Birmingham academic facilitates Judiciary workshop on Contextual Sentencing in Uganda

Birmingham Law lecturer Dr Maureen Mapp facilitated a one-day workshop on Contextual Sentencing and Community Impact Statements at the Judicial Training Institute, Kampala, Uganda.

Members of the Sentencing Guidelines Committee, Judges and staff of the Judicial Training Institute. Photo courtesy of Judicial Training Institute Kampala 4th Aug 2017

Members of the Sentencing Guidelines Committee, Judges and staff of the Judicial Training Institute. Photo courtesy of Judicial Training Institute Kampala 4th Aug 2017

Dr Maureen Mapp designed and led a one day knowledge exchange event on ‘Mainstreaming community participation in sentencing through the use of Community Impact Statements’ with the Judicial Training Institute. The event was chaired by the Principal Judge of Uganda, Hon. Dr. Justice Yorokamu Bamwine who is also the Chair of the Uganda Sentencing Guidelines Committee. The Committee is responsible for the development of sentencing policy and guidance. Participants included members of Sentencing Guidelines Committee, Judges, The Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Research staff of the Judicial Training Institute.

The workshop took place at the Judicial Training Institute in Kampala within the context of the Sentencing Guidelines Committee terms of reference – namely development of policy and guidance on sentencing. The event was funded by the University of Birmingham Law School and the Judicial Training Institute. The objective was to evaluate the use of the Community Impact Statements pre- trial, during the trial and at the end of the trial – at the sentencing stage; and to critically evaluate the implications of integrating non-state normative orders into sentencing practices (contextual sentencing) and the possible effect on judicial discretion.

More information is available online

Maureen’s discussion of contextual sentencing and presentation of a working methodology for mainstreaming participatory approaches through the use of Community Impact Statements was thoroughly discussed at the workshop. A Working Group has been formed to develop guidance on principled approaches to community participation in sentencing drawing on the presentation.

Maureen has previously assisted the Ugandan Task Force on the Development of Sentencing Guidelines for Judicial Officers under the auspices of the Uganda Law Reform Commission. She also contributed to the drafting of the Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions Legal Notice 8 of 2013 which includes the Community Impact Statement (Schedule 1, Form B).

Contextual sentencing is one of the areas in which Maureen conducts her research. She is interested in the interface between law and non-state normative orders at the site of juridical processes, and she continues to teach and research in this area.