Transitional Justice (TJ) describes the mechanisms and processes adopted in the after-math of armed conflict or following authoritarian regimes. The objective of transitional justice processes is to achieve justice and reconciliation in post-conflict societies for conflict related crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights.
TJ has emerged as one of the key thematic areas for the Sector to address justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of the conflict in Northern Uganda. It aims to:
• Promote justice and accountability for past human rights violations and war crimes;
•Enhance access to justice and basic services for victims in Uganda’s conflict-affected areas, with emphasis on the rights of vulnerable groups (women, children); and
•Contribute to strengthening the rule of law across the country, especially in areas where justice sector institutions and service delivery have been weakened by conflict.
The transitional justice process in Uganda therefore is one that seeks to be comprehensive, holistic and victim-centered. It seeks to achieve this through a consultative and participatory process involving victims, war affected communities, civil society organizations, cultural and religious leaders, local government and other stakeholders.
In 2008, the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) established the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), a special policy-making entity to develop a national policy and law on transitional justice for Uganda. The national policy is intended to give effect to the commitments made in the Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation (Annexure to the Juba Peace Agreement), which calls for the promotion of formal and informal accountability mechanisms to address the crimes committed during the twenty-year long conflict. A number of specialized Sub-Committees were established within the TJWG to undertake research in specific areas and to inform the development of the national Transitional Justice Policy. The Sub-Committees are grouped according to the following areas: formal justice; traditional justice; truth-seeking; and integrated systems (developing an integrated approach to justice & accountability).
National Transitional Justice Policy
The National Transitional Justice Policy will be developed according to provisions in the Juba Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation (2007). Unique features of the Agreement include: an emphasis on victims’ rights and participation, special attention to the situation of women and children who were affected by conflict, and the promotion of a holistic approach to justice, highlighting a complementary and harmonized approach to justice through the adoption of both formal and informal mechanisms.
The policy will therefore address issues of justice and reconciliation through a number of methods, including: criminal justice processes, truth-telling, traditional justice mechanisms, reparations, and social reintegration of conflict affected communities, including amnesty reporters and victims of serious violations.
Transitional Justice: Looking forward (SIP III)
Transitional Justice features as a priority area within the JLOS Third Strategic Investment Plan. The SIP III is a 3-4 year plan guiding the work of the Sector to achieve certain objectives, including: strengthening the rule of law, access to justice and human rights promotion and accountability. JLOS is in the process of supporting a national dialogue on transitional justice and strengthening the capacity of the entire justice system (both formal and informal) in Northern Uganda with particular sensitivity to the needs of women and children.
Overall objective of TJ in SIP III: To develop and implement a comprehensive transitional justice policy and legal framework covering formal justice, traditional justice mechanisms, truth telling, reparations, as well as reconciliation and reintegration.
The Human Rights and Accountability Working Group is a thematic sub-structure of the JLOS Technical Committee that is responsible for the development and oversight of sector interventions to strengthen and promote human rights and accountability programs, processes and structures.
The Working Group is an innovation of the JLOS SIP III that enables deeper consideration of human rights issues within the broad spectrum of enhancing access to justice for all, specially the vulnerable persons. This is a response to the need for more effective and better institutionalized linkages that was identified in the JLOS Mid Term Review as affecting the level of impact and implementation of JLOS programs. Therefore, the Group is a key driver in improving the promotion, protection and respect of human rights within JLOS institutions and also ensuring accountability in service delivery.
The Working Group is established under the JLOS Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III). It is an extension of the JLOS Technical Committee and offers in-depth consideration of JLOS interventions that is otherwise not be possible in the Technical Committee. The Working Group reports to the Technical Committee for decisions related to resource allocation and management. It is resourced by the JLOS Advisor for Human Rights and Accountability, whose mandate includes providing technical advisory support, coordinating the Group’s activities and acts as the link to the JLOS secretariat.
Mandate and Functions
The mandate of the Group is to support the Technical Committee in the implementation of the JLOS SIP III and in monitoring and evaluation of JLOS interventions.
The Group has to ensure that issues concerning the Human Rights and Accountability component influence the agenda of the Technical Committee and Steering Committee, and bring to the fore emerging issues of national importance.
