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Hon. Lady Justice Arach Flags Off Plea Bargain Hands-on Training
Hon. Lady Justice Stella Arach, Chairperson of the Judicial Training Committee at the opening of Plea Bargaining training

JINJA: A three-day hands-on training on Plea Bargaining was held at Jinja Main Prison targeting remand prisoners who are willing to plead guilty in exchange for a lenient sentence.

The training was formally opened by the Supreme Court Justice and Chairperson of the Judicial Training Committee, Hon. Lady Justice Stella Arach Amoko.

She said the case backlog had called for extra-ordinary solutions. "The biggest challenge in our justice system is a huge case backlog that we cannot effectively deal without finding extra-ordinary solutions."

Shesaid since 2015, more than 6,000 cases have been disposed off through PleaBargains.

On the issue of disparity of sentences, Hon. Lady Justice Arach said Plea Bargaining is not a handshake and that sentences must fit the crime.

The training attracted judicial officers, defense lawyers, representatives of the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions from the Jinja and Iganga High Court Circuits.

The Jinja Senior Resident Judge, Hon. Lady Justice Eva Luswata, said the training was a worthwhile mission which will reduce case backlog.

A team from Pepperdine University including administrators, lawyers and students as well as; law students from Uganda Christian University Mukono are taking part in the exercise. 

The trainings are part of the activities that Pepperdine University and the Judiciary conduct annually.

According to the project managers of the correlation, Prof. Jim Gash (Pepperdine) and Mr.Andrew Khaukha (Uganda Judiciary), similar trainings are due to take place in Masindi, Nakasongola and Gulu in June, 2018 which will bring coverage of the entire programme countrywide.

The process is guided by the Judicature Plea Bargaining Rules 2016 issued by the Rules Committee.

Stakeholders at the meeting heard that the ratio of remand inmates to convicts has increased as a result of Plea Bargain.

Posted 12th, March 2018
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