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My Lord, the Chief Justice, 

My Lord, the Deputy Chief Justice, 

My Lord the Principal Judge,

Honourable Ministers in your respective capacities,

Honourable Attorney General, 

Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal,

Your Excellencies and Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Uganda, 

The Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Public Service,

Members of Parliament Present,

Honourable Justices of the High Court and Judicial Officers here present,

The Solicitor General and Chairperson of the JLOS Steering Committee,

Chairpersons and Members of Constitutional Commissions,

Heads of the Justice Sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies, 

Representatives of Civil Society, the Media and Non-State Actors, 

Invited Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 


Good morning

It is a great pleasure and honour for me to make some opening remarks on behalf of the JLOS Development Partners on the occasion of the joint 23nd Annual Review by the Government of Uganda and its Development Partners of the Justice Law and Order Sector. 

First of all, let me express my appreciation for holding this annual review much more timely than last year. The deliberations of today allow us to still adjust the JLOS Work plan 2018/19 if and where required. In particular those result areas where progress is lagging behind, concerted corrective actions could be considered. 

Secondly, I would also like to express from the outset the appreciation of the JLOS development partners for the hard work and commitment of the JLOS Secretariat, the JLOS institutions and the JLOS Leadership, culminating in this annual review where we take stock of the sector performance of the fiscal year 2017-2018.

We recognize that it’s not an easy task to produce an annual report that reflects all the collective achievements of the 18 JLOS institutions and that meets the expectations of all stakeholders involved. 

My Lord the Chief Justice, last year I started my opening remarks by referring to your strong appeal for more transparency and accountability within the sector. And on many other occasions during this last fiscal year, you have by your spoken word and actions, repeated this important message over and over again. 

We applaud your leadership of the Judiciary and your strong commitment to build more confidence of the Ugandan citizens in the justice, law and order sector. 

In fact, building confidence is at the core of the sector development plan 2017 – 2020 with its mission to improve the safety of the person, security of property, and access to justice for inclusive growth with the slogan:  

Empowering the people. Building trust. Upholding rights.  

It is important to keep on reminding ourselves of this ambitious mission since it constitutes the benchmark for the assessment of the sector performance, asking questions such as:

• Is SDP-IV making a difference in the lives of the Ugandan citizens in terms of safety and security and if so, how do we know that? What is the evidence and how has it been measured against baselines and targets? 

• Are the political will and the institutional capacity of the sector strong enough to implement this ambitious agenda of SDP-IV? 

• Are the linkages of the sector with the Social Development Sector, Civil Society and the Private Sector in place to enhance synergy and collaboration? 

• What am I as an individual doing to enhance the work of the JLOS sector? 

These and similar questions, concerns and challenges are on the table and will hopefully guide the deliberations of today.

Looking back, I think it’s fair to say that the Annual Plan 17/18 of the SDP-IV has been implemented under circumstances that were not always very conducive for smooth sailing towards its annual targets. 

There has been some heavy weather so to speak. 

Let me briefly mention just a few front-page events and incidents. 

The constitutional court judgement of 26 July on the Constitutional Amendment Act no 1 has provoked heated debates and the process itself, such as the consultations, has received serious criticisms from many corners of society. 

Similarly, the first local council elections in 16 years, while widely acclaimed, generated a number of questions and concerns from different stakeholders. 

I don’t need to go into the details here, but the suspension of the accreditation of CCEDU to observe the elections, for example, raised many an eyebrow. 

The Ugandan citizens have witnessed a series of still unresolved gruesome murders of women, police officers and key politicians, putting the UPF – one of the core JLOS institutions - in the spotlight of political and public attention.

The arrest and incarceration of the former IGP, former police officers and the leader of the BodaBoda 2010 all of whom are being tried in the military court martial on various charges. 

And going back a little bit further in time, after two years of the Kasese incident, an independent investigation still hasn’t been carried out, reports of the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament have not been made public and the victims are still waiting for justice for the 151 persons (including children) who were killed. 

I also want to mention Arua and its aftermath although this falls outside the reporting period. 

The scale, the intensity, the type and the outcome of the violent response of the security forces have been well documented, have generated strong condemnation and widespread dissatisfaction among citizens and youth in particular, but so far nobody has been arrested and prosecuted.

My Lord, Chief Justice, I mention these cases not to bash, or to point fingers or to put Uganda in a negative daylight. 

I do so because they jeopardize the mission of SDP-IV and the sector investments of the Government; 

but they also have an impact on the effectiveness of our contributions and on the political space back home to continue supporting the sector.   

In my speech of last year, I alluded already to these risks when I said: “these incidents can set a trend that will compromise the progress made under SIP III of the Justice, Law and Order Sector”. 

Now, one year later, I see that these incidents indeed seem to have set a trend. 

We – the JLOS Development Partners - urge the respective authorities to take all necessary measures to reverse this trend. 

After all, this trend could impact peace, security and stability with all its consequences for the Ugandan citizens and the development of the country as outlined in Vision 2040. 

As we all know, stability and respect for the rule of law are some of the most important selling points to attract trade and investments. 

And Uganda needs to boost trade and investment for the creation of employment for a very fast growing number of unemployed youth. 

My Lord, in spite of these incidents and its insufficient budget, SDP-IV has managed to deliver significant results. 

I am therefore very pleased to inform you that our overall appreciation is that the sector has performed quite well.  

Allow me to walk you through some of these results. 

We have noted good progress in terms of infrastructure, staffing and staff capacity development, case management, procedural laws, supervision and inspections, and outreach activities. 

The number of districts with one-stop frontline JLOS services has further increased and access to legal services has expanded for which JLOS has also received financial support from the Democratic Governance Facility. 

These and similar developments are having a positive impact of the internal efficiency of the sector as indicated by the clearance rate and case disposal, among others. 

Of course, efficiency needs to go hand-in-hand with anti-corruption, quality assurance and transparency of the services provided.  

Relatively simple technology is available and being tested to systematically collect information from the clients of the service satisfaction rate. 

An interesting pilot is being conducted in a number of police stations in Kampala by an organization called SEMA in close collaboration with the UPF. 

The information generated through this pilot at the level of a police station, is very helpful for performance assessment and improvement by the police officers in the piloted stations. 

Later this morning, you’ll learn more about this pilot.

My Lord, the Chief Justice, allow me to say a few words about progress under outcome 2 – human rights and corruption.  

As also noted in previous years, only marginal progress has been recorded towards meeting the targets. More significant progress can be achieved if human rights violations are more strictly addressed in line with the legal frameworks. 

The approval of the Regulations for the Prohibition and Prevention of Act is an important step forward. 

I also would like to mention here the need to approve the Regulations under the Children’s Act. 

The National Survey on Violence against Children in Uganda, which was recently launched, shows high levels of violence against boys and girls. 

A stronger and coordinated response is needed from all key JLOS institutions to prevent and address these crimes against defenceless victims in close coordination with the social welfare and health sectors.

At the same time, we acknowledge some promising developments such as: 

• the improvement of the clearance rate of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, 

• the decentralization of court awards, 

• the setting up of human rights desks in key JLOS institutions, 

• the scaling up of Joint JLOS inspections 

• and the inspections of the Human Rights Commission and the UPF in places of detention, 

• and the many outreach activities that were carried out. 

