.The Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa (the Luanda Guidelines) were adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) during its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola, from 28 April to 12 May 2014.
Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 26 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) set out States’ obligations to provide all people with the rights to life, dignity, equality, security, a fair trial, and an independent judiciary. The Luanda Guidelines will assist States in implementing these obligations in the specific context of arrest, police custody and pre-trial detention.
Under Article 45(1)(b) of the African Charter, the Commission is mandated to formulate standards, principles and rules on which African Governments can base their legislation. It is on this basis that these Guidelines have been developed. The Commission acknowledges specific criminal justice-related human rights concerns across Africa, namely, arbitrary arrest and detention, and poor conditions of police custody and pre-trial detention. These are prevalent but under-examined areas of criminal justice practice and reform.