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By Joel Mugabi

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has launched Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines meant to restructure the process of plea bargaining in Uganda’s criminal justice system.

Developed with support from UN Women, the Prosecutor Ple Bargain Guidelines’ main objective is to streamline the processes to be followed by prosecutors in conducting plea bargain and to enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system for orderly, predictable, uniform, consistent and timely resolution of criminal matters.

The new guidelines comprise principles of plea bargaining, types of plea bargaining, detail the law applicable to the process, offer an outline of the plea bargaining process, contents of the plea bargain agreement, and its execution, monitoring and evaluation of the plea bargain procedure, as well as the roles of the parties involved in plea bargaining, their rights, and support systems.

“The Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines are intended to train and build the capacity of all stakeholders in the criminal justice system and in particular Prosecutors, Judicial Officers, Defence Lawyers, Police and Prisons Officers on the objectives and procedures of plea bargaining which are human rights based, victim/survivor centred and gender sensitive,” explained DPP Abodo during the launch in Kampala.

The DPP also saluted UN Women, EU-UN Spotlight Initiative and the Embassy of Sweden for the financial support towards the development of the guidelines.

Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija, who spoke on behalf of the Judiciary, welcomed the guidelines and expressed optimism that these would be a great and timely remedy for injustices that have always come during the process, particularly unfair sentences.

Speaking on behalf of the UN Women Country Representative, Dr Benson Oketch, the Chief Guest, noted that the guidelines would “elevate survivors’ voices by allowing them to participate in the plea bargain process.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at





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