Let me now turn to commercial justice and competitiveness, the third strategic outcome of SDP-IV. 

It is laudable to note that the led time is improving for doing business and that the number of Ugandans with national IDs is increasing. 

The Ugandan Registration Services Bureau is commended for reaching out to groups like youth and women. 

Improved disposal of commercial and land disputes is also a promising result though there is still a long way to go. 

My Lord, there is evidence that each of the three outcome areas shows progress and our general conclusion therefore is that SDP-IV is on track and moving in the right direction. 

The sector performance is slowly improving and public confidence is slightly increasing. 

At the same time we also need to recognize that these incremental improvements are not sufficient for the JLOS reform agenda to get momentum.

The following conditions are still to be met for that purpose. 

First, sufficient and adequate financial and human resources need to be allocated to the sector to meet the growing demand for JLOS services due to population growth and improved access. 

Uganda not only need more doctors, teachers and nurses but also more and better judges, prosecutors, police officers and prison wards, to mention but a few. And the conditions need to be in place so that they can all perform their duties optimally. 

Secondly, a much stronger political will is required to support the JLOS reform agenda. 

The frustration – if I may call it like that – is growing in the sector and among the development partners that critical policies and laws don’t get the necessary political support for approval, endorsement and enactment. 

We strongly urge that the pipeline for critical legislation and policies be cleared without any further delay, such as the Judiciary Administration Bill, the Witness Protection Bill, the Legal Aid Policy and Bill, the Transitional Justice Policy and Bill, the Marriage and Divorce Bill and several other regulations. 

Once approved and enacted, they strengthen the independence of the Judiciary and the sector as a whole and promote access to justice for the vulnerable groups in particular. 

The third condition is that corruption needs to be addressed more strongly and more effectively. 

While we would like to commend the sector for acknowledging the existence of corruption within its midst and putting in place strategies to eliminate and prevent the vice, tangible progress should be demonstrated lest the citizens and investors lose trust and confidence in JLOS. 

It is imperative for the sector to tackle the challenge of corruption head-on and frankly though collaborative approaches in the sector. The commitment should be demonstrated by concrete action spearheaded by the Office of the DPP, the police and the judiciary along with other stakeholders represented here today. 

With proper coordination, allegations of corruption in JLOS and detection by the Auditor General of financial irregularities should be followed up more systematically through criminal investigations, prosecutions, adjudication, asset recovery and proper administrative management.

JLOS Institution leaders should understand that they can be held accountable for corruption in their respective institutions.

There is great scope for improvement especially if interventions by JLOS institutions to curb corruption are harmonized with the specific efforts under the Accountability Sector Strategic Investment Plan, including protocols for information-sharing and case referrals. 

My Lord, the Chief Justice, observance of human rights is the pillar of SDP-IV and of our cooperation and partnership with the sector. Allow me to quote the SDP-IV:

"The Vision 2040 highlights the observance of human rights as a critical feature of Uganda’s governance and rule of law architecture. This is also a fundamental intervention that promotes the citizens’ dignity in development, and impacts on Uganda’s national and international governance rating. Continued human rights violations undermine the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda, erode public confidence and trust in JLOS institutions, and stands in stern contrast to our regional and international obligations"

The provisions in Uganda's legal framework and international treaties to which the country has acceded, provide all necessary conditions to effectively address human rights violations. 

Acts of torture, violence and repression have no place in Uganda - and can never be justified under any circumstance. We commend the statements by the leadership of the Judiciary that the freedom from torture is a non-derogable right; and that the dignity of the person should be upheld at all times. 

It is therefore the duty of all state actors and institutions including security forces to respect and promote the rights and freedoms guaranteed without undue or arbitrary qualifications. 

Where breaches occur, swift and effective sanctions and accountability should be meted out against the errant officers. 

This brings me to what I would like to call the culture of impunity. 

Impunity equals injustice. 

Ensuring compensation of victims of torture or other human rights violations is paramount, but equally important is that individuals, who have committed these crimes, are being brought to justice. Prosecution and conviction serve as deterrents and enhance individual accountability.

My Lord, the Chief Justice, I have talked about a series of critical issues within the sector and its political context. 

My comments and suggestions are made in view of the progress and challenges of SDP-IV. 

Before closing my remarks, I would also like to share a concern that we should include in our deliberations of today and that is wildlife crime. It is not yet on the SDP Agenda but I think it should be given serious consideration. 

It comprises the fourth largest global illegal trade after narcotics, counterfeiting of products and currency, and human trafficking, and is estimated to be worth at least US$19 billion per year. 

It is a lucrative business for criminal syndicates because the risk involved is low compared to other crimes and high profits can be generated. Some reports even suggest that illegal wildlife trafficking plays an important role into the funding of terrorist organizations. 

Wildlife trafficking is transnational organized crime and any organized crime is based on corruption, which systematically erodes our institutions. Sometimes the trafficking can be out of ignorance and a number of “visitors” to Uganda have been arrested as a result of this. 

In this regard we applaud the work of the wildlife police and Buganda Road court  that has the mandate to try these wildlife related cases. The work of the sector needs to be enhanced to secure Uganda’s heritage.

Together we need to ensure good governance in our enforcement and judicial systems. 

My Lord, the Chief Justice, as I come to the end of my opening remarks, I would also like to thank you, Chief Justice for the cordial relationship I have enjoyed with you during my time as Chairperson of the JLOS DP’s group. 

Your passion for the judiciary and the sector is captivating and makes one want to do more for the sector. 

I wish you all the very best in the coming years of the sector and we, the Netherlands, reiterate our continued partnership as we hand over the reins to the EU at the end of this year. 

On behalf of the JLOS Development Partners I would like to convey my appreciation of our strong and constructive partnership. 

We, the development partners, remain firm in our confidence in the sector and in our commitment to stand with or walk by your side in your efforts to achieve a pro-people and transparent justice system.

Thank you for your kind attention and I wish you fruitful deliberations.  


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The Hon. The Deputy Chief Justice, 

The Hon. The Principal Judge,

Honourable Ministers in your respective capacities,

Honourable Attorney General, 

Honourable Justices of the Courts of Judicature,

Your Excellencies and Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Uganda, 

The Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Public Service,

Members of Parliament Present,

The Director of Public Prosecutions,

The Solicitor General and Chairperson of the JLOS Steering Committee,

Chairpersons and Members of Constitutional Commissions,

Heads of the Justice Sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies, 

Heads of Government Institutions present,

Representatives of Civil Society, the Media and Non-State Actors, 

Invited Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen.


I warmly welcome you all to this 23rd Joint Annual JLOS Government of Uganda – Development Partners’ Review. This is our first review under the Fourth Sector Development Plan (SDP IV). This is, as always, a particularly important event in the JLOS calendar, and is an opportunity to gather and reflect on our progress within the previous year. Although it is the first year under the new strategy, we have delved straight into implementation. We thank the Government of Uganda and the Development Partners for honouring their commitments that were made at the previous review. This support, both financial and technical, has been the driving force for our achievements so far.


