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The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda recently issued advisory Sentencing Guidelines aimed at bringing uniformity, consistency, and transparency to the sentencing process in the country by establishing sentencing ranges and other sentencing guides.  Although the Sentencing Guidelines cover only a limited number of offenses at present, they do provide general sentencing principles and various sentencing factors that are applicable to offenses not specifically covered.  The Guidelines will be expanded to add more sentencing ranges and other guides for all criminal offenses. 

Among the notable aspects of the Sentencing Guidelines is the emphasis on victim and community engagement in the sentencing process, restorative justice, and the promotion of noncustodial sentences.

The Chief Justice also established a Sentencing Council with a mandate to work on, review, and expand the Sentencing Guidelines; monitor their implementation; and establish a research, development, and oversight program on sentences and their effectiveness.

I.  Introduction

This report provides information on Uganda’s recently issued advisory sentencing guidelines, the Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions.  Part II briefly summarizes the country’s court structure in order to provide context for the adoption and implementation of the Sentencing Guidelines.  Part III focuses on a general description of the Sentencing Guidelines, including the process of their development, their general characteristics and purpose, as well as some notable provisions such as those emphasizing restorative justice and the promotion of noncustodial sentences.  Part IV contains a chart highlighting some of the specific offenses (including theft, manslaughter, and murder) for which the Sentencing Guidelines provide sentencing ranges and mitigating and aggravating factors.  The final part describes the Sentencing Guidelines Committee established to, among other things, develop additional sentencing guidelines and conduct public awareness campaigns.    

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II.  Ugandan Courts

Uganda has a unitary, single hierarchy system of courts, which includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and subordinate courts.[1]

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal.[2]  With the exception of presidential election petitions in which it enjoys original jurisdiction, the Court only hears cases on appeal.[3]  All other courts in the country are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court.[4]  The Supreme Court is composed of the Chief Justice and at least ten associate justices.[5] 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the head of the judiciary and has a constitutional mandate to administer and supervise all courts in the country.[6]  In this capacity, the Constitution authorizes the Chief Justice to “issue orders and directions to the courts necessary for the proper and efficient administration of justice.”[7]  It was under this authority that the Chief Justice issued The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions in 2013 (see Part III, Sentencing Guidelines, below).

Below the Supreme Court is the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court.  With the exception of petitions related to parliamentary or local government elections, for which it is the court of last resort, the Court of Appeal, duly consisting at any sitting of an uneven number of at least three judges, has appellate jurisdiction over matters adjudicated before the High Court.[8]  In addition, the Court of Appeal, with a five-judge bench, serves as the Constitutional Court and enjoys original jurisdiction on constitutional law matters.[9]   

Next in the hierarchy of courts is the High Court.  This court, which has eight divisions, including a Criminal Division, has unlimited original jurisdiction throughout Uganda as well as appellate jurisdiction on matters adjudicated by all magistrates courts.[10]

Below the High Court are subordinate courts.  These include magistrate courts,[11] family and children’s courts,[12] and local council courts.[13] 

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III.  Sentencing Guidelines

On April 26, 2013, Uganda’s Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki issued The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions (the Sentencing Guidelines).[14]  As noted above, the Sentencing Guidelines were developed on the basis of section 133 of the Constitution, which authorizes the Chief Justice to “issue orders and directions” to the courts in the country.[15]  Specifically, the Sentencing Guidelines were developed by a twenty-five member task force of the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS),[16] which the Chief Justice established with the Supreme Court Principal Judge, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine, as chair, and with logistical support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.[17]

The Sentencing Guidelines were developed to help mitigate various challenges that the country’s judiciary faces during the sentencing phase of criminal cases.  Of particular concern are chronically wide disparities in sentences in which charges under the same offense involving similar circumstances often result in greatly varying punishments, in part because of unfettered judicial discretion,[18] corruption, favoritism, and influence peddling.[19]  Other challenges that may contribute to the disparities in sentencing include the nonexistence of documented precedents to guide the sentencing process, lack of benchmark factors for courts to consider as aggravating or mitigating circumstances, and heavy reliance on custodial sentences.[20]  The Sentencing Guidelines seek to ameliorate these challenges by introducing uniformity and transparency to the sentencing process through sentencing ranges for specific offenses and other tools designed to standardize the process.[21]  To this end, the Sentencing Guidelines aim

