KAMPALA – The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with support from UN Women has launched Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines.
The main objective of the Guidelines is to streamline the processes to be followed
by prosecutors in conducting plea bargain and to enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system for orderly, predictable, uniform, consistent and timely resolution of criminal matters.
They contain principles of plea bargaining, types of plea bargaining, the law applicable to the process, an outline of the plea bargaining process, contents of the plea bargain agreement, and its execution, monitoring and evaluation of the plea bargain procedure, as well as the roles of the parties involved in plea
bargaining, their rights, and support systems.
“The Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines are intended to train and build the capacity of all stakeholders in the criminal justice system and in particular – Prosecutors, Judicial Officers, Defence Lawyers, Police and Prisons Officers on
the objectives and procedures of plea bargaining which are human rights based, victim/survivor centred and gender sensitive,” said the DPP Jane Frances Abodo at the launch.
On behalf of the Judiciary, the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija embraced the Guidelines as a remedy for injustices that were being caused during the process, particularly unfair sentences.
Dr. Benson Oketch, the Chief Guest who represented the UN Women Country
Representative at the launch said, “The Guidelines are intended to elevate the
survivors’ voices by allowing them to participate in the plea bargain process.”
The DPP expressed her gratitude to UN Women, EU–UN Spotlight Initiative and the Embassy of Sweden for the financial support towards the development
of the Guidelines.