As we move into the Sector’s 20th year of existence, I must acknowledge the partnerships within and outside the Sector that have kept us going and we trust that these will be maintained and nurtured further. The year has not been without challenges but as you will see from the report, we have also registered significant successes over the period under review. It is important, as a Sector, that we take all steps to live by the values that we adopted under the SDP IV namely – ‘empowering the people, building trust, upholding rights”. 


At the start of the SDP IV, we committed ourselves to ensuring that people in Uganda live in a safe and just society, to increase the trust and satisfaction of people with the services of the JLOS institutions, to improve the Index of Judicial Independence and to maintain the ‘A’ Status of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). Our efforts throughout the year have been geared towards this.


One year into implementation of the SDP IV, people’s trust in JLOS institutions has increased, the Sector has also registered an improvement in the Index of Judicial Independence to 3.42 in 2018 from 3.41 in 2017, according to the World Competitiveness Report, 2018. In terms of the ranking of the national human rights body, the UHRC maintained an ‘A’ status.


Our challenge is to deal with concerns from the public that may affect these levels of trust and satisfaction, such as acts of torture, the perception of insecurity and increased crime, delayed disposal of cases before the Courts of law and quality of services, as well as slow and bureaucratic delivery of services. These are issues that we identified and committed ourselves to address as a Sector under SDP IV through improved efficiency and harnessing the potential of innovation.


It is my belief that we are well on the path to fulfilling our goals and I wish to specifically highlight some of our achievements so far.


Case backlog Reduction

Case backlog reduction has been of primary importance to the Sector under the SDP IV. This ranges from clearance of cases in the Court system, to expediting the processes of investigation by police and resolution of disciplinary matters. The Sector, however, specifically set out to reduce case backlog in the Courts of law from a baseline of 24% in 2016/17 to 19.3% in 2017/18 and an ultimate goal of 9% in 2021. The Case Backlog Reduction Strategy was adopted with the intention of providing strategic interventions to address the overwhelming backlog. This strategy has been implemented through targeted sessions, weeding out exercises in various institutions and the prioritization of resources for hearings of cases by Courts and Tribunals. As a result of these interventions, case backlog has reduced from 24% to 21%. Consequently, the remand population has reduced from 52.4% of the total prison population to 51.4%.


The Strategy is therefore beginning to yield fruit. Growth in case backlog has now been arrested and we are managing the existing load. Without the Strategy, the backlog would have stood at 38%. This has been the result of concerted efforts across all the frontline JLOS institutions, improved coordination and communication, and increased use of innovative means to address the backlog, including mediation, plea bargaining and small claims procedures. We are also focusing on specialized measures for some categories of cases including cases involving children and sexual and gender based crime. It is still our commitment to reduce the percentage of case backlog to single digits by 2021 and we are firmly on this path.


Access to JLOS services

The Sector also set out to extend its services throughout the Country. In 2016/17, 59.3% of districts had one-stop frontline JLOS service points. With the construction of JLOS centres around the country, we have now expanded coverage to 61.5% of districts. I thank our partners who have consistently contributed to our construction programmes and the extension of JLOS services around the Country. In tandem with the extension of services, we have seen an increase in case filing, case disposal and more coordination among JLOS institutions. We have also seen a decrease in complaints about lost files and overstay in police cells. Agencies such as the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, ODPP, UHRC, URSB and DCIC (Passport and Immigration Services), Government Analytical Laboratory and the Law Development Centre have also de-concentrated their services and are now available around the Country. Our presence is surely growing!


We are however still grappling with a shortage of staff in many institutions. Only the Judicial Service Commission has reported a full staff structure. This staffing shortage, which is partly a result of inadequate funding, has affected the functionality of institutions both at the headquarters and in the regional offices. It impacts on the institutions ability to provide adequate and timely services. Until this is addressed, the newly constructed facilities will not be used to their full potential; and efficiency levels will fall short of what is expected. The critical shortage of staff across all JLOS institutions must be addressed if we are to achieve the objectives of the SDP IV.


Local Council Courts and Informal Justice Systems

I am glad to report the re-constitution of the Local Council Courts system following the successful conclusion of Village and Parish Council elections. With the support of our partners, particularly the Democratic Governance Facility, we have been able to prepare for their capacity building in anticipation of their roles in dispute resolution. We have fully prepared trainers in place and training materials are available. Desk Officers have been placed in all the districts to oversee the establishment of the Local Council Courts at all levels. The Judiciary in turn is building the capacity of the Magistrates to perform their supervisory role over these local courts. The Local Council Courts and other informal justice systems are a critical part of our justice system. They are a first point of call for the majority of citizens in dispute resolution and as such they play a vital role in creating and maintaining the trust and participation of the public in the justice system.


Children and Juvenile Justice

The Sector’s Justice for Children programme has grown in strength. The Coordinators located around the Country are well integrated into the District Chain-Linked Committees and are working closely with the institutions to ensure that child friendly processes and diversion programmes are implemented.


Different institutions have instituted other measures to support the child-friendly environment. For instance, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development has completed the Kabale Regional Remand Home and commenced on the construction of the Moroto Regional Home to provide appropriate accommodation for children in conflict with the law. 

Institutionalization of children remand homes in the justice system is not our primary goal and diversion is being promoted as the most appropriate alternative for children in conflict with the law, in order to ensure that their growth and development is not brought to a halt by the justice system. It is however necessary for us to provide suitable accommodation where diversion is not an option because the absence of these facilities across the country has resulted into gross injustices to children. These regional remand homes are therefore of great need to our juvenile justice system.  


The Legal Aid Clinic of the Law Development Centre, the Legal Aid Project of the Uganda Law Society and Justice Centres Uganda together with the Police, ODPP and Courts, continue to emphasize diversion of children from the Justice system, whenever possible. With the reinstatement of the Local Councils at the village and parish levels, this strategy will be further strengthened as the offices responsible for diversion of children are based at the village and parish levels and we will now be able to empower them to perform these functions.


On another front, the ODPP has created a child-friendly space in its facilities as part of its efforts to improve the response to the needs of children who are witnesses or victims of crime, thereby reducing the trauma of the judicial process. It is expected that these facilities will be replicated throughout the Country.


Sexual and Gender Based Violence

The efforts to respond to Sexual and Gender Based (SGBV) crime are multi-faceted. These include amendments of the law that have taken place and strengthening of measures to ensure effective implementation of the laws and policies. Specialized training is planned for CID Officers aimed at improving their investigation skills, particularly in SGBV cases. The ODPP has prepared a Prosecutors’ Manual to guide State Attorneys in the handling of SGBV cases and the Judiciary is in advanced stages of arranging Special Sessions of Court to specifically address SGBV cases.


There are still challenges with forensic examinations, particularly DNA examinations that are critical to SGBV cases. Regional laboratories have been constructed, however they lack critical equipment, particularly the Genetic Analyser. The acquisition of these items will be one of the areas of focus in improving the handling of SGBV cases.



We have seen significant innovations from institutions, resulting in a reduction in lead times for registering a business and obtaining work permits. There have also been reforms to the Trade Licensing laws to reduce the number of permits required to start a business. These innovations are all being bolstered by increased use of technology and e-based services that are expected to culminate in more integration of JLOS services.

