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New guidelines set for lower courts


Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has launched new sentencing guidelines for lower courts in a move aimed at ensuring uniformity in judgment, and building public trust.

Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, who heads the sentencing guidelines committee, said the guidelines are going to affect non-capital offences such as theft, child neglect, arson and all offences triable in magistrates’ courts.

Currently however, since lower courts were left out when sentencing guidelines for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court were uniformised in 2013, magistrates have enjoyed wide discretion in sentencing convicts.

He said there are a lot of disparities because you find that one person commits rape and he gets ten years imprisonment yet another one commits the same crime and is given a lighter sentence, which he said had created many questions among the public.

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