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Special Court for gender-based violence cases commence this November

The Gender Based Violence (GBV) Special Court sessions kicked off on Friday 2nd November with a capacity strengthening training of key duty bearers at the Law Development Center in Kampala. The training aimed at strengthening skills of key duty bearers in handling GBV cases with a human rights perspective. The key duty bearers trained include the Judges and selected Chief Magistrates who will be hearing the cases, Police Officers, Prisons staff, as well as staff from the Directorate of Government Analytical Laboratory (DGAL).

At the opening of the training, the Principal Judge Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine who was the chief guest said that, “this round of special court sessions is a precursor to the establishment of GBV Special Courts in Uganda.”

Over 1,000 cases will be handled during 13 Special Court Sessions that will take place in 13 districts across Uganda, through the month of November until December 15th

The selected courts include, the High Court Criminal Division in Kampala, the High Court Circuits of Mukono, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Gulu, Masaka and Bushenyi; as well as Chief Magistrate Courts of Nabweru, Iganga, Lira, Sironko and Kapchworwa. Each Court will handle between 50 and 100 cases.

Special Courts on GBV facilitate quicker access to justice for GBV survivors in the context of a human rights based approach. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund is supporting the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) in Uganda to implement Special Court sessions as a means of clearing the backlog of gender-based violence (GBV) cases before the end of 2018. 

- By Prossy Jonker Nakanjako