The innovations have addressed aspects of customer service and engagement, outreach and public education as well as adoption of e-based platforms to facilitate faster delivery of JLOS services. 


We have partnered with the private sector and civil society to identify and nurture innovators and entrepreneurs who are developing new ways of looking at the delivery of public and particularly justice services. Some of these innovators will be introduced to you today. These partnerships and mentorship programmes create a space for mutually beneficial ideas that will enhance and enrich our efforts as a Sector and we look forward to their further growth. 


This is however only the first year and a lot remains to be done. Challenges remain that have the potential to derail our progress and in so doing reverse any gains that have been made as far as public trust and satisfaction is concerned.


Crime and insecurity

Despite the overall reduction in the crime rate, this past year has been plagued by an upsurge in violent crime.  Kidnaps and murder have been frequently reported, casting a shadow on perceptions of safety.  The key challenge for the Sector is ensuring adequate measures to prevent crime as well as strengthening the capacity of institutions to investigate and handle crime once it happens. The Sector had targeted a reduction in the crime rate from 298 incidences for every 100,000 persons to 287 by 2020. This year, the crime rate stood at 287.9. We therefore clearly registered some achievements and are firmly on course to achieve the SDP IV target. However perceptions are critical in this area and we shall emphasize measures that address the growing areas of crime and our ability to respond fast and effectively to these.


Human Rights and the fight against Corruption

In terms of observance of human rights and promotion of accountability, the focus is on enhancing human rights awareness and practice at sectoral and institutional level to reduce the incidence of human rights violations and mainstream the national policy on zero tolerance to corruption.


We are on course to realize planned targets by 2020/21 under the fight against corruption demonstrated by improvement in the 2017 corruption perception score by Transparency International from 25% to 26%, narrowing the overall performance gap by 20%.  This has been attributed to sustained enforcement of internal and external accountability by the Sector and other public institutions.


The culpability of JLOS institutions for human rights violations continues to reduce.  A 2.1% reduction was registered by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) from 46% to 43.9%.  Nonetheless, the incidences over the past months have made the issue of torture one of national and international debate.  It is important that we stand firm as a Sector and take a stand against torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. We reiterate our stand against torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and emphasize that individuals should be held accountable for any acts of torture that they perpetuate. We firmly believe that with the coming into force of the much anticipated regulations under the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, the law should be fully enforced and we will continue to emphasize this.


Prison Congestion

The current prison population stands at about 52,000, while the holding capacity is 18,000. The population is therefore about 3 times the capacity and therefore congestion remains an outstanding challenge for the Sector. 


Through construction and renovation programmes, the holding capacity has increased from 11,000 to 18,000 over 10 years. Congestion is still high, however there are other efforts to reduce the prison population pressure such as improved investigations, strengthened prosecution and enhanced case disposal. The remand/convict ratio, stands at 51/49 and conviction rates stand at 62%. It can therefore be discerned that 38% of the remand population should not be in prison. Nonetheless, the prison population is likely to remain high and efforts must continue to renovate and provide more appropriate facilities to ensure that human rights standards are met.


Commercial Justice and Improved environment for investment

In terms of strengthening commercial justice and the environment for competitiveness, the Sector took the strategic decision to reform, enforce and update laws to promote competitiveness and regional integration.  Significant innovations from key institutions have resulted in a reduction in lead times for registration and licensing processes.  Automation continues to be a key strategy for providing customer-oriented services that promote faster disposal of cases, registration of documents and issuance of permits and licenses.  It is expected that the automation process will culminate in more integrated services.  It is therefore important that we continue to support the processes of automation in JLOS institutions, including the Judiciary in line with agreed protocols for integration and data sharing.  The concept of ‘Ask Once’ promotes the notion that information that has been provided to one institution, should not be asked for by another.  Instead a client should be confident that once they provide the information to one institution, it should, within agreed parameters and cognizant of privacy laws, be available to others.  This will reduce the number of times a client is asked for key data such as date of birth, place of residence and occupational details.  This should be the ultimate goal of the integration process.


While we celebrate our collective achievements today, we still have our work cut out for us. I am confident though that the strength of the Sector wide approach will provide the necessary framework for us to address these challenges together. Allow me to take this opportunity to thank all our partners in Government, Civil Society and from the Development Partners for the commitment to our development agenda and the support they have given to us to make it possible to register the successes that we report today. 


The challenges notwithstanding, implementation of the 2017/18 workplan appears to be satisfactory.  This conference is intended to review the report, consider the successes and challenges, and propose remedial measures to address the short-falls as we continue with the implementation of the SDP IV. I invite you to join me in a frank discussion of the Sector progress and challenges and in charting out a path for the year ahead. 


I thank you all for your personal attendance today and it is now my honour and pleasure to declare the 23rd Annual Joint JLOS Government of Uganda – Development Partners Review Conference open.


Bart M. Katureebe



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The Honourable Chief Justice of Uganda 

The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda 

Honourable Ministers

The Honourable Principal Judge

My Lords, Justices and Judges of the Courts of Judicature  

Your Excellency, the Head of delegation of the European Union 

Chairperson of the JLOS Development Partners Group  

Your Excellences, Heads of Diplomatic Missions to Uganda 

Honourable Members of Parliament Present,

Heads of JLOS and other Government Institutions, 

Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees  

Members of the JLOS Coordination Committees  

Distinguished invited guests in your respective capacities  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honour to welcome you all, in your various capacities to the 23rd Joint Government of Uganda - Development Partners’ Annual Review of the Justice Law and Order Sector, 2018. 

On behalf of the Justice Law and Order Sector, and on behalf of the JLOS Leadership Committee, I would like to thank each and every one of you for responding so graciously to our invitation to be part of the Annual Review for the Financial Year 2017/2018. We are delighted to receive you at this apex event on the JLOS calendar.

Once again we convene to celebrate our achievements, analyse the challenges we are faced with, and reflect on the strategic direction for further development of justice and the rule of law that the Government of Uganda, with support from its Development Partners, has mapped out for the people of Uganda. 

This annual review is the first under the Fourth Sector Development Plan (SDP IV), and I am glad to inform you that we have started on a good footing, sustaining positive progress under the three JLOS thematic areas of focus that include;

1. Enhancing infrastructure and access to JLOS services.

2. Promoting the observance of human rights and fight corruption.

3. Strengthening the commercial justice and the environment for competitiveness.

This strategic focus underpins the pivotal role of the JLOS Sector in creating and ensuring an enabling environment for not only good governance and the rule of law, but more importantly the economic growth and development of Uganda. 

The JLOS reforms and developments are geared toward guaranteeing a safe and secure environment for business and investment, ensuring timely resolutions of commercial disputes, streamlining business establishments and management, enabling fast movement of labour across borders, and promoting a stable modern regime of commercial laws. Indeed this is the foundation on which Uganda’s economic development is anchored, and therefore our success is a boost to economic growth and development as we aspire for a middle income status. 

As you will learn from the presentation of the 2017/2018 JLOS Annual Performance Report that will be presented today, we as a Sector remain committed to deliver on these three strategic undertakings as enshrined under the Fourth Sector Development Plan, in line with the Second National Development Plan (NDP II), the Uganda Vision 2040, and the National Resistance Movement Manifesto. 