The Working Group handles matters relating to;
1. Promotion and protection of human rights at individual and institutional levels;
2. Promotion of internal and external JLOS accountability;
3. Adoption and implementation of the Anti-corruption measures in JLOS;
4. Promotion of accountability in Transitional Justice, and
5. Handling emerging broader human rights and accountability thematic issues.
The Human Rights and Accountability Working Group has various functions that include;
a. Promote observance of human rights and accountability within JLOS MDAs;
b. Identify constraints to the achievement of the Human Rights and Accountability programs to the sector structures for redress;
c. Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Human Rights and Accountability Reform Programs;
d. Prepare analysed and comprehensive progress reports on Human Rights and Accountability programs within the overall program for the Technical Committee;
e. Recommend relevant changes to JLOS SIP III implementation activities as necessary;
f. Respond to issues raised by the Technical Committee, Steering Committee and Leadership Committee;
g. Benchmark the JLOS Human Rights and Accountability interventions against other successful sectors/models;
h. Support sector publicity;
i. Support the sector in lobbying for funds;
j. Develop action plans and budgets for the Human Rights and Accountability component;
k. Perform any other tasks that may be assigned by the Technical Committee.
When implementing its functions, the Group is obliged to continually mainstream cross-cutting issues (such as poverty, gender, conflict, HIV-AIDS , and environment) in all activities and also focus on pro-poor programming, low cost but efficient initiatives, vulnerable groups, and bear sensitivity to conflict/post conflict affected areas.
The Working Group is required to provide a work plan supported with a procurement plan to the JLOS secretariat at the end of each financial year.
In line with SIP III:
1. To the extent possible, each JLOS institution is required to nominate at least two (2) suitable representatives to the Working Group. One is be a senior technical person knowledgeable in the thematic area, and an alternate.
2. Civil Society Organizations and private sector bodies are expected to express interest in participating in the Working Group. Once deemed relevant and admitted to the Group, a CSO is required to nominate one suitable representative to the Working Group.
The selected representatives/members are expected to:
1. Attend meetings regularly and participate in the activities of the Working Group;
2. Provide feedback and report on implementation of programs;
3. Provide their respective institutions with reports and updates on the work of the Working Group.
Membership of the Working Group shall be drawn from the 17 JLOS institutions and non-State actors. The Working Group may also co-opt persons from other institutions if the matter under discussion so requires. The current membership of the working group is as follows;
1. Uganda Law Society (ULS)
3. National Community Service Program (NCSP)
4. Non-Government Organisations’ Board (NGO Board)
5. Amnesty Commission (MIA-AC)
6. Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP)
7. Uganda Prisons Service (UPS)
8. Judicial Service Commission (JSC)
9. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD)
10. Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)
11. Law Development Centre (LDC)
12. Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA)
13. Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC)
14. Uganda Police Force (UPF)
15. Department of Citizenry and Immigration Control (DCIC)
16. Uganda Law Council (ULC)
17. Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (CADER)
18. Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT)
19. Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)
20. Ministry of Local Government (Local Council Courts)
1. Independent Development Fund (IDF)
2. National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU)
3. JLOS Development Partners Group Focal persons (JLOS DPG)
4. Human Rights Network (HURINET)
5. Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI)
6. Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda (ACCU)
The leadership of the Working Group is determined by both the Technical Committee and Group membership.
The Chairperson of the Working Group is Mrs. Grace Babihuga Nuwagaba (Uganda Law Society) and the Alternate Chairperson is Mr. Bisereko Kyomuhendo (Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs -Human Rights Desk). The Chairperson of the Human Rights and Accountability Working Group is selected by the Technical Committee from its membership, while the Alternate Chairperson of the Working Group is determined annually by members from among the membership of the Working Group.
The Chairperson has the following functions:
a) Chairs Working Group meetings;
b) Communicate key issues and suggestions made by the Working Group to stakeholders;
c) Manages timely progress of meetings and tasks assigned to members;
d) Provides strategic direction for the Working Group;
e) Presents reports to the Technical Committee on behalf of the Working Group.
The Advisor- Human Rights and Accountability is the Secretary to the Working Group. The Secretary is responsible for timely documentation of the submissions, minutes and any documentation for the Working Group and the contact person for the same.
