Executive Clemency: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Executive Clemency

Comparative and Empirical Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Daniel Pascoe, Andrew Novak


272 pages

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Hardback: 9780367243579
pub: 2020-07-08
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Nearly every country in the world has a mechanism for executive clemency, which, though residual in most legal systems, serves as a vital due process safeguard and as an outlet for leniency in punishment. While the origins of clemency lie in the historical prerogative powers of once-absolute rulers, modern clemency laws and practices have evolved to be enormously varied. This volume brings comparative and empirical analysis to bear on executive clemency, building a sociological and political context around systematically-collected data on clemency laws, grants, and decision-making. Some jurisdictions have elaborate constitutional and legal structures for pardoning or commuting a sentence while virtually never doing so, while others have little formal process and yet grant clemency frequently. Using examples from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the USA, this comparative analysis of the law and the practice of clemency sheds light on a frequently misunderstood executive power.

This book builds on existing academic scholarship and expands the limited geographical scope of prior research, which has tended to focus on North America, the UK, and Australia. It relays the latest state of knowledge on the topic and employs case studies, doctrinal legal analysis, historical research, and statements by clemency decision-making authorities, in explaining why clemency varies so considerably across global legal and political systems. In addition, it includes contributions encompassing international law, transitional justice, and innocence and wrongful convictions, as well as on jurisdictions that are historically under-researched.

The book will be of value to practitioners, academics, and students interested in the fields of human rights, criminal law, comparative criminal justice, and international relations.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Clemency: A Ubiquitous Part of the Constitutional Scheme;

Daniel Pascoe and Andrew Novak;

2. Clemency for Death Penalty Cases under International Law and Standards: Has the Tide Changed?;

Chiara Sangiorgio;

3. Separation of Powers and Executive Clemency in the Civil Law World: A Comparative Study;

Sonsoles Arias and Antonios Kouroutakis;

4. Rethinking Amnesty and Clemency in Countries in Transition: A Comparative Analysis of Laws and Practices in Countries of the Former Yugoslavia;

Nedžad Smailagić;

5. Remedying Wrongful Conviction: Comparisons between the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in England and Wales and Clemency in the USA;

Sarah L Cooper and Hannah Burrows;

6. Mercy Litigation in the Commonwealth Caribbean;

Arif Bulkan;

7. Secret Jurisprudence: Decision Making on Capital Clemency Petitions in India;

Bikramjeet Batra;

8. Executive Clemency in Capital Cases: Inadequate Laws and Inactive Practice in Contemporary China;

Moulin Xiong;

9. Emerging Trends and Best Practices in Comparative Clemency;

Andrew Novak and Daniel Pascoe;

Appendix: Global Constitutional Provisions on Executive Clemency;

About the Editors

Daniel Pascoe is Assistant Professor of Law at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Last Chance for Life: Clemency in Southeast Asian Death Penalty Cases (Oxford University Press 2019). He holds a DPhil in Law from the University of Oxford.

Andrew Novak is Term Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society at George Mason University, and is the author of six books, including Comparative Executive Clemency (Routledge 2015). He holds a PhD in Law from Middlesex University.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Human Rights Law

This series contains thought-provoking and original scholarship on human rights law. The books address civil and political rights as well as social, cultural and economic rights, and explore international, regional and domestic legal orders. The legal status, content, obligations and application of specific rights will be analysed as well as treaties, mechanisms and institutions designed to promote and protect rights.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Civil Rights
LAW / Criminal Law / Sentencing
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights