Uganda: ASF supports legal actors in international criminal law

UgandaInternational justiceNews

28 July 2016, Kampala (Uganda) – ASF just published its Training Manual on International Criminal Law at a lawyers training. This manual will serve as information and training tool and resource for legal trainers in Uganda. Ultimately, the objective is to support legal actors in defending the rights of victims of international crimes, as well as those who perpetrated these crimes during armed conflicts. Since 2008, the security situation in Uganda has stabilized. A transitional justice process was launched to deal with the numerous crimes committed by the Resistance Lord’s Army and other groups. An International Criminal Division (ICD) of the High Court was established to try the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity. ASF continues to play a key role towards the development of the country’s transitional justice, the promotion of national accountability processes and the implementation of international criminal law at domestic level. In the framework of the Crossroads project, a three-day training was organised to support capacity building of legal actors. The training was intended to increase their understanding of international criminal law and their role as advocates in promoting victims’ rights before the ICD of the High Court. Through this training, ASF also aimed at expanding the pool of lawyers interested in international criminal justice issues following earlier ASF projects in Uganda. A training manual was presented during this training. “We developed this manual following needs assessment exercise among legal actors in Uganda. This helped us in identifying perceptions, knowledge gaps and challenges that impact on the implantation of international criminal law before the ICD”, explains Jane Patricia Bako, ASF International Justice Program Officer in Uganda. The manual’s objective is to enable legal actors to better understand how to implement international criminal law at the domestic level. The manual is divided into three Modules. Module 1 addresses contemporary international criminal law, with focus on the substantive law. Module 2 covers the procedural and evidentiary system before international courts which comprises of a mixture of adversarial and the civil law inquisitorial system. Finally, Module 3 deals with the domestic application of ICL; this section directly touches on the ICD. “This training manual will benefit the legal fraternity in Uganda to make some milestones towards the application of international criminal justice in the local courts”, says Jane Patricia Bako. The Training manual has been produced with the support of the MacArthur Foundation. >> Click here to download the ASF Training Manual on International Criminal Law
Picture: Memorial stone for the victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Barlonyo, Northern Uganda © François Van Lierde, 2014