National, News

Traditional leaders key in integrating blood compensation into law

By Kidega Livingstone


A legal expert has suggested the full involvement and support of traditional leaders in the incorporation of blood compensation into the country’s legal framework.

The expert noted that the practice of blood compensation varies significantly across different tribes and states in South Sudan.

Currently, the Criminal Procedure Act of 2008 sets the blood compensation at 20,000 SSP, although it is not listed as a formal punishment.

The compensation is granted when parents or close relatives opt for it and is legalized as punishment in the Penal Code.

During a review of the Criminal Procedure Act 2008, the legal experts proposed that the law should be amended to either legalize blood compensation as a punishment in the Penal Code Act 2008, Section 206, or to increase the existing compensation of 20,000 SSP.

According to the experts, the traditional blood compensation among various tribes ranges from 20 to 51 cattle.

Dr. Geri Raymondo, a law professor at the University of Juba, highlighted the complexities involved in making a decision regarding the legalization of blood compensation.

“We can make the decision that this issue of blood compensation is different in many tribes and clans, and there are some tribes that don’t have blood compensation, like the Acholi; they don’t have blood compensation,” he said.

Dr. Raymondo further emphasized that even within the court system, blood compensation can differ from the traditional practices of the parents or relatives.

The review of the Criminal Procedure Act 2008 is being facilitated by the South Sudan Law Review Commission, the judiciary, and development partners.

The review process involves an “issue paper,” which is a crucial step in the law review process, as outlined in the South Sudan Law Review Commission’s operational manual.

The primary purpose of the issue paper is to engage all stakeholders, inviting their opinions, views, and suggestions on the legal matter at hand.

The involvement of traditional leaders is seen as essential in addressing the complicated and varied nature of blood compensation practices across communities.

The legal experts recognize that any proposed changes to the law must consider the traditional customs and norms to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach to this sensitive issue.





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