  • (a)  to set out the purpose for which offenders may be sentenced or dealt with;
  • (b)  to provide principles and guidelines to be applied by courts in sentencing;
  • (c)  to provide sentence ranges and other means of dealing with offenders;
  • (d)  to provide a mechanism for considering the interests of victims of crime and the community when sentencing; and
  • (e)  to provide a mechanism that will promote uniformity, consistency and transparency in sentencing.[22]

The Sentencing Guidelines further state that the purpose of sentencing is “to promote respect for the law in order to maintain a just, peaceful and safe society and to promote initiatives to prevent crime.”[23]  Accordingly, they direct judges to impose sentences aimed at achieving one or more of the following purposes:

  1. (a)  denouncing unlawful conduct;
  2. (b)  deterring a person from committing an offence;
  3. (c)  separating an offender from society where necessary;
  4. (d)  assisting in rehabilitating and re-integrating an offender into society;
  5. (e)  providing reparation for harm done to a victim or to the community; or
  6. (f)  promoting a sense of responsibility by the offender, acknowledging the harm done to the victim and the community.[24]

Despite the use of language that suggests otherwise, the Sentencing Guidelines are merely advisory rather than mandatory in nature.[25]  According to Chief Justice Odoki, “[s]entencing guidelines should not override the discretion of the judicial officer.  They should not direct but rather guide the judicial officer to arrive at a fair and just sentence which is consistent with that being passed by other judicial officers.”[26]  However, the advisory nature of the Sentencing Guidelines may change in the future: the task force that developed the Sentencing Guidelines has proposed a sentencing reform bill that, if taken up by the country’s Parliament and enacted into law, may make the Sentencing Guidelines mandatory.[27]

The Sentencing Guidelines do not set sentencing policy for any offense; they merely recommend sentencing ranges for certain offenses based on data collated from various court decisions issued over the years for each offense.[28]  The task force reportedly did this by engaging a statistician to generate ranges of sentences through statistical models based on historic judicial practice.[29]  This illustrates that the Sentencing Guidelines were not developed as a vehicle for making policy decisions on sentencing, but simply as a means of introducing certainty and consistency to the sentencing process in the country.[30] 

The Sentencing Guidelines provide specific sentencing recommendations only for the following limited number of offenses: capital offenses (murder, rape, aggravated defilement, robbery, kidnapping with intent to murder, terrorism, and treason); manslaughter; robbery; defilement; trespass; corruption and related offenses; and theft and related offenses.[31]  For these particular offenses, the Sentencing Guidelines provide a range of sentences including a minimum sentence for each offense and a list of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.[32]  However, according to Justice Bamwine, the Sentencing Guidelines will be expanded to eventually incorporate similar recommendations for all offenses under the country’s Penal Code.[33]

In addition to sentencing recommendations for the specific offenses noted above, the Sentencing Guidelines also provide courts with “general sentencing principles” that may be applied to all offenses, including those for which specific recommendations are not provided.  These principles include the gravity and nature of the offense, the importance of ensuring that the sentence to be issued is in keeping with other sentences for similar offenses, and any other factors that courts deem appropriate.[34]  The Sentencing Guidelines also provide various “general factors” for courts to consider in determining appropriate sentences for offenses.  These factors include information that can help provide a context for an offense, including information on the customs prevailing in the area where the offense was committed and a host of other factors, such as the offender’s remorsefulness, gender, motive, financial status, and sophistication.[35]

One of the most notable aspects of the Sentencing Guidelines is the focus on victim and community engagement in the sentencing process.  The Sentencing Guidelines make the effect of a crime on the victim and the community part of the general sentencing principles that courts must take into account during sentencing.[36]  The Sentencing Guidelines require that, when deliberating on the appropriate sentences, courts must consider factors and inquiries required by other laws.[37]  As part of this process, courts may order the prosecution to produce a victim impact statement[38] and a community impact statement.[39]  The form for the victim impact statement in the Sentencing Guidelines (Form A) includes particulars of the physical, emotional, and financial impact on the victim, including any property loss or damage suffered as the result of the offense.[40]  In addition, this form adopts a broad definition of the term “victim” to include the spouse and children of the victim, parents and/or guardians of a child victim, and legal guardians of a mentally or physically disabled victim.[41]  Also provided in the Sentencing Guidelines is a community impact statement form (Form B), which includes particulars of the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the offense on the community, including the loss of or damage to public property caused by the crime, as well as the prevalence of the particular offense in the community.[42]   

