Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwiine has asked the judges set to handle the coming session of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases to be careful when sentencing convicts of these cases.
While officiating at the launch of the special court sessions to clear 1000 GBV cases at the Law Development Center (LDC), Bamwine said although this session is aimed at reducing these cases from the system, judges must give serious sentences to discourage other would-be offenders.
“Convicts must get reasonable sentences not handshakes because the purpose of a sentence is to act as a punishment to the convict,” he said.
Bamwiine added that although some defense lawyers during mitigation, especially in plea bargaining tend to ask for lesser sentences because they have not wasted court’s time, judges shouldn’t give the absolute minimum sentences.
Speaking at the launch, the deputy Head of Criminal Division of High court Jane Francis Abodo said each criminal session of High court consists of 40 cases, half of which are GBV cases.
She says that this session will help to facilitate the speedy trial of these cases.
Abodo said judges often tend to lose interest in such cases when they last long and that other cases are killed by poor investigation by police.
“Women are the majority victims in the gender based violence cases but men are also silent victims although they fear to report to Police,” Abodo added.
This special session will kick off on Monday 5th November and run up to December 15th 2018 in the High court circuits of Kampala, Moroto, Masaka, Mukono, Gulu, Bushenyi and Mbale
At the Chief magistrates level, Nabweru, Iganga, Sironko, Kapchorwa and Lira courts will be involved.