About us

Who we are, what we do, our organizational structure and mandate

A few words about us

Let us introduce ourselves

The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee is a constitutional body established pursuant to Article 133 of the Constitution whose core mandate is to advise the President on the exercise of the power of mercy. The Power of Mercy is a prerogative power conferred upon the President by the Constitution and it entails granting pardon to reformed and rehabilitated convicted criminal offenders deserving early release from prison. The Committee’s three (3) year Strategic Plan has been prepared to provide the framework for implementing its mandate through carefully planned programmes, projects and activities. The Committee applied a participatory approach in developing the plan by collaborating with its stakeholders.

The Committee identified five (5) key strategic objectives to guide the Plan in the next three year period. These are:

  1. To advise the President on the exercise of the Power of Mercy and ensure that the Committee’s recommendations are enriched by the diverse expert views of the members
  2. To develop and enhance the human and technological capacity of the Committee for efficient and effective delivery of services in the exercise of the Power of Mercy
  3. To ensure sound financial position of the Committee
  4. To create and enhance strategic partnerships to support implementation of the Committee’s mandate

The Committee may take into account the views of the victims of the offence in respect of which it is considering making recommendation to the President where necessary.

Petitions, Committees and Pardon Officers

All you need to know about petitions, criteria used for petitions, our committees and pardon officers…

An application for the exercise of the power of mercy shall be by a petition in the prescribed form. A petition that provides the requisite information shall not be incompetent for the reasons that, it does not accord strictly with the prescribed format or it has been commenced in person or through a representative other than an Advocate. A petition may be lodged by electronic means.

Upon receipt of a petition on the exercise of power of mercy the Committee:

  1. determines the admissibility of the petition
  2. calls for evidence
  3. where appropriate conducts interviews
  4. conducts investigations
  5. receives and reviews the necessary reports from appropriate government agencies or offices

The Committee in making a recommendation for the exercise of power of mercy considers the following:

  1. The age of the convicted criminal offender at the time of the commission of the offence;
  2. The circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence;
  3. Whether the person, for whose benefit the petition is made, is a first offender;
  4. The nature and seriousness of the offence;
  5. The length of period so far served by the convicted criminal prisoner
  6. The length of period served by the convicted criminal offender in remand;
  7. The personal circumstances of the offender at the time of making the petition, including mental and physical health and any disabilities;
  8. The interest of the State and community;
  9. The post-conviction conduct, character and reputation of the convicted criminal offender;
  10. The official recommendations and reports from the State organ or department responsible for correctional services;
  11. Where the petitioner has opted to pursue other available remedies, the outcome of such avenue; and
  12. The representation of the victim where applicable.

In addition to these requirements, the Committee may consider –

  1. Where applicable, a report from fellow inmates; or
  2. Reports from probation services.

In addition to advising the president on the exercise of the Power of Mercy, the Committee has the following functions:

  1. Undertake or commission research and collect data on matters relating to the power of mercy;
  2. Work with State organs responsible for correctional services to educate persons in correctional services on the power of mercy and procedures relating to applications for its exercise;
  3. Carry out any necessary investigations required to make a determination on a petition for power of mercy;
  4. Partner with State and non-state actors to educate the public on the nature and implications of the power of mercy;
  5. Undertake such other activities as may be necessary for the discharge of its functions and the exercise of its powers; and
  6. Carry out any other function as may be conferred on it under any other written law

In the execution of its functions the Committee shall have all powers necessary under the legal framework:

  1. To determine its procedure
  2. Where appropriate, receive written or oral statements
  3. To establish sub-committees
  4. Co-opt into its sub-committees persons whose knowledge and expertise it requires
  5. Is not bound by the strict rules of evidence
  6. Conduct interviews of the individuals on whose behalf a petition is made

Pardon Officers are seconded to the Committee and stationed at correctional facilities across the country. They;

  1. Report directly to the Committee on all matters related to the power of mercy
  2. Advise the internal mechanisms in each correctional facility on all matters related to the power of mercy
  3. They are responsible for assisting the applicants in the preparation of petitions and providing general information on the power of mercy to the prisoners

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