Best Practice in Executive Clemency Regulation

Based on recurring themes throughout their recent edited volume on comparative and empirical approaches to executive clemency, in this paper the authors discuss several best-practice recommendations aimed at states and sub-national jurisdictions considering a review of their constitutional and legislative provisions on clemency. Previous examples of best practice recommendations include a requirement for transparency, a right to judicially review clemency decisions, constitutional provisions that allow for the input of relevant experts outside the political class, a functional bifurcation of executive clemency and legislative amnesty powers, clemency for innocence being recommended by a special post-conviction body, and enhanced procedural standards for capital cases. Nevertheless, within this paper the authors aim to take a fresh look at this topic, guided less by the existing literature and more by the findings of the edited collection’s preceding chapters.