Another notable aspect of the Sentencing Guidelines is their emphasis on restorative justice.[43]  The Sentencing Guidelines include restorative justice as part of the general sentencing principles, stating that “[e]very court shall when sentencing an offender take into account . . . any outcomes of restorative justice processes that have occurred, or are likely to occur, in relation to the particular case.”[44]  The Sentencing Guidelines also compel the prosecution to seek restorative justice.  They state that whenever offenders or victims “express interest to reconcile in cases that are permitted under the law, the prosecution shall bring the matter to the attention of the court and shall request the court to give the parties an opportunity to settle such matters amicably.”[45]  The Sentencing Guidelines impose a similar duty on the defense, stating that “[w]here the offender wishes to reconcile with the victim, the defense shall state that expressly to the court and the prosecutor.”[46]  In addition, the Sentencing Guidelines impose on the prosecutor an affirmative duty to “promote and advocate for restorative justice as a viable means of dispute resolution where applicable.”[47]  This strong emphasis on restorative justice coupled with the advisory nature of the Sentencing Guidelines may provide considerable justification for judges to depart from the ranges set out by the Sentencing Guidelines.[48]

Although they make various sentencing options available to courts, including custodial sentences, the Sentencing Guidelines encourage courts to avoid custodial sentences whenever possible and when dealing with certain classes of offenders.  The Sentencing Guidelines provide a list of sentencing options for courts to choose from, including a custodial sentence, a simple warning, or any other legal sentence the courts deem fit.[49]  However, the Sentencing Guidelines provide a number of considerations that courts must take into account before issuing custodial sentences, including “whether the purpose of sentencing cannot be achieved by a sentence other than imprisonment.”[50]  In addition, the Sentencing Guidelines specifically discourage courts from imposing custodial sentences if the offender is above the age of seventy-five, pregnant, underage, or terminally ill.[51]

Along similar lines, the Sentencing Guidelines provide a specific set of recommendations with regard to the sentencing of child offenders and offenders who have dependents.  Where the offender is a primary caregiver, the Sentencing Guidelines require courts to take into account the effect of their sentences, particularly custodial sentences, on the dependents of the offender and strive to minimize them.[52]  In addition, if the offender is under the age of eighteen, the Sentencing Guidelines recommend that courts consider a number of factors during sentencing, including the child’s degree of participation in the commission of the offense, the best interest of the child, and noncustodial options offered under the Children Act.[53]

The Sentencing Guidelines also provide recommendations for imposing fines and community service.[54]

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IV.  Specific Guidelines

Offense

Penalty Under Law

Guideline Sentencing Range

Considerations

Aggravating Factors

Mitigating Factors

Theft

(felony)

Maximum of five years’ imprisonment.[55] 

One to ten years’ imprisonment, with a presumed sentence of five years subject to aggravating and mitigating factors.[56]

Includes value of the property stolen, aggravating or mitigating circumstances, guilty plea by offender, reparations offered, or other factors the court deems relevant.[57]

Includes degree of loss, amount of money or quantity of items stolen, prevalence of the offense, relationship of offender and victim, recidivism, or other factors the court deems relevant.[58]

Includes lack of premeditation, guilty plea, remorsefulness, first-time offender, or other factors the court deems relevant.[59] 

Obtaining Goods by False Pretense (felony)

Ten years’ imprisonment.[60] 

Six months’ to five years’ imprisonment, with a presumed sentence of two-and-a-half years subject to aggravating and mitigating factors.[61]

Same as for theft.

Same as for theft.

Same as for theft.

Criminal Trespass (mis-demeanor)

One year imprisonment.[62]

A warning to one year imprisonment, with a presumed sentence of six months in prison subject to aggravating and mitigating factors.[63]

Includes nature and prevalence of offense, particular circumstances of offense, relationship between parties involved, or other factors the court deems relevant.[64]

Includes degree of premeditation; gravity of offense committed upon entry; general behavior of offender while on property; whether offender targeted victim because of age, gender, or disability; or other factors the court deems relevant.[65]

Includes absence of premeditation, diminished capacity, remorsefulness, or other factors the court deems relevant.[66]

Manslaughter (felony)

Life imprisonment.[67]

Three years’ to life imprisonment (defined as the natural life of the offender), with a presumed sentence of fifteen years subject to aggravating and mitigating factors.[68]

None provided.

