wednesday.

Nyirarukundo said the objective of the law is to promote legislative reforms on existing legislation governing the mandate, organizational structure and performance of law enforcement agents within the African Union member states.

“The law will significantly contribute to policing in Africa and complement existing reform initiatives of the African Union Commission on human and people’s rights,” she said adding that “The model law will support democratic governance and the rule of law, upholding and promoting equitable and free access to justice.”

Legislators were however conscious to note that the proposed legislation raises national sovereignty concerns of which PAP does not have full legislative powers as embodied in the Constitutive Act of the AU.

Felix Okot Ogong from Uganda suggested that as part of wider public consultation on the proposed law, the Legal committee should hold public hearings with various stakeholders and submit a report to the House for consideration by the Members. 

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