LETTING GO OF THE LASH: THE EXTRAORDINARY TENACITY AND PROLONGED DECLINE OF JUDICIAL CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN BRITAIN AND ITS FORMER COLONIES IN AFRICA: PART 1
Keywords:Judicial corporal punishment, Britain and its ex-colonies in Africa
Judicial corporal punishment is still widely used in many countries in Africa. Even those African countries which have abolished the practice have only done so relatively recently, following protracted struggles in the courts. In Britain, which was one of the major colonial powers in Africa, calls for a return to judicial corporal punishment continue to be made, more than half a century after its abolition in that country. The idea that the lash is the only form of punishment that is able to curb rampant criminality continues to exert a powerful hold over the public imagination in both Britain and its ex-colonies in Africa. This article focuses on both Britain and its former colonies in Africa and seeks to address the question as to why a method of punishment which, in theory, was becoming outmoded during the nineteenth century, continues to be used in certain countries in Africa and, even where it is not used, took an inordinately long time to be abolished. The extraordinary and continuing popularity of the idea of judicial corporal punishment, in the African context is examined and explained.
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