Chief Justice Opens Plea Bargaining Session in Gulu

The Chief Justice of Uganda, Hon. Bart Katureebe on Wednesday opened a plea bargaining session in Gulu which is expected to last two days.

Plea Bargaining is an arrangement between the Prosecutor and the defendant, in which the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence or an arrangement to drop other charges.

The   Chief Justice said northern Uganda has a unique situation because it is just recovering from the 20 years Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency, and that the cases here should be handled with uniqueness.

The Chief Justice who was accompanied by the Principal Judge, Yorukamu Bamwiine and other Judges said Gulu High Court Circuit alone needs about four Judges to clear all the case backlog.

According to Solomon Muyita, the Communication Officer of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice is on a fact finding mission in Northern Uganda where he will visit different Courts in the region.

The CJ was also accompanied by other Judges from United States and other Lawyers from Pepperdine University who are also training the Judges and magistrates in Uganda   on how to handle plea bargaining.

The Judiciary Officials also revealed that about 300 inmates registered for plea bargaining in Gulu Court and the cases will be handled by Justice   Jane Frances Abodo   and two other Judges.

According to a report by the Case Backlog Reduction committee which was submitted to the Chief Justice in 2017, there were over 150,000 cases which were still unresolved in the Courts.

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