Longitudinal Constitutional Trends in Clemency since Sebba (1977)

Dr Daniel Pascoe1, Dr Andrew Novak2
1School of Law, City University Of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, 2Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University, Fairfax, United States

Nearly all legal systems throughout the world possess an executive clemency mechanism, though legal frameworks and empirical practice vary significantly between nation states.  The typical starting points for comparative legal research on executive clemency are Leslie Sebba’s now-dated 1977 articles comparing clemency mechanisms globally.  Forming part of a forthcoming edited collection, this co-authored paper will document changes in worldwide constitutional trends on executive clemency (and the reasons for these changes) since Sebba’s two original studies were published back in 1977,  based on a systematic collection of constitutional provisions from documents around the world.

Not only have the number of worldwide constitutions mushroomed since 1977 with the continued demise of colonialism and the breakup of the Soviet Union, but moreover there have been notable changes in the worldwide picture for the clemency categories that Sebba originally identified as relevant to his constitutional surveys.  These were the identity of the formal clemency decision-maker, any recommending or countersigning bodies, other advisory bodies, allowances for special categories of offender and offence, and the categories of clemency mentioned in each constitution.

Using the comparative constitutional law methodology, this paper will demonstrate that even at the constitutional level (let alone within legislation and formal administrative procedures), clemency decision-making has become increasingly bureaucratized since 1977 as a greater number of parties are afforded the opportunity to influence the final decision-maker.  Moreover, national constitutions now place greater restrictions on the head of state’s plenary power to grant clemency, as compared with the situation in 1977.


Dr Daniel Pascoe has been an Assistant Professor at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong, since 2014.  Dr Pascoe completed his undergraduate degrees in Asian Studies and in Law at ANU, and his MPhil and DPhil at Oxford.  His research interests include punishment and pardon in comparative perspective, Southeast Asian law, Islamic Law, Transitional Justice and Legal Pedagogy.  His first monograph is forthcoming with OUP in late 2018.


Factors Contributing to Terrorism Sentencing Outcomes in Indonesia

Ms Milda Istiqomah1
1UNSW, Sydney, Australia, 2Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia

In terrorism prosecutions, some researchers have claimed that extra-legal factors tend to influence sentencing outcomes, however, there is no adequate evidence that this tendency exists in Indonesian terrorism trials. This thesis aims to examine what factors contribute to sentencing decisions in Indonesian terrorism prosecutions. Using quantitative approach, this thesis will examine approximately 150 terrorism verdicts in Indonesia in the last ten years. The extent to which the selected independent factors predict sentence length is tested in a multiple regression analysis. This analysis suggests that the sentence can be to a large extent predicted by legal criteria. The total number of people died is the strongest predictor of sentence length in the model.


Milda Istiqomah is a PhD candidate in Faculty of Law, UNSW. Her research interest is on terrorism and sentencing.


Revisable permanent prison sentence: the de facto life sentence in Spain

Martín Aragón1
1Universidad De Cádiz, Jerez De La Frontera, Spain

By the Constitutional Law 1/2015, the Spanish Criminal Code was amended to introduce a new sentencing under the name “revisable permanent prison”, which basically allow parole ineligibility periods and abolish opportunities for early parole reviews for certain serious offences. So as a result, Spain do have mandatory life sentence under a politically correct name, in order to be respectful with the constitutional requirements which stablish that the main aim of the imprisonment must be the rehabilitation.

The paper focus on legal aspects -such as the constitutionality of this sentence or its relation with the penitentiary system- and on the criminological ones, such as the possibilities of rehabilitation and the consequences of long term imprisonment no just for the inmate theirself, but also for their inner circle. Related to the rehabilitation, the problem of the sentence development is addressed from two different views; from the lack of prediction in the law and from the penitentiary scope.

The key elements of this entire truss designed by the lawmaker are the victims, whose concerns are not understand as a needing of expanding their safety as a criminal policy goal, but in such a way that they have been transformed into policy sanctification. In that way, it is highlighted here how the media influence the perception the people have on the criminal issue and the important role that have recently played the victims’ lobbies in the criminal law development.

I am a Lecturer in Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Cádiz. I have been working for this University teaching several subjects within the Degree in Criminology and the MA named “Criminal System, Criminality and Security Policies”. I am also the head researcher of a teaching innovation project named Multidimensionality of the criminal fact: qualitative approaching from the class. In addition, I am a member of and an I+D project named Efficacy and impact assessment on the social and legal response to pederasty from a criminological analysis and I have been working in another one named Equality and Criminal Law: gender and nationality as primary factors of discrimination. My PhD (A criminological and legal analysis on long term imprisonment) was received with an International Mention (presented in Spanish and English) and a distinction “cum laude” given unanimously. I also have several publications on different issues related to Criminology.

Regarding international stays I did a 3 months research stay at the University of Leicester in 2016 in order to compare the long term imprisonment to complete my PhD studies. And at this very moment I’m doing a 40 days research stay at the Centre for Criminoogy and sociolegal studies at the University of Toronto. I’m also in this city to give an oral presentation at the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology about “The Power of Mass Media within the Social Construction of Crime: Analyzing the Pederasty Case in the Spanish Newspapers”.

I am also a Member of the American Society of Criminology and the British Society of Criminology.

Evaluation of Applying Restorative Justice in Post-Hearing Level in Non-Governmental Terrorism

Mir Masood Farzaneh1
1University, Karaj, Iran

The goals of restorative justice in encountering offenders are, returning to the society with a feeling of embarrassment and accepting the responsibilities of his/her crimes. Although, avoiding reoccurrence of crime in future and healing the effects of crime through some actions like mediation, which is a chance for both sides to discuss the crime, are also targeting in restorative justice. According to the researches across the world, by the advocates of restorative justice, the agreements of this type are 70 to 100 percent effective, while the success of the criminal justice approach is about 40 to 60 percent (A. shiri, 2017, p 334). The researcher used library and fieldwork methodology to analyze the punitive policies of and judicial of Turkey in facing criminals, managers and activities of Kurdistan labor party (P.K.K) from 1983 to 2013 who are terrorists according to European Union and 15 other countries such as Iran, and evaluate consequences of changing classical criminal justice from strict punishments (executions) and blaming (traitor to the country, legal matter number 25), to restorative justice and agreements in post-hearing level and discounts of punishments (Apo trial, June 1999) which were under influence of international, national and local pressures. As an answer to the consequences of these changes, researcher can mention the decrease of the numbers of the dead staff of military officers of Turkey from 1145 officers in 1994, to 3 officers in 2013, or the change in struggles from terrorism to civic and cultural acts in post-hearing level (Erdogan and Apo meeting in prison, December 2012). These changes led to new relations between both sides and put an end to the bloody quarrels which lasted for many years. At last, the researcher analyzes the relation between quantitative and qualitative terrorism acts and security of Turkey and its effects in attracting tourists and how 5389308 tourists in 1990 increased to 34910098 in 2013.

Mir Masood Farzaneh is 28 years old MA. student in the field of Criminology. He is currently director of Araz Law Instituted, newly founded in Tehran.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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