Uganda Public Rescue Foundation kampala, Uganda
Justification of the Project. Efforts by the majority of Ugandans to realize safety and security of the person and property through the justice system are comprised by poverty which characterizes the lives of the majority of the people of Uganda. This is because legal aid services offered by the private bar are expensive, hence unaffordable by the majority of Ugandan. Righting for human rights and Access to justice is even more problematic for those marginalized on the basis of having been accused of committing criminal offences and some of them are denied their rights as guaranteed by the constitution of the Republic of Uganda. Support offered by the Government is limited in focus and its administration is problematic. For instance, Government offers legal aid to the poor through the state brief scheme. Under this scheme a Registrar or a Chief Magistrate assigns a case to a lawyer of the private bar. The lawyer then offers legal services to the defendant. However, lack of resources by government, absence of advocates in some magistrate areas, and lack of a strong tradition of pro-bono volunteer advocacy in the legal profession compromises the quality of legal services offered to poor people through this scheme. More specifically, in some cases involving certified defendants, lawyers may fail to turn up as they lack the commitment and motivations to offer effective legal services. This forces the courts to adjourn the cases. As a result, defendants remain on remand for long periods of time. This contributes substantially to the backlog in the High court and Chief Magistrate’s courts and leads to congestion in prisons. In addition to the above, a baseline Survey of Prisons conducted by the Uganda Public Rescue Foundation has revealed that the congestion in prison is exacerbated by the presence in prison of poor defendants facing less serious charges, but are unable either to apply for bail, cause their cases to be fixed for hearing or whose cases have lost position due to missing files, thus facing long periods on remand in violation of Human rights principles. Other factors leading to congestion in prisons that were highlighted in the survey report include the presence in custody of convicted prisoners who wish to appeal and are unable to do so due to ignorance of their rights, lack of communication and poverty. These factors constrain the capacity of the defendants to engage and/ or pay legal services. They justify the intervention of UPRF to mitigate human rights violation especially in the area of criminal law. They further justify the continued existence of the Uganda Public Rescue Foundation as a project.
|Name||Uganda Public Rescue Foundation|
|Member Since||June 2016|