Meetings of the Working Group
The Group endeavors to meet on a monthly basis. The Chairperson determines the date and venue for the meetings of the Working Group. The Secretary is responsible for invitations to the meetings of the Working Group. Unless otherwise agreed, notice of each meeting informing members of the venue, time, date and agenda is sent to the members of the Working Group a week in advance.
A quorum is dully constituted by a simple representative majority. A duly convened meeting of the Working Group, at which quorum is attained, is competent to exercise all or any of the powers and authority vested in or exercised by the Working Group.
The Human Rights and Accountability Group is one of the five Working Groups that the Technical Committee operates through, with a focus of deepening JLOS interventions especially regarding promoting the observance of human rights and accountability within the Sector. The concerted efforts of the JLOS Working Groups should substantially contribute towards the promotion of the rule of law in Uganda.
No country can develop without effective courts, laws which are fair and just, the police, prisons, respect for human rights and equality between men and women. It is the reason the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS), which is made up of various institutions involved in maintenance of law and order, administration of justice and promoting respect and observance of human rights, has put in place measures to ensure its services meet public expectations.
JLOS was formed about 1999 to holistically and coherently address bottlenecks in the administration of justice, law and order service delivery in Uganda, which could not be handled by individual institutions. It was meant to coordinate all the law implementing institutions and develop a joint approach to improve their operations and address the challenges to the JLOS overall objective of promoting rule of law. Indeed a lot has been achieved in the last 12 years and JLOS aims at building on this success in the Sector’s Third Strategic Investment Plan of 2012-2017.
The Justice, Law and Order Sector brings together institutions with closely linked mandates for the administration of justice, maintenance of law and order and the promotion of human rights. Over the past 5 years, the sector has been implementing the second Sector Investment Plan (SIP II) that expires on June 30, 2012. The Sector has therefore drafted the Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III) and is set to hold stakeholders workshops to review the draft.
The Internal stakeholders workshop is scheduled for Tuesday January 17, 2012 at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala starting at 9.00 am. This will closely be followed by an external stakeholders consultative workshop on Friday January 20, 2012. The external stakeholders include CBOs, DCCs, representatives of government agencies outside JLOS, the academia among others.
MUNYONYO - The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) on March 20, 2012 launched the Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III) 2012-2017, during the opening ceremony of the 6th National JLOS Forum that took place at Speke Resort, Munyonyo in Kampala. SIP III builds upon the Sector wide approach adopted by the Government of Uganda in 1999. SIPIII shall over the next 5 years seek to deepen the ongoing interventions and also broaden sector services started under the first (SIP I) and second (SIP II) strategic investment plans through well targeted interventions aimed at strengthening the legal, policy and regulatory framework; enhancing access to JLOS services with an emphasis accorded to the vulnerable groups; and mainstreaming human rights and accountability in JLOS service delivery.
While launching the 5-year investment plan during the colorful event, the chief guest the Rt. Honorable Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga applauded the sector for coming up with a pro people strategy that shall provide a platform upon which JLOS institutions and all stakeholders shall harness their five year programs, strategies and activities.
JLOS SIP III strategic focus in the next five years is to enhance the performance of its institutions to deliver three results: a strong policy, legal and regulatory framework for its operations, national economic growth, employment and prosperity; improved access to JLOS services for all particularly the vulnerable and enhanced human rights observance and institutional accountability in service delivery.
JLOS SIP III will be supported by the Government of Uganda and Development Partners including Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and United Nations agencies.
By Edgar Kuhimbisa in Munyonyo | Published: March 26, 2012
KAMPALA – The Justice Law and Order Sector has reiterated its goal of working with civil society and non-state actors as credible and reliable partners in the sector’s quest to improve the administration of justice, maintenance of law and order and human rights.This was revealed during a consultative workshop convened by JLOS to review the draft JLOS Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III). The Chair of the JLOS Technical Committee, H.W Henry Adonyo in his opening remarks said civil society organizations represent the demand side of justice and perform critical functions of monitoring JLOS programs as well as providing oversight. He said “for brevity you are always keeping us on our feet and that what is we like, because we cannot improve service delivery without satisfying the needs of our clients, whom you represent”.
Mr. Adonyo specifically urged the District Chain Linked Committees (DCCs) who he referred to as “foot soldiers in the field” to take interest in the SIP III development process because strategic planning is required necessary to promote strategic thinking, and improve decision making.
