Kiryandongo new court session targets Sexual and Gender-Based Violence cases

Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, chairing a meeting with officials from the United Nations Population Fund (Courtesy photo).

Kiryandongo is among the districts where 700 Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases are set to be disposed of in the third phase of special sessions.

This was revealed during a meeting chaired by the Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija this with officials from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Secretariat.

During the discussion on the implementation of the 2020 work plan, it was shared that the agency had approved Phase III SGBV Sessions.

The High Court Ag. Registrar, Ms Mary Ikit, said that the sessions will be conducted in the High Courts of Kiryandongo, Mubende, Arua, Kapchorwa, Luweero, Moroto, Gulu, Iganga, Bundibugyo and Jinja.

Similarly, the Chief Magistrates courts of Apac, Nakapiripirit, Tororo and Busia will hold dedicated SGBV Court sessions.

Mr Ikit said that to foster proper preparations and coordination, the Deputy Registrars and Chief Magistrates of the participating courts have been urged to generate cause lists of 50 cases each and share with key JLOS institutions such as Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution and Uganda Prison Services.

Additionally, the meeting discussed the possibility of piloting at least six e-justice court sessions on Gender-Based Violence. This, it was noted, would be used as a basis to scale up to other High Court circuits in future.

The UNFPA Country Representative, Mr Alain Sibenaler, briefed the Principal Judge on “Delivering an Integrated Package of Rights in Karamoja & Northern Uganda”, a two-year programme funded by the Austrian Development Agency.

 The UNFPA Country Representative said that he was impressed with the Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs for the interventions undertaken to enhance access to justice for women and girls especially in SGBV cases.

The meeting which was attended by senior officials from the JLSO Secretariat, cited such challenges as lack of full absorption of budgets and late commencement of implementation of programme activities which was occasioned by delayed work planning.

The meeting agreed on different strategies to address the challenges.

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