Includes degree of injury to victim, part of victim’s body harmed, degree of offender’s intention or negligence, use and nature of weapon, or other factors the court deems relevant.[69]

Includes lack of intention to cause death or culpable negligence, subordinate role of offender as member of group or gang in commission of offense, element of self-defense, or other factors the court deems relevant.[70]

Murder

Death or life imprisonment.[71]  (A 2009 Supreme Court decision held that mandatory death sentences are unconstitutional.)[72]

Thirty years’ imprisonment to death,[73] with a presumed sentence of thirty-five years subject to aggravating and mitigating factors.[74]

A court may impose life imprisonment if it concludes the circumstances of case do not warrant a death sentence.[75]

Death imposed only in rare instances, such as when offense was premeditated; when victim was either a law enforcement officer or public servant killed while on duty, or a state’s witness; or when victim was killed in an act of human sacrifice.[76]

Degree of premeditation, use and nature of weapon, vulnerability of victim, gratuitous degradation of victim, or other factors the court deems relevant.[77]

Lack of premeditation, subordinate role of offender as member of group or gang in commission of offense, guilty plea, provocation by victim, remorsefulness, intoxication, or other factors the court deems relevant.[78]

Human Trafficking

Aggravated trafficking in children may be punishable by death.[79]

 

No range provided.  However, a court may impose life imprisonment in lieu of death if it concludes the circumstances of the case do not warrant a death sentence.[80]

The general factors for sentencing included in Sentencing Guidelines and, when applicable, the guidelines included in Sentencing Guidelines on imposing a death sentence.[81] 

Factors aggravating a death sentence listed in Sentencing Guidelines may be applicable.[82]

Factors mitigating a death sentence listed in Sentencing Guidelines may be applicable.[83]

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V.  Sentencing Guidelines Committee

Parallel to the launch of the Sentencing Guidelines, Chief Justice Odoki also formed a Sentencing Guidelines Committee.[84]  The Committee is chaired by the Principal Judge of the Supreme Court and comprises members representing

  • the Supreme Court;
  • the Court of Appeal;
  • the High Court, Criminal Division;
  • the Attorney General’s Office;
  • the Public Prosecutor’s Office;
  • the Office of the Inspector General of Police;
  • the Uganda Law Reform Commission;
  • the Justice Law and Order Sector;
  • the Office of the Commissioner General of Prisons;
  • the National Community Service Committee;
  • the Uganda Judicial Officer’s Association; and
  • the general public (three representatives).[85]

The Committee includes a research arm headed by a member of the Ugandan Law Reform Commission.[86]

The Committee has a number of mandates, which include making recommendations for the development of additional sentencing guidelines, principles, and sentence ranges for offenses not covered under the current Sentencing Guidelines; conducting a review of the current Sentencing Guidelines; reviewing and revising penalties; conducting public awareness campaigns; monitoring the implementation of the Sentencing Guidelines; and establishing a research, development, and oversight program on sentences and their effectiveness.[87]

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Hanibal Goitom
Foreign Law Specialist
April 2014


[1] Benjamin Odoki, A Guide to Criminal Procedure in Uganda 9 (2011); Brenda Mahoro & Lydia Matte, Uganda’s Legal System and Legal Sector (Mar. 2013), GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/ uganda1.htm#thejud

[2] Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 (as amended through 2006), § 132, available on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website, at http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=170004; see also Supreme Court, The Judiciary of the Republic of Uganda, http://www.judicature.go.ug/data/smenu/7// Supreme_Court.html (last visited Mar. 27, 2014).

[3] The Judiciary of the Republic of Uganda, supra note 2.

[4] Constitution of the Republic of Uganda § 132. 

[5] The Judiciary of the Republic of Uganda, supra note 2.

[6] Constitution of the Republic of Uganda § 133. 

[7] Id.

[8] Mahoro & Matte, supra note 1; Judicature Act of 1996 § 10, Laws of Uganda, Cap. 13 (rev. ed. 2002).

[9] Constitution of the Republic of Uganda § 137.

[10] Mahoro & Matte, supra note 1; Constitution of the Republic of Uganda § 139; see also The Judiciary of the Republic of Uganda, supra note 2.

[11] Magistrate Courts Act of 1971 § 3, Laws of Uganda, Cap. 16 (rev. ed. 2000).

[12] Children Act of 1997 § 14, Laws of Uganda, Cap. 59 (rev. ed. 2000).

[13] Executive Committees (Judicial Powers) Act of 1988 § 2, Laws of Uganda, Cap. 8 (rev. ed. 2000).

