SOMALILAND PRISON LAW
Article 27 (8) of the Somaliland Constitution:
The purpose of “prisons is reform and correction. The state is responsible for the rehabilitation and skills training of prisoners so that they can return to society with reformed characters.”
The main prisons law in Somaliland until January 1972 were the Somaliland Prisons Ordinance No. 11 of 1952. The Ordinance replaced the Prison Discipline Ordinance 1918 and followed very closely the Ugandan Prisons Ordinance 1944. It came into force in 1953 together with the Prisons Rules the Somaliland Prisons Rules 1952 (No 453). The latter were in use, with modifications, until 1984 when they were replaced by new regulations.
The Somaliland Prison Law, Law No. 94 of 1996 consisting of 74 Articles (in Somali) is based on the the 1971 Prison Law and was passed by the House of Representatives on 14 October 1996 and signed into Law by the President on 16 November 1996. The provisions of the law can be seen in the following tables:
The Prison Law 1971 (Law no. 7 of 30 December 1971) (in English) came into force on 15 January 1972 and was applied until the 1993 Law.
Regulations issued under Article 71 of the 1971 Prison Law were headed Regulations for the Country’s Prisons (Law no. 49 of 9 August 1984) . As confirmed by Article 96 of these Regulations, the Somaliland Prisons Rules (No 453), as modified by the 1971 Law, applied to Somaliland Prisons until 1984. A slightly modified version of the 1984 Regulations, as applied in Somaliland, is currently applied in Somaliland prisons. (Our apologies for the faint copy and the missing annexes which are the essentially same as the 1984 annexes). The Regulations are practically the same as the 1984 ones; indeed Articles 2 – 69 are worded exactly the same as the similarly numbered articles in the 1984 Regulations. The minor changes are:
- Article 1 (definitions) which inserts the relevant Somaliland institutions.
- Art 70 covers the opposite numbered article and few lines of Art. 71.
- Articles 71 to 74 of the 1984 Regulations have been deleted.
- Articles 71 to 95 of the Somaliland version are the same as Article 75 to 91 of the 1986 Regulations.
- Article 92 of the Somaliland version is essentially the same as Articles 96 and 97 of the 1984 Regulations.
- Annexes B (prisoners’ food); T (prisoners’ cloths and bedding) and X (punishment food) referred to in Articles 18(1) , 19(1) and 48 of both Regulations are the same, but are not attached to the Somaliland version posted above.
For the treatment of juvenile offenders, see the Somaliland Juvenile Justice Law - Law No. 36/2007 which repealed the 1971 Juvenile Courts and Reformatories Law - Law No. 13 of 18 March 1970. A young priosners’ wing was firts established at Mandhera prison in 1959.
Somaliland Corrections Corps:
The Structure of the Corrections Corps Law - Law No. 93/96 of 3 November 1996 (Sharciga Dhismaha Ciidanka Asluubta) set out the structure of the Somaliland Corrections Force . This Law (numbered 83/96) was passed by the House of Representatives on 14 October 1996 and was signed into Law by the President on 3 November 1996. Article 1 of the Law states that the Corrections Corps are “temporarily” part of the armed forces, but that they come under the Ministry of Justice. Article 9 states that for Personnel management matters, such as promotion, pay, discipline etc, the relevant provisions in the Police Regulations shall apply.
The change in name from Prisons Forces to “Corrections Force or Corps” (Ciidanka Asluubta) was done before 1991 under Law No. 59 of 8 March 1975.
The Somaliland Transfer of Prisoners Law – Law No. 53/2012 [Clearer Somali Copy ] and an [English translation] This is a generic law which applies to prisoner transfers to or from countries with which Somaliland has a prisoner transfer agreement (such as Sychelles in relation agreed cases involving prisoners convicted of acts of piracy offences).
KEY UN DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS: