The judiciary has dismissed reports that its head, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, and President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni have reached a deal on the removal of bail for suspected capital offenders.
In recent months, President Museveni has intensified his push for the denial of bail for suspected capital offenders such as murderers.
Reports have recently emerged that the president and the CJ had agreed on the move to ban bail.
But in a statement, the judiciary has dismissed these reports.
Here’s the full statement from Judiciary spokesperson Jamson Karemani on reports of the deal between Museveni and Owiny-Dollo:
The Chief Justice has not removed bail provisions | By Jamson Karemani
The Judiciary has noted with concern the misleading social media reports alleging that an agreement has been reached between President Yoweri Museveni and the Chief Justice to remove applications for bail.
We would like to inform and reassure members of the public that no such position has been reached at all. The information circulating on social media should therefore be disregarded because it is false.
Whereas it is true that the Judiciary has been in the process of developing bail guidelines for all Courts, the process commenced tong before the current public debate on bail started. It is important to note that the process is still ongoing with the next phase being consultation with various stakeholders in the justice system.
Article 133 (1) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, empowers the Chief Justice, as head of the Judiciary, to issue orders and directions to the Courts necessary for the proper and efficient administration of justice.
The misleading social media posts claim that the proposed guidelines are meant to remove applications for bail, which is not the case.
The objectives of the bail guidelines are:
To complement the existing legal provisions on bail.
To promote uniformity and consistency by Courts when considering bail applications.
To streamline and address the disparities in handling of bail decisions with a view of enabling fair administration of bail measures.
To ensure that bail decision making complies with the requirements of the Constitution.
To promote the balancing of rights of accused persons with the public interest and the rights of victims.
To facilitate effective inter-agency cooperation and coordination in bail.
To enhance conformity with the internationally agreed minimum standards for arrested persons held in detention.
To address the abuse of pre-trial detentions.
To facilitate effective supervision of accused persons granted bail.
To promote transparency and efficiency in management of bail deposits and refunds.
The removal of applications for bail is clearly not one of the objectives of the upcoming guidelines.