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Friday, 24 May 2013 09:56

Sentencing Guidelines Committee

The Chief Justice on April 26, 2013 signed the Sentencing Guidelines into law and also constituted a sentencing guidelines committee. The mandate of this committee is to make recommendations to the Chief Justice for development of guidelines for other offenses, reviewing the existing guidelines, conduct public awareness on sentencing, advise on the use of the guidelines, establish a research, monitoring and development program on sentences and their effectiveness and monitor the implementation of the guidelines.

The Committee is chaired by the Hon. the Principal Judge and comprising of the following:

• A Justice of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, appointed on the recommendation of the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice respectively
• The head of the criminal division of the high Court
• Attorney General or his or her representative
• The Director public prosecutions or his or her representative
• The Inspector General of police or his or her representative
• A representative of the Uganda Law reform Commission
• A representative of the Justice Law and Order Sector
• The Commissioner General of prisons or his or her representative
• A representative from the National Community Service Committee
• A Magistrate appointed by the Uganda Judicial Officer's Association and three members of the public appointed by the Chief Justice.

The Committee is supported by a sentencing secretariat (a research arm of the Sentencing Committee) headed by Mr. Khaukha Andrew of the Uganda Law Reform Commission.

The guidelines will be published in the Gazette on the 24th of May 2013 and will be launched by the Hon the Chief Justice on the 6th of June 2013.

 

DOWNLOAD the Sentencing Guidelines (456.51 kB)

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Published: May 24 2013

 

Published in Archived News
Monday, 29 April 2013 07:31

Sentencing Guidelines Signed into Law

 

 

KAMPALA -- The Chief Justice signed into law Sentencing Guidelines on Friday April 26, 2013. Sentencing in Uganda has previously been described as erratic, unscientific and uncertain with no shortage of complaints of why sentences are too soft, harsh or why the poor receive disproportionately higher sentences than the rich. Individual judicial officers have often described sentencing as one of the most difficult aspects of adjudication because of limited guidance on arriving at appropriate sentences.

 

The Sentencing Guidelines are therefore intended to enhance consistency and uniformity in the sentencing, which had hitherto been left to judicial discretion. The Justice, Law and Order Sector through a taskforce chaired by the Principal Judge, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine spearheaded the development of the sentencing guidelines with support from DANIDA.

 

 

 DOWNLOAD the Sentencing Guidelines (456.51 kB)

 

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Published: April 29, 2013

 

 

SEE ALSO:

 

Sentencing Guidelines Committee (May 24 2013)

 

JLOS Pioneering Reform of Sentencing in Uganda (April 3, 2013)

 

JLOS in the Process of Developing Sentencing Guidelines (November 9, 2011)

 

 

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Reprinting or republication of this article on websites is authorized by prominently displaying the following sentence, including the hyperlink to the JLOS Website, at the beginning or end of the report:

"Sentencing Guidelines signed Into Law" is republished with permission of the Justice, Law and Order Sector."

 
Published in Archived News

KAMPALA -- The Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) on the 27th -28th March, 2013 facilitated a two day residential training at Ridar Hotel in Seeta for trial judges. The workshop was officially opened by the Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki. In his opening remarks, the Chief Justice noted that the workshop was timely because upon the conclusion the Susan Kigula and Stephen Tigo cases, there is concern about the lack of consistency and certainty in the subsequent sentences handed out by the courts in Capital offences.

Published in Archived News

Sentencing in Uganda has been described as erratic, unscientific and uncertain with no shortage of complaints of why sentences are too soft, harsh or why the poor receive disproportionately higher sentences than the rich.Individual judicial officers have often described sentencing as one of the most difficult aspects of adjudication because of limited guidance on arriving at appropriate sentences.

In the public domain, the public does not appreciate why certain sentences are imposed. Only recently, when the International Criminal Division sentenced one of the master minds in the Kampala terrorist bombing which killed more than sixty people to twenty five years imprisonment, newspapers and the electronic were awash with public complaints against the judiciary for being insensitive to the needs of those who lost their dear ones during the bombing. In one scenario, one argued that it would have been better if the convict had been subjected to swift mob justice! Of course, we can only guess what kind of sentence the public would have imposed.

It is against this background that the Chief Justice and the Justice Law and Order Sector in conjunction with DANIDA is developing sentencing guidelines to regulate and provide for standardization of sentencing in Uganda.

The sentencing guidelines shall provide for sentences which reflect the seriousness of the offense bearing in mind the degree of harmfulness or risked harmfulness of the of fences , prevailing circumstances and the degree of culpability.

Besides, the sentencing guidelines will ensure that judicial officers take into account the rights of the victim and the community in arriving at the appropriate sentence hence reforming the criminal justice system which has hitherto been defense centered.

For the first time in Uganda, it will be possible for a convict and the public to know what kind of sentence is likely to be imposed since a judicial officer will be given a possible range of sentences to impose unless he or she has strong reasons to depart from the prescribed range. What this will do, like it did in England, is that both the rich and poor will get equal sentences- thus bringing equity within the judicial arena.

Under the reforms, it is proposed to establish a sentencing council which shall inter alia be responsible for developing sentencing guidelines for all courts in Uganda, developing a national sentencing policy, sensitizing the public about sentencing processes to enhance public confidence in the criminal justice.

A task force Chaired by the Hon. The Principal Judge Justice Yorokamu Bamwine and working with the Uganda Law Reform Commission is in the final stages of preparing the sentencing guidelines which will be submitted to all the relevant stakeholders before they are submitted to the Chief Justice.

The Chief Justice is likely to operationalise the Sentencing Guidelines through a Practice Direction under article 132 of the Constitution before April 2012 as he awaits the enactment of a law establishing the Sentencing Council by Parliament.

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Published: November 9, 2011

Published in Archived News