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The scholarly literature on sentencing reform has largely overlooked the African continent. The paucity of legal scholarship is particularly striking with respect to Tanzania, one of Africa's largest and most populous countries. This article explores the first significant sentencing reform in Tanzania's history. In 2020, the Tanzanian judiciary issued a comprehensive set of sentencing guidelines for courts to follow. Until this point, sentencing was a highly discretionary stage of the criminal process, and the Tanzanian penal code offered very little guidance with respect to the exercise of that discretion. After providing a brief summary of the new sentencing regime, we explore the innovative guidance contained in the reforms. In the conclusion we discuss the extent to which the Tanzanian reforms reflect core African values of Ubuntu, or more specifically in the case of Tanzania, Ujamaa, the philosophy popularized by Tanzania's first president, Julius Nyerere.
Previous research has suggested that statistical power is suboptimal in many biomedical disciplines, but it is unclear whether power is better in trials for particular interventions, disorders, or outcome types. We therefore performed a detailed examination of power in trials of psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders.
We extracted data from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Mental Health). We focused on continuous efficacy outcomes and estimated power to detect predetermined effect sizes (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.20–0.80, primary SMD = 0.40) and meta-analytic effect sizes (ESMA). We performed meta-regression to estimate the influence of including underpowered studies in meta-analyses.
We included 256 reviews with 10 686 meta-analyses and 47 384 studies. Statistical power for continuous efficacy outcomes was very low across intervention and disorder types (overall median [IQR] power for SMD = 0.40: 0.32 [0.19–0.54]; for ESMA: 0.23 [0.09–0.58]), only reaching conventionally acceptable levels (80%) for SMD = 0.80. Median power to detect the ESMA was higher in treatment-as-usual (TAU)/waitlist-controlled (0.49–0.63) or placebo-controlled (0.12–0.38) trials than in trials comparing active treatments (0.07–0.13). Adequately-powered studies produced smaller effect sizes than underpowered studies (B = −0.06, p ⩽ 0.001).
Power to detect both predetermined and meta-analytic effect sizes in psychiatric trials was low across all interventions and disorders examined. Consistent with the presence of reporting bias, underpowered studies produced larger effect sizes than adequately-powered studies. These results emphasize the need to increase sample sizes and to reduce reporting bias against studies reporting null results to improve the reliability of the published literature.
Conflicts are increasingly analysed as exhibiting a stealth complexity in which triggers and consequences are intricately linked to climate, environmental degradation and the struggle to control a finite pool of natural resources. The climate crisis is a multifaceted reality and, against this background, many pressing priorities compete with each other. The disruptive effect of climate variability and change on food systems is particularly acute and constitutes a direct and tangible threat to livelihoods globally. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate and discuss the importance of food systems under a climate crisis in exacerbating conflicts in the Sahelian region and propose interventions beyond and complementary to the usual military and security solutions. We demonstrate for the Sahel that (i) climate hazards are frequent and exposure to climate variability is high, (ii) hotspots of high climate variability and conflict exist, and (iii) impact pathways by which climate exacerbates food systems that can lead to conflicts are documented in the literature. While these three findings suggest clear links between conflict and climate, we find that (iv) current peace indices do not include climate and food systems indicators and therefore provide an uncomplete picture, and (v) food systems programming for climate adaptation has so far not explicitly considered peace and security outcomes. Furthermore, we propose that food systems programming that truly tackles the climate crisis should take more explicit account of peace and security outcomes in conflict-affected areas.
Criminal law and criminal justice are becoming increasingly globalised. In open societies, the era in which individual jurisdictions developed their own codes, statutes and systems of justice with no regard to other systems and countries is long over. There is a growing desire to develop common approaches to common problems and to learn from the diversity of current practice in different countries. This development has been reinforced by the internationalisation of criminal justice in international and mixed criminal tribunals. However, attempts at trans-jurisdictional discourse are often hampered by mutual misunderstandings. Some problems are linguistic: although English is the new lingua franca of international and comparative criminal law, not all foundational concepts of criminal law and justice originate in the English-speaking world; some of them are rooted in civil law jurisdictions, such as France, Germany and Italy. The translation of these concepts into English is subject to ambiguity and potential error: the same term may assume different meanings in different legal contexts.
The trans-jurisdictional discourse on criminal justice is often hampered by mutual misunderstandings. The translation of legal concepts from English into other languages and vice versa is subject to ambiguity and potential error: the same term may assume different meanings in different legal contexts. More importantly, legal systems may choose differing theoretical or policy approaches to resolving the same issues, which sometimes – but not always – lead to similar outcomes. This book is the second volume of a series in which eminent scholars from German-speaking and Anglo-American jurisdictions work together on comparative essays that explore foundational concepts of criminal law and procedure. Each topic is illuminated from German and Anglo-American perspectives, and differences and similarities are analysed.
It has not yet been determined if the commonly reported cannabis–psychosis association is limited to individuals with pre-existing genetic risk for psychotic disorders.
