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8 Pages

Introduction

ByLutz Oette

Sudan's legal system is riddled with repressive legislation that has been accumulating since the early nineteenth century. The term 'repressive legislation' denotes overly broad crimes coupled with a system of harsh punishments and a series of legislative acts that are either ideologically motivated or dictated by security considerations. This chapter examines the nature of this repressive legislation, its incompatibility with human rights obligations and its propensity to result in violations. This encompasses provisions of the 1991 Criminal Act, the National Security Law and the Combating of Terrorism Act. It examines several critical aspects of Sudan's criminal law in the context of its practical application. The chapter discusses the institutional framework governing criminal justice is with a view to identifying areas for substantive and institutional reforms. The use of emergency laws in the course of conflict and the means of consolidating state power has been a recurring theme in Sudan's legal history.