[14] The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions, 2013, CVI (26) Legal Notice Supplement to the Uganda Gazette (May 24, 2013) (hereinafter Sentencing Guidelines), available at http://www.judicature.go.ug/files/downloads/Sent encing%20Guidelines.pdf

[15] Constitution of the Republic of Uganda § 133. 

[16] JLOS is “a sector wide approach adopted by Government bringing together institutions with closely linked mandates of administering justice and maintaining law and order and human rights, into developing a common vision, policy framework, unified on objectives and plan over the medium term.”  Our History, JLOS, http://www. jlos.go.ug/index.php/2012-09-25-13-11-16/our-history (last visited Apr. 1, 2014).  It comprises various government ministries and other institutions, including the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Ministry of  Internal Affairs, the Judicial Service Commission, the Ugandan Law Reform Commission, and the Ugandan Law Society, among others.  Id.

[17] Sentencing Guidelines, JLOS, http://www.jlos.go.ug/index.php/2012-09-25-11-09-41/sentencing-guidelines (last visited Mar. 27, 2014); Edward Ssekika & Sulaiman Kakaire, Order, Certainty in New Sentencing Guide, Observer (June 19, 2013), http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25938% 3Aorder-certainty-in-new-sentencing-guide&catid=34%3Anews&Itemid=114

[18] Most of the country’s criminal laws provide only a maximum sentence for an offense.  When they provide both maximum and minimum allowable sentences, the range between the two is often extremely wide (see Part IV, below).

[19] Anthony Wesaka, New Guidelines Give Judges Less Freedom on Sentences, Daily Monitor (June 12, 2013), http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/New-guidelines-give-judges-less-freedom-on-sentences/-/688334/ 1879754/-/11qw7bhz/-/index.html; Moses Sserwanga, New Sentencing Guidelines a Litmus Test for Judicial Officers, African Confidential (July 31, 2013), http://africanconfidential.com/new-sentencing-guidelines-a-litmus-test-for-judicial-officers/; Judiciary Introduces New Sentencing Guidelines, NTV Uganda (June 10, 2013), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXlHN-hZySY

[20] Benjamine J. Odoki, Speech at the Launch of the Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) Practice Directions Legal Notice No. 8 of 2013, at 3 (June 10, 2013), http://www.jlos.go.ug/index.php/document-centre/document-centre/doc_download/280-speech-by-the-chief-justice-at-the-launch-of-the-sentencing-guidelines

[21] Id.; Ssekika & Kakaire, supra note 17.

[22] Sentencing Guidelines § 3.

[23] Id. § 5.

[24] Id.; Yorokamu Bamwine, Principles of Sentencing: A Global, Regional and National Perspective, Presentation at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Hotel, Kampala (Aug. 30, 2012), http://www.judicature.go.ug/files/ downloads/PRINCIPALS%20OF%20SENTENCINT%20A%20GLOBAL%20REGIONAL
%20%20NATIONAL%20PERSPECTIVE%20final.pdf

[25] David Brian, Uganda’s New Sentencing Guidelines: Introduction, Initial Assessment and Early Recommendations 2 & 7 (Jan. 2014) (unpublished manuscript), available at http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article= 1011&context=uculaw

[26] Odoki, supra note 20, at 5; Anne Mugisa, Legislature Told Reform Unconstitutional Laws, New Vision (Dec. 25, 2012), http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/638414-legislature-told-reform-unconstitutional-laws.html

[27] Odoki, supra note 20, at 5.

[28] Bamwine, supra note 24, at 12.

[29] Brian, supra note 25, at 10.

[30] Id.; Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa, JLOS Pioneering Reform of Sentencing in Uganda, JLOS (Apr. 3, 2013), http://jlos.go.ug/index.php/component/k2/item/268-jlos-pioneering-reform-of-sentencing.

[31] Sentencing Guidelines §§ 17–22, 26–48.

[32] Id.

[33] Sserwanga, supra note 19.

[34] Sentencing Guidelines § 6.

[35] Id. § 14.

[36] Id. § 6.

[37] Id. § 14.

[38] A victim impact statement is “a written or oral account of the personal harm suffered by the victim.”  Id. § 4.

[39] A community impact statement is “a written or oral account of the general harm suffered by members of a community as a result of the offence.”  Id.; see also Brian, supra note 25, at 6.

[40] Sentencing Guidelines § 14.

[41] Id.

[42] Id.

[43] Restorative justice “means repairing the harm caused to the victim by the commission of the offence to the victim, transforming the offender, reconciling the offender with the victim and community.”  Sentencing Guidelines § 4.