To demonstrate this commitment, the macro performance of the JLOS Sector in the preceding year has been impressive and we owe this to the support from the Government of Uganda, the JLOS Development Partners, Civil Society Organisations, and the people of Uganda. 

Specifically, the Sector registered positive progress on all its four macro performance indicators that include;

1. Increase in public satisfaction with JLOS services from 72% in 2016/17 to 76% in 2017/18.

2.Increase in Public trust in the Justice system from 49% in 2016/17 to 59% in 2017/18

3. Increase in the Index of Judicial Independence from 3.41 in 2016 to 3.42 in 2017, on a scale of 1 to 5. 

4. Maintenance by the Uganda Human Rights Commission of its “A” status accreditation that is granted to effective and independent national human rights institutions.

I must also note that at Cabinet level, we have made strides in considering the key JLOS serving policies and legislations such as the Transitional Justice Policy among others, and these shall be finalised at an appropriate time.

The details of the JLOS performance will be presented to us in the course of today’s deliberations.

Therefore, I would like to thank the JLOS heads of institutions, departmental heads, the JLOS Secretariat, and indeed all JLOS staff for the visible and demonstrable achievements that we have realised over the years, and particularly in the previous financial year. Collectively we have stayed true to the promise and responsibility of the National Resistance Movement, as reflected in Vision 2040 and the NDP II, to ensure justice for all without any discrimination while at the same time foster the development of our country. We must always stay alive to the fact that our efforts in ensuring justice for all have a direct bearing on not only the good governance and human rights consensus, but more importantly to the economic development and prosperity of all people of Uganda.

While we celebrate our collective achievements, we must not forget the challenges that require our sustained partnership and collective effort to overcome. Central among these include;

1. Inadequate infrastructure development to ensure appropriate premises from which to serve the public. Some of the critical areas of focus include the high rent bill paid to commercial landlords and the limited operational spaces such as the low holding capacity of prisons resulting in untenable congestion.

2. Incomplete national coverage of JLOS services. Some people in Uganda still travel long distances to access JLOS services, many of whom include poor and vulnerable sections of the population.

3. Understaffing of many key JLOS institutions. Currently, only the Judicial Service Commission has a fully staffed structure. This challenge is largely a result of financial limitations and has a direct negative impact on the efficiency and effectives of our service delivery.

These challenges and many others notwithstanding, implementation of the JLOS Sector Development Plan is on course with over 75% of the set targets on track.

Once again, I welcome you to this year’s annual review. I must note that while in the past we have converged in hotels and other commercial premises around Kampala, I am delighted to welcome you to the Law Development Centre and indeed we do not have pay an bills for the venue. This cost saving approach is a product of our collaboration, and a demonstration of the Sector’s commitment towards self-sufficiency. Such savings should be channelled to expand access to JLOS services for especially the poor and vulnerable people in the different corners of the country.

I would like to thank the Government of Uganda, and particularly His Excellence the President of the Republic of Uganda for ensuring that JLOS receives funding to sustain this course of development. These achievements are a celebration of the Government’s commitment to justice and the rule of law, and many of which have come to bear with the generous support of the various JLOS Development Partners, and other non-state actors. As a Sector, we remain committed to Empowering the people of Uganda – Building public trust in our institutions – Upholding human rights and the rule of law.

Finally, with these few remarks, I once again welcome you to the 23rd Joint Government of Uganda- Development partners’ Annual Review of the Justice Law and Order Sector, 2018.


Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Maj. Gen (RTD) Kahinda Otafire


Published in Latest News
Monday, 09 April 2018 13:22

JLOS Holds Semi Annual Review Meeting


LDC, MAKERERE - The Justice, Law and Order Sector Technical Committee was on Thursday April 5th 2018 presented with the Sector semi annual performance report for the current financial year 2017/18. This is the first sector performance review under the recently rolled out Sector Strategic Development Plan (2017 - 2020).

Mr. Elem Ogwal, Chairperson Technical Committee the Deputy Director office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) presided over the meeting. In attendance were development partners, members of the JLOS Technical committee, Sector working groups and committees.




By Edgar Kuhimbisa | Published: April 9, 2018

Published in Latest News


The Justice Law and Order Sector presents its Annual Performance Report for the Financial Year 2016/17, the last Performance Report under the Third Sector Investment Plan (SIP III).

This year the report highlights efforts the Sector made towards profiling vulnerability and delivering on the promises under the SIPIII. As per the promise, there was strong commitment to strengthen the legal frameworks and improve service delivery processes protect the most vulnerable such as the children, improve access to services and enhance human rights observance and accountability.



Published in Latest News
Friday, 08 December 2017 10:08

Welcome Remarks : 22nd Annual JLOS Review



The Honourable Chief Justice of Uganda
The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice
The Honourable Principal Judge
Honourable Ministers
My Lords, Justices and Judges of the Courts of Judicature
Your Excellency, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Chairperson of the JLOS Development Partners’ Group
Your excellencies, Heads of Diplomatic Missions to Uganda
Honourable Members of Parliament
Heads of JLOS Institutions
Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees
Members of the District Chain Linked Committees
Distinguished invited guests in your respective capacities
Ladies and Gentlemen


It is my honour and priviledge to welcome each and every one of you to this 22nd Annual JLOS Government of Uganda - Development Partners’ Review. We thank you for joining us today to share this important occasion in the JLOS calendar.

Sadly, we begin this review at a time when we are facing the passing of a great colleague and leader, he Honourable Lady Justice Laetitia Mukasa Kikonyogo, Deputy Chief Justice Emeritus. Lady Justice Kikonyogo will be remembered as a pioneer for women in the Judiciary, a brilliant lawyer and a dedicated Ugandan. We extend our condolences to the family of the late Justice Kikonyogo, the Chief Justice and the entire Judiciary. I request you all to rise and join me as we observe a moment of silence in her honour.

Today is a momentous day. Not only will we consider the performance of the Sector for the year 2016/17, but we will also consider the overall impact that the Sector has made over the five years of implementation of the third Sector Investment Plan (SIPIII). The day will culminate with the launch of our Fourth Sector Development Plan (SDP IV), the framework for Sector strategies and investments for the period 2017/18 to 2019/20.

We are holding this review under the theme “A Pro-people justice system: Profiling vulnerability, delivering on the Promise”. As you will see from the detailed presentation of the Report, we have over the five years of SIPIII focused on creating a more people centered justice system that addresses the challenges and responds to the needs of the most vulnerable people in our society. We have worked to reach more people with our services, creating friendly interfaces that have encouraged the public to seek justice services and provide us with feedback, where we have fallen short. We believe that we have achieved a lot of what we set out to do. With a wider infrastructure network, increased automation and improved delivery in terms of disposal of cases, improvements in the rehabilitation of offenders and improved customer service and response to clients across the institutions, among others.

We do note however that there are still challenges that are plaguing the Sector and the Fourth Strategic Development Plan (SDP IV) is our roadmap to address these issues. Challenges such as the perennial case backlog and the understaffing and welfare of Sector staff, continue to hold us back from attaining our highest potential. As the political leadership of the Sector it is our task, and a task we are committed to, to see that these challenges are addressed under the SDP IV.