We examined whether the relationship between polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-Sz) and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs), as measured by the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences-42 (CAPE-42) questionnaire, is mediated or moderated by lifetime cannabis use at 16 years of age in 1740 of the individuals of the European IMAGEN cohort. Secondary analysis examined the relationships between lifetime cannabis use, PRS-Sz and the various sub-scales of the CAPE-42. Sensitivity analyses including covariates, including a PRS for cannabis use, were conducted and results were replicated using data from 1223 individuals in the Dutch Utrecht cannabis cohort.
PRS-Sz significantly predicted cannabis use (p = 0.027) and PLE (p = 0.004) in the IMAGEN cohort. In the full model, considering PRS-Sz and covariates, cannabis use was also significantly associated with PLE in IMAGEN (p = 0.007). Results remained consistent in the Utrecht cohort and through sensitivity analyses. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of a mediation or moderation effects.
These results suggest that cannabis use remains a risk factor for PLEs, over and above genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia. This research does not support the notion that the cannabis–psychosis link is limited to individuals who are genetically predisposed to psychosis and suggests a need for research focusing on cannabis-related processes in psychosis that cannot be explained by genetic vulnerability.
Sex-related differences in psychopathology are known phenomena, with externalizing and internalizing symptoms typically more common in boys and girls, respectively. However, the neural correlates of these sex-by-psychopathology interactions are underinvestigated, particularly in adolescence.
Participants were 14 years of age and part of the IMAGEN study, a large (N = 1526) community-based sample. To test for sex-by-psychopathology interactions in structural grey matter volume (GMV), we used whole-brain, voxel-wise neuroimaging analyses based on robust non-parametric methods. Psychopathological symptom data were derived from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
We found a sex-by-hyperactivity/inattention interaction in four brain clusters: right temporoparietal-opercular region (p < 0.01, Cohen's d = −0.24), bilateral anterior and mid-cingulum (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.18), right cerebellum and fusiform (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.20) and left frontal superior and middle gyri (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.26). Higher symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention were associated with lower GMV in all four brain clusters in boys, and with higher GMV in the temporoparietal-opercular and cerebellar-fusiform clusters in girls.
Using a large, sex-balanced and community-based sample, our study lends support to the idea that externalizing symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention may be associated with different neural structures in male and female adolescents. The brain regions we report have been associated with a myriad of important cognitive functions, in particular, attention, cognitive and motor control, and timing, that are potentially relevant to understand the behavioural manifestations of hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. This study highlights the importance of considering sex in our efforts to uncover mechanisms underlying psychopathology during adolescence.
Psychotropic medications are sometimes used off-label and inappropriately. This may cause harm to adolescents with intellectual disability. However, few studies have analysed off-label or inappropriate prescribing to this group.
To examine the appropriateness of psychotropic prescribing to adolescents with intellectual disability living in the community in south-east Queensland, Australia.
Off-label medication use was determined based on whether the recorded medical condition treated was approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. Clinical appropriateness of medication use was determined based on published guidelines and clinical opinion of two authors who specialise in developmental disability medicine (J.N.T. and D.H.).
We followed 429 adolescents for a median of 4.2 years. A total of 107 participants (24.9%) were prescribed psychotropic medications on at least one occasion. Of these, 88 (82.2%) were prescribed their medication off-label or inappropriately at least once. Off-label or inappropriate use were most commonly associated with challenging behaviours.
Off-label or inappropriate use of psychotropic medications was common, especially for the management of challenging behaviours. Clinical decision-making accounts for individual patient factors and is made based on clinical experience as well as scientific evidence, whereas label indications are developed for regulatory purposes and, although appropriate at a population level, cannot encompass the foregoing considerations. Education for clinicians and other staff caring for people with intellectual disability, and a patient-centred approach to prescribing with involvement of families should encourage appropriate prescribing. The effect of the National Disability Insurance Scheme on the appropriateness of psychotropic medication prescribing should be investigated.
Tobacco smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death and is heritable with complex underpinnings. Converging evidence suggests a contribution of the polygenic risk for smoking to the use of tobacco and other substances. Yet, the underlying brain mechanisms between the genetic risk and tobacco smoking remain poorly understood.
Genomic, neuroimaging, and self-report data were acquired from a large cohort of adolescents from the IMAGEN study (a European multicenter study). Polygenic risk scores (PGRS) for smoking were calculated based on a genome-wide association study meta-analysis conducted by the Tobacco and Genetics Consortium. We examined the interrelationships among the genetic risk for smoking initiation, brain structure, and the number of occasions of tobacco use.
A higher smoking PGRS was significantly associated with both an increased number of occasions of tobacco use and smaller cortical volume of the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Furthermore, reduced cortical volume within this cluster correlated with greater tobacco use. A subsequent path analysis suggested that the cortical volume within this cluster partially mediated the association between the genetic risk for smoking and the number of occasions of tobacco use.
Our data provide the first evidence for the involvement of the OFC in the relationship between smoking PGRS and tobacco use. Future studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying tobacco smoking should consider the mediation effect of the related neural structure.