The Judiciary is set to hold special court sessions to deal with sex-related offences in the category of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBs), Principal Judge Flavian Zeija has said.
Dr Zeija said cases such as rape, and defilement have for the last 10 years been among the top four offences, hence the need to be given special attention.
The Principal Judge said this last Friday while opening a training session for participants to engage in court sessions in Kampala.
“Specifically, in the annual Crime and Traffic Safety Report 2021, sex-related offences constituted the fourth most committed offences in Uganda in 2021 with 14,570 defilement cases and 1,456 rapes cases reported in just a single calendar. In 2020, the total reported sex-related offences were 16,144 whereas in 2019, the number stood at 15,638,’’ he said.
This will be the fifth time the Judiciary is holding special court sessions to weed out sex-related cases with the first phase having been in 2018.
“Allow me to warmly thank everyone who has participated in the last four phases of SGBV special sessions. In the same way, I commend you-the participants, in phase five special session for accepting to be part of this journey,” he said.
The phase five special sex-related sessions will consist of 10 High Court sessions which will be conducted at Tororo, Bushenyi, Kitgum, Mbarara, Kiryandongo, Nakasongola, Kamwenge, Nebbi, Kamuli, and Lwengo.
Also four chief magistrates will be holding these special sessions in this phase. They include Amuria, Tororo, Pader, and Kayunga.
The administrative head of the High Court said the selected courts were picked based on donor priority districts as well as areas where sex-related cases are rampant.
He was, however, quick to say they had not received all the funds for the exercise and, they would begin with five high courts and two chief magistrate Courts in the first quarter .
To the participants, the Principal Judge emphasised having cause-lists of at least 50 cases, transport refund to be paid according to the prevailing rates, participating courts to adhere to given timelines, timely reports and financial accountabilities.
The DPP, Justice Jane Frances Abodo, said special court sessions have yielded great results. In phase one, 750 cases were registered of which, 641 cases were cleared. In phase two, 746 cases were registered with 270 being completed.
In phase three, 730 cases were registered, with 619 being disposed of in phase four, 771 cases were registered out of which 682 were cleared.