I wish to welcome our partners from the rest of Government to this review. Although it is called a JLOS review, it reflects the work of the entire Government as far as the Rule of Law and justice are concerned as we are all inter-twined in this effort, whether it is in the shared delivery of services such as health, education and water or in the provision of financial and technical support. We look forward to renewed and strengthened inter-Sectoral partnerships going forward.

I wish to welcome and thank our Development Partners, with whom we have worked closely and tirelessly to achieve the successes we have registered so far. Your commitment to JLOS is appreciated and we are glad to note that this support and collaboration will continue into the SDP IV period.

To all our partners from civil society and the private sector, we look forward to your feedback and comments today, which we believe will make the Sector stronger and inform our future endeavors. We emphasise that we are working to ensure a pro-people justice system and as a cross-section of the public we welcome your input towards this journey that we are taking together.

Once again, I thank you all for gracing our invitation and I look forward to your active participation in this Annual Review.

I now take this opportunity to invite His Excellency, Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Chairperson of the JLOS Development Partners’ Group to make his remarks.


Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana

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My Lord, the Deputy Chief Justice
My Lord, the Principal Judge
Honourable Ministers
Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal
Your Excellency, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Chairperson JLOS Development Partners Group
Your Excellencies, Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Kampala
The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service
Heads of JLOS Institutions
The Solicitor General and Chairperson JLOS Steering Committee
Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees
Heads of Government Agencies and Departments
Partners and stakeholders from Civil Society and the Private Sector
Invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to welcome you all to this 22nd Joint Annual JLOS Government of Uganda – Development Partners’ Review. This is one of the most important events on the JLOS Annual calendar, and an opportune moment to reflect and take stock of our achievements against our set undertakings.
This review, as has been the case with the previous ones, is held in the spirit of positive and purposive partnership where we strategize together toward the greater JLOS Sector goal of ‘Justice For All’.

This year’s Review is special and an epitome of a commitment and promise made to the people of Uganda in 2012 to ‘Deepen reforms for a pro people justice system’. Today, we shall deliberate on the JLOS annual performance for the financial year 2016/2017, and also take stock of the past five years of hard work under the JLOS SIP III that came to an end on 30th June 2017.

The theme for this Review is “A Pro-people Justice System: Profiling Vulnerability, Delivering on the Promise”. The Promise to serve the vulnerable people of Uganda, who need JLOS services and in many cases do not have the means to afford or reach our service stations.

I am pleased to note that for most of you who have been part of the JLOS Sector trajectory of growth, the path, though interposed by challenges and limitations, has seen the Sector register a net positive progression. As you may recall, our first JLOS SIP I (2001 to 2005) focused on Sector rebuilding and retooling, then SIP II 2006/7 to 2011/12 strategically dealt with stabilisation and infrastructure development – popularly known as the ‘Brick and Mortar’ phase. Our most recent and now concluded SIP III phase (2012 -2017) was focused on deepening reforms for a pro-people justice system.

Our achievements in enhancing access to justice which are evident in our ever improving position in global and national assessments and indices are a product of our collective efforts and a source of pride. These are a result of primarily Government policy and support, and in addition, the strong partnerships that the Sector enjoys with all of you gathered here, and many other constituencies.

Together we have attained many milestones, overcome critical challenges, and reached out to more people in need of JLOS services. It is for this collective cause that we converge and reflect on our achievements, strategize better to overcome our challenges and plan ahead. Our achievements thus far have been born out of collective commitment to aspire for better, dedicated hard work, and progressive improvement within the scope of our means.

At a global level Uganda’s competitiveness and ranking continues to improve under various indices. For instance, according to the World Economic Forum Report of 2016, our score in the Index of Judicial Independence improved from 3.41 in 2015/16 to 3.6 in 2016/17 as a result of improved innovations and reduced interference in the judicial processes, among other developments. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, Uganda improved from 135th position in 2010 to 115th in 2017. Most of these details will be presented to us later on today.

I must emphasise that these rankings are a demonstration of our improvement but not the ultimate measure of success that we have set out to achieve. As a Sector and the country at large, we aspire to rank among the best globally in not only the realm of law and justice, but also other Sectors.

The Sector has reduced lead-times and steps required to access a complete service, therefore serving more people within a shorter time. We have reviewed and refined our service delivery processes in both civil and criminal justice systems. Our civil registries, such as the URSB and the DCIC have been re-organised and are progressively being automated. Most importantly, we recognise the central role that JLOS staff play in this development equation and the Sector continues to strengthening staff knowledge and technical capacity, professionalism, and integrity among all our staff. These developments and many others have had a ripple effect of increasing the Sector’s public confidence from a baseline average of 26% in 2012 to 48% in 2016.

To further demonstrate this, the annual average number of cases disposed-of grew by 64%, from 86,000 cases in 2011/2012, to 175,556 cases in 2016/2017. Specifically, the disposal of land cases reduced by more than half, from 36 months in 2010 to 15 months in 2016/17. The average time taken to process a forensic investigation reduced to 90 days from a baseline of 210 days in 2010. This has had a trickle-down effect in other areas such as reduction in length of stay on remand, reduction in case backlog levels, among others.

The average length of stay on remand for persons charged with capital offences reduced from 15 months to 10.4 months. The overall case backlog reduced from 35% in 2010/2011 to 24% in 2017, despite an increase in the overall cases filed across the justice system. On this note, the Sector plans to effectively implement the Case Backlog Reduction Strategy 2017 with a view to reducing case backlog to a single digit percentage within the next two years.
In geographical terms, the Sector has enhanced its service delivery coverage and reduced the distance people travel to access JLOS services from an average radius of 75km in 2012, to 15km in 2017.

With policing services now present in every sub-county in Uganda, coupled with Community Policing by the Uganda Police Force, the Sector has registered a reduction in the incidence of crime from 314 for every 100,000 persons in 2011, to 291 for every 100,000 in 2016 although some particular areas of crime are seeing a rise, such as sexual and gender based crimes. This reduction has been a result of hard work and dedication against a tide of a high population growth, a high rural-urban migration, and external pressures of sophisticated transnational economic and terrorism associated forms of crime.

I am proud to inform you that by the end of the SIP III period, 98% of construction projects had been completed. Some of these include the Justice Centres in Moroto, Kiruhura, Ibanda, Bulambuli and Koboko among others. The remaining 2% are those that commenced in the final year of the SIP III period and are on course to be completed. Some of the critical pending construction projects include the Kitalya Maximum Security Prison which is planned to relieve the current congestion at Luzira maximum prison. Currently, 40% of the work is complete.

The Sector’s institutional and functional presence is now in 82% of the districts and infrastructure has been provided by the Sector in 59.8% of the districts. However, our pursuit is to not only expand our functional physical presence, but also enhance the quality and purity of JLOS services provided to the public. The Sector is progressively automating some segments of its service delivery processes to improve efficiency and quality and minimise opportunity for abuse of discretion. As we shall learn from the presentations that will be made today, the URSB, NIRA, DCIC, ODPP, UPF and the Judiciary are progressively realising this undertaking.

