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Examining the application of deterrence in sentencing in Malawi

Esther Gumboh


This article is an exposition of the application of deterrence in Malawian sentencing  jurisprudence. Drawing from case law, it explores how courts employed deterrence before 1994 and the role deterrence continues to play in the constitutional era. The paper looks at how it is reflected in the treatment of sentencing factors and influences sentencing policy. It also considers how courts have conceptualised the distinction between specific and general deterrence regarding the principle of proportionality and repeat offenders. The paper concludes with a discussion of an emerging attempt to go beyond deterrence towards giving rehabilitation a greater role in sentencing.

Keywords: Sentencing; deterrence; punishment; Malawi criminal law.
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