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Justice Law and Order Sector Cites Gaps in Service Delivery

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, says pertinent challenges are still affecting service delivery in the sector like congestion in prisons, clearing case backlogs, sexual gender violence that increased during COVID 19.
Chief Justice of Uganda Alfonse Owiny Dollo

Audio 4

Several targets that were set by the fourth Sector Development Plan were never implemented.

This was revealed during the 25th Joint Annual Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) review held on Thursday.

The SDP IV provided the framework for the planning cycle for the Sector since 2016. The goal of the plan was to promote the rule of law, through improved safety of the person, security of property, and access to justice for inclusive growth.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, says pertinent challenges are still affecting service delivery in the sector like congestion in prisons, clearing case backlogs, sexual gender violence that increased during COVID 19, pre - detention trial, investment in crime intelligence, response, vacant sector positions, staffing and fighting corruption in the JLOS. 

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The staffing in JLOS remains below par with only 56 judges out of 82 required and 315 prosecutors out of the 830 required. The time for case disposal remains high at 794 days falling short of the target of 450 days and the time on remand is 23.3 months, while those pending the minister's order stay longer on average 138.5 months in Uganda.

Dr Roswitha Kremser, Chairperson JLOS Development committee commends the gains in the JLOS sector given that 2020 was not a normal year due to COVID 19, like a COVID 19 task force was established under ‘Communication, Coordination and Cooperation’, video links between prisoners and courts enhanced hearing of cases, set up of regional centres for prisoners, facilitation of communication between lawyers and their clients and most of all the presidential pardoning of 833 prisoners to decongest the prisons.  

Dr Roswitha, says that some gains have been lost due to the COVID 19 pandemic in the JLOS.  

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According to some officials in the JLOS, an increase in white-collar crime; international crimes and sexual and gender-based crimes; and continued congestion in the prisons can be solved with better staffing, motivation and training of officers in the JLOS. 

Justice Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions says improving the numbers of staff can boost services delivery in the sector. 

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The Principal Judge Justice Dr Flavian Zeija decries the staffing but the financing is also a problem.  

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