By Mckenzie Knaub
This semester, our team worked on a project examining bail in Uganda’s domestic violence cases. We compared arguments for and against the admission of bail for these kinds of cases.
As of July 2023, prisons in Uganda are at a 367.4% occupancy rate. As of December 2022, 52.8% of those people are on remand, and only 47.1% have been convicted. The amount of non-convicted people in the Ugandan prisons is a big issue, especially regarding human rights. While the Ugandan Constitution supports the admission of bail and lays out guidelines for it, those guidelines are frequently ignored. While the occupancy and conviction rate statistics support allowing bail in domestic violence cases, the violence the perpetrator’s victims may face opposes allowing bail in those cases. One discovery our team made during our research was that there is almost no research on how the admission of bail affects the outcome of domestic violence cases.
Alternative measures to allow for the admission of bail are also available. For example, electronic monitoring mechanisms and global positioning systems can be used to ensure the accused will attend his hearing after posting bail. Local council courts also have the power to make various orders regarding domestic violence.
(Pictured on the left: Photo of Kampala, Uganda by Jonathan Ward on Unsplash).
Another area that we explored through research was the societal and cultural harm that results from domestic violence. A Ugandan woman being abused rarely receives the support of her family, and, more often than not, is told it is her duty to endure the abuse and make the marriage work, which nurtures the ongoing domestic violence problem in Uganda. After completing our research and writing, our team recommended a future project that would compare Ugandan domestic violence law to the law in other countries, particularly the Sub-Saharan African countries that surround Uganda.
The Center for Global Justice provides countless opportunities to students. One team member, Samantha Zenker, said, “[w]orking with the Center for Global Justice allows me to work on real situations and provide solutions. If I could sum up what the Center means, that word would be hope. The Center allows me to work and help in real situations, learning about how our work makes a difference, whether that is immediate or years down the road.” This research project is just one way the Center for Global Justice allows its students to make a difference.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice law clerk. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.