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Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review x Jaar 2017 x
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Access_open A Critical Appraisal of the Role of Retribution in Malawian Sentencing Jurisprudence

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden sentencing, retribution, just deserts, punishment, Malawi
Auteurs Esther Gumboh
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    The theory of retribution is a central tenet in Malawian sentencing jurisprudence. Courts have given expression to retribution in various ways, most conspicuously through the recognition of the principle of proportionality as the most important principle in sentencing. Retribution has permeated courts’ consideration of certain sentencing factors such as the seriousness of the offence, family obligations and public opinion. Overall, retribution rightly plays a pivotal role in Malawian sentencing jurisprudence by elevating the principle of proportionality to the most important principle in sentencing. Malawian courts have also noted that whether in pursuit of retribution or utilitarianism, the ultimate objective is to arrive at a sentence that is just and fair in relation to the crime and the offender. This also ensures that the sentence imposed does not offend the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.


Esther Gumboh
Esther Gumboh is a postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
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