[44] Id. § 6.

[45] Id. § 57. 

[46] Id. § 60.

[47] Id. § 57. 

[48] Brian, supra note 25, at 7.

[49] Sentencing Guidelines § 10.

[50] Id. § 9.

[51] Id.

[52] Id. § 49.

[53] Id. § 50; Children Act of 1997 § 94, Laws of Uganda, Cap. 59 (rev. ed. 2000).

[54] Sentencing Guidelines §§ 51–52.

[55] Penal Code of 1950 § 261, Laws of Uganda, Cap. 120 (rev. ed. 2000), available on the WIPO website, at http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id =170005.  Note that the Penal Code provides for various forms of theft and related offenses, for which it prescribes varying penalties.  Id. §§ 253–284.  However, the offenses listed in this report are limited to those specifically addressed in the Sentencing Guidelines. 

[56] Sentencing Guidelines § 45.

[57] Id. § 45.

[58] Id. § 47.

[59] Id. § 48.

[60] Id. § 305.

[61] Id.

[62] Id. § 302.  Note that the Penal Code provides for various forms of offenses under the heading of “Burglary, Housebreaking and Similar Offences” with varying penalties.  Id. §§ 295–302.  However, only the offense of criminal trespass, the sole offense for which the Sentencing Guidelines provide a sentence range, is included in this report. 

[63] Sentencing Guidelines § 37.

[64] Id. § 38.

[65] Id. § 39.

[66] Id. § 40.

[67] Penal Code § 190.

[68] Sentencing Guidelines §§ 4 & 27.

[69] Id. § 28.

[70] Id. § 29.

[71] Penal Code § 189.

[72] Attorney General v. Susan Kigula & 417 Ors (Constitutional Appeal No. 3 of 2006) [2009] UGSC 6, available on the Uganda Legal Information Institute website, at http://www.ulii.org/ug/judgment/supreme-court/2009/6.  (“[Although t]he imposition of the death penalty does not constitute cruel, inhumane or degrading punishment . . .[,] [t]he various provisions of the laws of Uganda which prescribe a mandatory death sentence are . . . unconstitutional.”). 

[73] The Sentencing Guidelines reserve the imposition of a death sentence to what they call the “rarest of rare” cases, instances in which all other lesser sentences are “demonstrably inadequate.”  Sentencing Guidelines § 17.  These include cases in which the commission of the crime was premeditated; the victim was a law enforcement officer or other public officer on duty at the time of the commission of the crime; the victim was a state witness; the offender caused the death of the victim while committing or attempting to commit murder, rape, defilement, robbery, kidnapping with intent to commit murder, terrorism, or treason; the offense was committed as part of a conspiracy; the victim was killed for the purpose of removing his/her body part, or the victim died as the result of the removal of a body part; or the victim was killed for human sacrifice.  Id. § 18. 

[74] Sentencing Guidelines § 19.

[75] Id. § 24.

[76] Id. § 18.

[77] Id. § 20.

[78] Id. § 21.

[79] Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2009 § 5, CII (52) Acts Supplement to the Uganda Gazette (Oct. 23, 2009), available on the Way Forward Project website, at http://www.thewayforwardproject. org/file_uploads/U03%20Uganda%20Prevention%20of%20Trafficking%20in%20Persons%20Act.pdf; see also Attorney General v. Susan Kigula & 417 Ors (Constitutional Appeal No. 3 of 2006) [2009] UGSC 6.  Note that the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act applies to a number of different offenses.  Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act §§ 3–10.  However, only aggravated trafficking in children, for which there is a sentencing recommendation in the Sentencing Guidelines, is included in this report. 

[80] Sentencing Guidelines § 24.

[81] Id. §§ 14, 17–18.

[82] Id. § 20.

[83] Id. § 21.

[84] Andrew Khaukah, Sentencing Guidelines Committee, JLOS (May 24, 2013), http://www.jlos.go.ug/index.php /component/k2/item/287-sentencing-guidelines-committee; Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa, Justice, Law and Order Sector in the Process of Developing Sentencing Guidelines, JLOS (Nov. 9, 2011), http://www.jlos.go.ug/inde x.php/document-centre/news-room/archives/item/188-jlos-in-the-process-of-developing-sentencing-guidelines

[85] Khaukah, supra note 84.

[86] Id.

[87] Id; Odoki, supra note 20, at 5.

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Last Updated: 11/03/2014