However, these tales of success and achievements are but a part of the bigger picture of mixed fortunes. While we celebrate and consolidate our gains, the Sector continues to face some challenges in a number of critical areas; the current double-digit Case Backlog at 24% calls for spirited collective effort and commitment to overcome. We are mindful that while the Sector has achieved most of its projected construction plans, the pursuit of realising functional physical presence of all frontline institutions in all districts calls for more resources, prioritisation, and strategic planning. For instance, there is an urgent need for a multi-pronged approach to address the prison congestion that stood at 312% as at June 2017. As at the end of October 2017, the prison occupancy level was 328%. The prison occupancy is growing at an average rate of 9.8% while its holding capacity is growing at less than 2%. This is not a problem of the Uganda Prisons Service alone but a matter of concern for the entire Sector.

We take cognisance of the changing economic terrain and living conditions spurred on over time by internal and external economic pressures of development, resulting in increased cost of living. We are aware that some of our staff laid down their tools in protest as they demand for better remuneration. These actions are well intended and exercised within the law, however, they slow down the realisation of our collective targets, impinge on some human rights, and cause suffering to those that seek our services.

I am confident that the on-going holistic salary review and harmonisation processes initiated by the Government will go a long way in providing lasting solutions as opposed to piece meal treatment of some institutions. We are better off improving the working conditions of the public service as a whole than addressing one institution at a time. I therefore appeal to JLOS staff to be patient, pragmatic, and trust in the on-going salary review processes. For now, let us serve the people of Uganda.

I must note that incidences of perceived and actual corruption are still prevalent in some of the JLOS service stations, and this not only erodes the Sector’s image, but also increases the vulnerability of both the supply and demand sides of justice. I would like to use this opportunity, to call on all JLOS institutions to take concrete and decisive action against acts of corruption among institutional staff and users of JLOS services.

While many of the Sector problems and challenges require enhanced human and financial resources, some interventions such as the fight against corruption and impunity are in some cases budget neutral. I call upon the heads of JLOS institutions and departments, and agencies to take this matter more seriously and implement the JLOS Anti-Corruption Strategy, name, shame and punish the few that bring our work in disrepute, and enhance integrity within our rank and file.
Therefore, as we consolidate our achievements under the JLOS SIP III, it is my honour to invite all of you to continue in our partnership in implementation of the new Sector strategy – the JLOS Sector Development Plan IV. Later in the day, we hope to dedicate part of our time to unveil and deliberate on what is comprised in our new path of development that is to cover the period 2017 to 2020.

As I conclude, I thank the Government and the people of Uganda for supporting and having confidence in the JLOS Sector.

I especially thank the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for delivering on the Constitutional promise of ensuring justice for the people of Uganda. The Government resource allocation to the JLOS Sector grew in absolute terms from UGX568 Billion in 2012/13 to UGX1.335 Trillion in 2016/17. This is a primary factor that accounts for the achievements of the Sector in terms of human resources, service delivery, and infrastructure development. However, we seek to achieve greater heights and enhance the welfare of the people of Uganda and improve the business environment and competitiveness of Uganda as an investment destination. With increased human and financial resources, and strategic planning, the Sector is set to further improve dispute resolution lead times, expand faster registration and development of small scale businesses that increase the national tax base, enhance movement of labour and trade across the East Africa Community, further reduce levels of crime, and promote the rule of law. We therefore pray that as the national budget grows, we see a commensurate growth in the Sector’s budgets as opposed to the current situation, where the Sector budget has increased in absolute terms but has reduced as a percentage of the national budget.

On such an important occasion, the Sector proudly extends its gratitude for the generosity and support of the JLOS Development Partners, with whom we work so intimately to deliver on the promise – the promise to deliver ‘Justice For All’. Over the SIP III period, the Sector received both Budget and Project support toward the JLOS Development budget in addition to direct project and technical capacitation support.

On this occasion, I would like to be more specific and re-sound our gratitude on behalf of the people of Uganda, and the Government of Uganda to the citizens and governments of Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union. I extend our appreciation to the East Africa Community Governments that have collaborated with the Sector over the SIP III period, the United Nations agencies, particularly UNICEF, UN Women, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNDP, International NGOs, and also the Uganda Civil Society Organisations.

As a collective and through your missions, delegations, agencies, and direct participation, you have supported the course of justice and the rule of law in Uganda. We pledge to stay this course, continue to nurture strong partnerships, and remain accountable in our pursuit of justice for all.
I also thank the Political, Policy and Technical leadership of the 18 JLOS institutions for staying the course of justice, steering reforms, and maintaining the commitment to the JLOS family. While our aspirations remain demanding, today we take note and cognisance of the gains achieved. I appeal to you, to continue promoting the cause of the Sector such that we continue to convene and celebrate shared success and achievements.
I would like to applaud the work of the JLOS Secretariat. The critical coordination and technical backstopping role that you play, fuels our innovation, collaboration and as a result, the JLOS stands out like no other Sector in Uganda. I thank you!

Last, but by no means least, I use this opportunity to thank the men and women that serve under the 18 JLOS institutions in the different parts of this beautiful country. I have surely visited all parts of the country and many JLOS service stations and I know that most of you work hard under challenging circumstances and I know that it is your dedication that has assured much of the Sector’s success. It is for these reasons and more, that I personally thank you for the good job that you do, for serving the people of Uganda, and taking pride in a noble cause of promoting justice for all people, and for saying NO to corruption.
You must always remember that our cause is a collective enshrined in the 3 Cs – Cooperation, Coordination and Communication. Therefore, your needs are a shared concern, just as we come together to take pride in our success. I call upon your individual resolve to make the cause of justice a personal commitment and together let us continue to move a notch higher. I would like to assure you that I will do whatever is within my power to ensure better and more dignified working conditions, cultivate strategic partnerships that build our common interests, and above all, endear professionalism in our work.

Once again, I welcome you all to this historic event, where we join hands to close yet another chapter in our pursuit of justice for all, and at the same time pave the road ahead for a new episode.
It is now my honour and pleasure to declare the 22nd Annual Joint JLOS Government of Uganda – Development Partners Review open.

Bart M. Katureebe

Published in Latest News


The Justice, Law and Order Sector Leadership Committee during its meeting on August 29th 2017 chaired by the Chief Justice approved the new three year JLOS Strategic Development Plan (SDP IV). This development follows the expiry of the Third Strategic Development Plan (SIP III) that the sector has been implementing for the last five years (2012 – 2017).

SDP IV (2017 – 2020) lays out a cohesive three-year strategic direction for the Sector that spans the following outcome areas: access to JLOS services and enhancement of infrastructure; strengthening commercial justice and the environment for competitiveness; and promotion of human rights and the fight against corruption. The SDP IV is aligned to the National Development Plan and was approved by the National Planning Authority last month.

The new strategic plan is scheduled for official launch on October 12, 2017 during the 22nd Annual Joint Government of Uganda and Development Partners Review Conference to be held at Serena Kampala Hotel.


