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at UN Women
Location Kampala, Uganda
Date Posted September 11, 2019
Category Social Services & Nonprofit
Currency UGX


Consultancy to Develop Plea Bargaining Guidelines for Prosecutors in Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children Cases in Uganda

Location : Kampala, UGANDA
Application Deadline : 24-Sep-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : National Consultant
Languages Required :English


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is established and mandated under Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions Act to institute and handle all criminal proceedings against any person or authority. In fulfilling its mandate under the constitution, the ODPP is guided by international, regional legal regimes to which Uganda is a signatory. To adequately prosecute cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC) cases the ODPP has established a Department of Gender Children and Sexual Offences.

UN Women through financial support from the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls in partnership with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is launching this call for applicants to develop Plea Bargaining Guidelines for Prosecutors with detailed charges and sentencing bargaining ranges for Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children cases.


Uganda has ratified international and regional instruments and conventions that provide for protection of women and children. These include: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1992; the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995); the Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW, 1993); the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women; Africa Agenda 2063; United Nations Security Council Resolution (UN SCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; UN SCR 1820 on Sexual Violence in Situations of Armed Conflict; the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Protocol (ICGLR, 2006); and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Uganda also has put in place national laws and policies on GBV and VAC including: The Constitution (1995); Domestic Violence Act 2010 (DVA) and its regulations (2011); Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010 and the Regulations (2011);Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009; the amended Penal Code Act Cap 120, National Policy on the Elimination of GBV (2016) and its Action Plan; the 2006 Persons with Disabilities Act, the Children’s (Amended) Act 2016.

Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children is highly prevalent and normalised. The prevalence of physical violence experienced by women in Uganda stands at 51%, far above the African average of 37.7%. This violence is perpetrated in both the public and private spheres. According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS 2016), 49% of women and 41% of men believe a man is justified in beating his wife in certain circumstances. The Uganda Violence Against Children Survey (2015) found that 35% of females and 17% of males between the ages of 18 to 24 have experienced sexual violence—with 59% of females and 68% of males reporting physical violence during childhood. These statistics are corroborated by the Annual Police Crime Report which shows that domestic violence, rape and defilement are consistently among the highest forms of crimes reported to the Police in Uganda at 20% in 2017 and 13% in 2018. However, the conviction rates for GBV and VAC cases remains too low to deter perpetrators from committing these crimes. For example, conviction rates for domestic violence was 28%, followed by defilement at 15% and rape was 2% in 2018 according to the Annual Police Crime Report.


In May 2014, the judiciary of the Government of Uganda introduced the plea-bargaining initiative to address the case backlog of criminal cases and extensive pre-trial detention of accused persons. At that time, over 38,000 inmates were occupying facilities with a capacity for 15,000, making Uganda’s prison system the most congested in East Africa states the World Prison Brief, Uganda Overview, Int’l Center for Prison Studies, country/uganda and Ephraim Kasozi, Ugandan Jails most crowded in East Africa, Daily Monitor (8 Aug 2013). Plea bargaining was introduced in 11 Circuits of the High Courts of Law across the country. Since then, the Judiciary has held numerous plea-bargaining sessions, disposing of more than 6,000 cases saving the Judiciary an estimated 1.7 billion UGX.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Programme Specialist Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and working in close coordination with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Consultant will be responsible for:

Reviewing literature related to plea bargaining globally and in particular but not limited to United States, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda to understand the lessons learned that are applicable to the Ugandan context.
Review the Report on Plea Bargaining in Cases of Violence Against Women and Girls in Uganda by UN Women and Center for Domestic Violence Prevention
Review relevant international, regional and national instruments and laws respectively on GBV and VAC.
Review legislation on victim participation in the plea-bargaining process such as the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crimes
Conduct consultations with representatives of the relevant institutions at national and sub national level but not limited to: Prosecutors; JLOS Secretariat; Uganda Prisons Service; Judiciary; Police, High Court Judges who have presided over plea bargained sessions in Uganda, UN agencies and CSOs.
Develop Prosecutor Guidelines for plea bargaining in accordance with national and international laws and policies that outline specific and detailed charges and sentence bargaining ranges and procedures. The guidelines should provide for:
Communication with victims/survivors of violence
Rights and protection for victims/ survivors
Guidelines for charge negotiations
Guidelines for sentence negotiations
Procedures for documenting decisions and accountability
Sensitivity to gender and power dynamics
Guidelines for balancing victims’/survivors interest, victims’ stated preferences, public interest and the goals of sentencing.


Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of the UN systemin actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct;
Ability to maintain confidentiality and a high degree of professionalism when dealing with survivors and sensitive information.
Cultural Sensitivity/Valuing diversity
Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff, and of those of Government of Uganda entities;
Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Experience Requirements

Minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in developing legal or policy documents and in operationalised research on justice systems.
Experience in developing mechanisms for monitoring compliance and ensuring accountability to set standards;
Experience in law enforcement or prosecution service would be an asset;
Experience working in social norm change, survivor centred case management of violence against women and VAC cases would be a distinct advantage;
Working experience in/on the justice system of a developing country, specifically in sub-Saharan/East Africa would be an asset;
Experience working with the Ugandan justice system would be an asset;
Experience in conducting consultations with diverse stakeholders to elicit actionable information would be an asset;
Ability to easily communicate with stakeholders from all social economic backgrounds.

Education Requirements

Master’s (or equivalent) or higher Degree in Criminal Justice, Law, Human Rights, Gender, International Relations or related field
Possession of a PHD in Criminal Justice, Law, Human Rights, Gender, International Relations or related field is an added advantage