The well attended consultative workshop with civil society organizations drew a wide range of constructive comments and input to the draft SIP document in areas such as expected milestones of the plan, management processes, responsibility centers, monitoring and evaluation as well as the role of civil society.
The Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Authority (NPA), Dr. Abel Rwendeire in his submission urged other sectors to emulate the JLOS example and help government effectively implement the National Development Plan. The Representative from the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) stressed the need to have strategies consolidated into gains made under SIP II and avoid reversal of those very gains.
The JLOS SIP III is expected to be operationalized in June 2012 following the expiry of the SIP II currently being implemented. SIP III will work toward building on the successes of the previous plans (SIP I and SIP II) as well as ensuring the implementation of the Government of Uganda National Development Plan (NDP).
The JLOS Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III) (2012/2013-2016/2017) provides a unified policy and programmatic sectoral response to administration of justice and law enforcement in Uganda. SIP III provides a platform and spring board upon which the Government of Uganda, all sector institutions, development partners and Non State Actors shall harness their five year programs, strategies and activities. This is the basis for the unity of purpose that has so far characterized JLOS Sector performance. The strategy also provides a sector wide budgeting and financing framework for JLOS based on the MTEF and bilateral development partner contributions for the purpose of securing sustainable funding for the five year strategy.
The framework of the Sector is premised within its cardinal role of undertaking steps that enable all people in Uganda to realize the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, Chapter 4 of the Constitution-. Through a collectivization of its institutional mandates, JLOS assumes, and through SIP III, seeks to discharge the country’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfill universally accepted human rights standards. SIP III content is cognizant of the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review of Country human rights performance under the following international human rights instruments:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights
- The International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
- The United Convention on the Rights of the Child
- The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women
- United Nations Convention Against Corruption
- United Nations Convention Against Torture
- United Nations Convention against slavery and anti-trafficking
And continental and regional human rights commitments including the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); the African Charter on Human and People’s rights; the African Charter of the Welfare of the African Child; the African Protocol on Advancement of the Rights of Women; of the Juba Peace Agreement and more specifically the recommendations of the African Peer Review Mechanism Report
Article 20 (2) of the Constitution states that “the rights and freedoms of the individual and groups enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs and agencies of Government, and by all persons”. By discharging this duty, the Justice, Law and Order Sector dovetails into Objective 7 of the National Development Plan of Uganda 2010/11-2014/2015 that recognizes the Justice, Law and Order Sector as an enabling sector for national development. JLOS is a platform and basis for the performance of the primary growth sectors that directly pursue economic growth, employment and prosperity.
JLOS SIP III also takes into account outstanding challenges in the realization of the EAC Customs Union and the Common Market and will seek to rise to the demands of the EAC Monetary Union and Political Federation.
SIP III Policy Shifts
SIP III seeks to deepen and broaden access to JLOS services through well targeted interventions aimed at the legal, policy and regulatory framework – both internal and external; enhancing access to JLOS services with an emphasis accorded to the poor and marginalized groups; and mainstreaming human rights and accountability in JLOS service delivery. SIP III calls for the full involvement of every Sector institution; individually and collectively to deliver these results within their mandates and capacities.
The character and validity of SIP III lies in the following content policy shifts:
- Expansion of legislative reform focus from process and content to includeimpact of law reforms through proactive pursuit of improvements in theenforcement of the existing legal and rights regime;
- Towards a deeper knowledge and understanding of the informal justice systems with a focus on innovations to bridge the gap between formal and informal justice systems;
- Deliberate emphasis to fully discharge sector roles and mandate;
- Expanded focus on addressing the wider civil and criminal justice while paying special attention to the following; land justice; family justice; transitional justice; Age and Gender based Violence and Workers rights.
- Development and funding of special programs to target gender, age,poverty and other forms of vulnerability;
- Tackle the growing concerns of accountability and human rightsobservance;
- Proactive engagement and reaching out to actors outside the constitution of the Sector but with a contribution to Sector goals for instance defence sector (Court Martial); Health and Education sectors; Accountability Sector etc
SIP III process shifts:
- Resource focus at the points of service delivery across the Sector: Investments under SIP III will follow the lowest levels of justice service delivery – the sub national implementation levels. This will be balanced with the necessary but lessened focus at the national level legislative, policy and programming functions.