For more information on SDP IV, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


By Edgar Kuhimbisa / Published: September 04 2017



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On October 27 2016, the Justice, Law and Order Sector  (JLOS) held the 21st Annual review at Speke Resort Munyonyo.  DOWNLOAD the assessment of the Sector 2015/16 performance by our Development Partners below:



Development Partners Assessment of the JLOS Annual Performance (2015/16)

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Annual JLOS Performance Report (2015/16)

ANNEXTURE: JLOS Annual Performance Report (2015/16)


The Four years of implementation of the Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III) have been a concerted and combined effort of Government, JLOS stakeholders and Development Partners that has resulted in increased public trust, increased stakeholder engagement, awareness and higher satisfaction by the people who seek services from JLOS institutions. 

In terms of impact, public confidence in JLOS institutions has increased significantly from the baseline average of 26% in 2012 to 48%, while public knowledge about JLOS services and institutions has increased to over 90% in 2015/16 on the average. Public engagement with JLOS institutions and use of JLOS services grew three fold on the average compared to the baselines.

For those persons that have accessed JLOS services the level of satisfaction has increased from the average baseline position of 59% to 72%. The index of judicial independence grew by 22% from 2.8 in 2014/15 to 3.41 in 2015/16, implying that judicial processes in Uganda have become more independent. The country’s judicial independence ranking too has improved from position 128 in 2014 to 91 in 2015/16 according the Global Competitiveness Report, 2016. 

According to the World Justice Project Report 2015 Uganda is ranked 68th in the World, 9th Africa and the first in East Africa in accessibility and affordability of civil justice with a score of 0.43 out of 1 this is comparable to USA which has a score of 0.47 out of 1. The country is also ranked in the 1st position in East Africa and 12th in Africa in effectiveness of criminal investigation, adjudication and correctional systems as well as controlling criminal and civil conflict and the fight against violence (order and security) with a score of 0.61 out of 1.

The sector monitored and processed 10 critical bills that impact on JLOS service delivery including the fight against corruption, regulation of CSO’s, elections, functionality of LCCs, and vulnerability among others. Laws were also enacted are that will promote national development objectives and improve the environment for doing business in Uganda. As a result of the interventions in legal reform and other innovations, Uganda moved from position 135 in 2014 to 122 in 2015/16 in the doing business index. While the Global Competitiveness Report 2015/2016 ranks Uganda’s competitiveness at position 115 out of 144 countries in the world. In terms of protection of property rights, Uganda’s ranking improved from position 112 in 2014 to 97 in 2015/16 and its property rights index also increased by 14.4% from 3.4 in 2014 to 3.89 in 2015/16.

The sector is now functionally present in 82% of the districts compared to 75% functional presence in 2014/15. Also the number of districts with a complete chain of infrastructure for frontline JLOS services increased from 53% in 2014/15 to 59.8% in 2015/16 following completion of various construction projects in UPF, UPS, Court and DPP.

Following appointment of staff, increased use of initiatives such as plea bargaining, investments in staff training, enhanced coordination and performance management the sector recorded a 20% reduction in pending cases, posting a case clearance rate of 125%. As a result, the average length of stay on remand reduced from 10.5 months to 10.4 months for capital offenders and case backlog reduced from 32% in 2014/15 to 25% in 2015/16. Use of ADR recorded a resounding success with a 55% success rate compared to 26% in 2014/15 arising out of investments in training and advocacy.

The crime rate reduced from 298 per 100,000 in 2014 to 296 per 100,000 in the reporting period despite the election period because of improved crime response and coordination of criminal justice agencies. Also the quality of investigation and prosecution improved as shown in the high conviction rate of 61% over the reporting period. 

The sector continued to invest in correctional services and rehabilitation of offenders which resulted in a reduction in the rate of recidivism from 27% in 2014/15 to 21%. This is one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world.

The number of children arrested per 100,000 child population reduced to 8.4 compared to 9.4 for every 100,000 child population in 2014/15 and 84.1% diversion rate of juveniles from formal judicial proceedings was registered. The challenge however is the higher than targeted number of children on remand per 100,000 standing at 2.07 for every 100,000 child population compared to the targeted 01 child per 100,000 child population. 

In terms of human rights observance, the number of reported human rights violations by JLOS agencies reduced by 41% during the reporting period. This is partly due to the adoption of a human rights culture and accountability and sensitisation of police and prisons that have always featured high in terms of human rights violations.

Improvements were recorded in UPS with 90% of the prison units eliminating the Bucket system and there are on-going efforts to provide decent water-borne sanitation facilities in all prisons by the end of 2017. However, the welfare of prison warders and lower police cadres remains largely unaddressed, especially with respect to housing and living conditions. In addition, the congestion in prisons remains high with the existing holding capacity exceeded by up to two times. 

The fight against corruption is on course with 12% increased case disposal and improved internal disciplinary mechanisms that were implemented. The Chief Justice strengthened the inspectorate function in Judiciary, by appointing a Justice of the Supreme Court as Chief Inspector of Courts.

The performance would have been much higher; however, the sector faces various challenges that must be addressed to enhance or even maintain the current levels of performance. One of the challenges is the slow, expensive and complex business processes that are largely manual. These among others have led to prevalence of high lead times, increased cost of access, opportunistic corruption and slow decision making. It is therefore important to re-engineer and automate most of the business processes. 

Challenges also still remain with case disposal in some areas such as the Human Rights Commission and Judicial Service Commission that were affected by the expiry of the terms of service of their Commissioners. These institutions need to be supported to clear their backlog.

The sector institutions remain largely urban based and unavailable in 18% of the districts while many operate from premises not fit for the purpose. This is compounded by the high cost of rent which has eroded funds required for critical operations. There is therefore need to fast track the construction of the JLOS house project and justice centres country wide. Efforts should also be put at opening new service points and deconcentrating service delivery. The concept of a one stop centre should also be strengthened.

The other challenge is the changing crime trends and proliferation of new crimes such as cybercrime, trafficking in persons, terrorism, white collar crime and other violent crime including sex and gender based violence which tests the preparedness of most crime fighting agencies. This is made worse by the fact that the more sophisticated crimes that are cross border crimes in nature are on the rise. There is need to enhance crime response and invest in strategies to prevent the occurrence of such crimes. 

Justice delivery is a function of numbers. The sector requires the right number of staff both in quantity and quality to deliver effective and expeditious services. This is not possible with the current judge to population ratio of 1: 720,000, a police to population ratio of 1:764, and warder to prisoner ratio of 1:7.

One of the factors that continue to dampen public confidence in the justice system is corruption both real and perceived. It is therefore necessary that the sector efforts to fully implement its anti-corruption strategy are supported. Initiatives to deal with public complaints should be strengthened and supported while internal disciplinary processes should be respected. 


By and large, given the performance of the sector over the SIPIII period and during the reporting period, there is a strong belief that enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery enhances public satisfaction and grows public trust. It is therefore important that efforts which promote greater public satisfaction with JLOS services should be harnessed and strengthened under the proposed new strategic planning framework. In addition, the 3cs (communication, coordination and cooperation) which is the foundation upon which the sector is built should be demystified among all sector stakeholders for the sector remain valid, vocal and visible.


[Adopted from the 2015/16 JLOS Annual Performance Report]



Annual Review Document Centre (Speeches and Presentations)

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