- Work with both demand and supply sides of justice; Under SIP III the Sector will develop clear guidelines and innovative pilots of working with Non State Actors including Private Sector; NGOs; FBO and local communities. In this respect too the Sector will deploy proactive mechanisms to encourage public participation in the administration of justice and enforcement of law and order.
- Consolidation of the Sector Management Policies; Systems and Structures: Under SIP III the Sector will craft, document and broadly disseminate its management policies, systems and structures as a mechanism of stimulating internal action particularly at sub-national points of service delivery; broadening public participation; reinforcing institutional efficiency and accountability; and paying due attention to sector wide institutional capacity development including affirmative action for weak institutions.
SIP III Primary Focus 2012/13-2016/17
While maintaining due focus on the national level legislative, policy and programming functions; the thrust of SIP III shifts to the sub-national implementation levels encompassing both demand and supply sides of justice. In the next five years resources will be skewed towards addressing operational level systemic constraints to JLOS service delivery in all spheres of justice civil, criminal and administrative and stimulating discussion, knowledge and application of human rights in JLOS reforms.
Whilst sustaining its investments in prioritized and areas of promise continuing from SIP II, in JLOS SIP III JLOS will develop and fund special programs to target gender, age, poverty and other forms of vulnerability and uphold rights through system based and holistic approaches that broaden the definition of justice beyond the formal justice systems. To deepen the reforms JLOS will tackle the growing concerns of accountability and human rights observance – through standard setting; compliance check through Peer Review mechanisms and full implementation of the Sector Anti-Corruption Strategy among others. The Sector will consolidate its management systems and structures, implement a Sector management policy and continue to innovate, generate knowledge and set the pace for justice reforms in the East African Community (EAC) and in the entire African region.
A number of objectives are identified to deliver the above outcomes. The Sector will initiate and pursue the enactment into law of the Access to Justice Act; the amendment to the Children Statute, the Witness Protection Law; Review of the Probation Act; the development of service standards; the Oil and Petroleum laws among others. In addition JLOS will disseminate simplified laws to enhance access and awareness by special interest groups. By the end of SIP III, JLOS primary institutions will be physically and functionally present in all districts; the sector will also strive to reduce lead times in service delivery; institutionalize the provision of legal aid services across the country and take stern action against corruption and violation of human rights by its staff. In addition JLOS will staff and retool its institutions, renovate existing infrastructure to ensure full functionality of its institutions.
JLOS SIP III will strengthen the justice system and tackle corruption as a key constraint to economic growth, employment and prosperity. In particular JLOS SIP III will increase the pace of legal, policy and regulatory reform, and better tailor the reforms to the needs of the primary sectors of growth. JLOS will formulate and disseminate process standards and also make available to all users, government, institutions and individuals reformed laws, policies, regulations and standards in formats appropriate to the needs of the users. The reform of laws and improvements in the legal, policy and regulatory framework will be demand driven and strategic to promote the attainment of a) national development goals and b) attainment of sector results. JLOS will enter into partnerships with non state actors to disseminate available laws, policies and regulations. JLOS SIP III will also capitalise on the emergence of new information and communication technologies and use them to support improved information exchange and feedback within the different levels of JLOS institutions (vertical and horizontal flow of information).
JLOS SIP III will utilize and build upon the SIP II management arrangements including the policy and operational management system and structures; the Medium Term Expenditure Framework; the procurement regime and monitoring and evaluation system. With its strong focus on results in SIP III, JLOS SIP III includes a detailed results framework along with a results matrix. JLOS SIP III envisages three impact studies- one at the beginning to establish baselines; a Mid Term Review and an impact assessment to assess changes in the justice systems and impact on the users disaggregated by gender, age, location and claim.
SIP III Results 2012/13-2016/17
At the end of the SIP III in 2016/17; the Sector will deliver to all people in Uganda the following three results:
• A Legislative, policy and regulatory framework conducive to JLOS operations; promoting rule of law and human rights and enabling national development
• More people, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups, will have better access to justice, and live in a safer and secure environment:
• JLOS institutions that are more responsive to human rights, and are more accountable to service users and the public.
By so doing, 70% of population will be satisfied with JLOS services by 2016/17 and public confidence in the justice system will increase by 47% from the current 34% to 50% in 2016/17.
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