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Consultancy to Develop a Costed Strategy for Institutionalized Specialist Justice System and Structure for Management cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls.
|Advertised on behalf of :|
|Location :||Kampala, UGANDA|
|Application Deadline :||29-Jun-21 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Additional Category :||Gender Equality|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||National Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||2 Months|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||2 Months|
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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.
Article 126 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for the mandate of the Judiciary which is: judicial power is derived from the people and shall be exercised by the Courts established under this Constitution in the name of the people and in conformity with the law and with the values, norms, and aspirations of the people. The Judiciary is independent in the exercise of its functions, and this has been strengthened with the enactment of the Administration of the Judiciary Act, 2020 which seeks to give effect to the constitutional provisions. The Judiciary has implemented several interventions seeking to enhance access to justice for survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) including:
In April 2013, the Judiciary issued Sentencing Guidelines to provide discretionary sentencing ranges for judges to use in determining appropriate sentences for selected capital and non-capital offences (The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions, 2013. The Sentencing Committee, chaired by the Principal Judge and with the Technical Advisor to the Judiciary serving as secretary, are also developing guidelines for additional lesser offences, the new guidelines have not yet been issued) and to provide a “mechanism for considering the interests of victims of crime and the community and to promote consistency and transparency in sentencing. (Uganda Judiciary: Recommended Sector Priorities to Improve Women’s Access to Justice and Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls, UN Women and CEDOVIP, 2018). Limited relationship between the established Judicial Sentencing Guidelines and plea negotiations (charges and sentencing) has resulted into negotiations becoming discretionary and including inherent biases and attitudes (including discriminatory attitudes) held by judicial officers and state attorneys. This has led to overly lenient plea agreements being unfair to victims and failure to consider the gravity of the offence and the importance of passing deterrent sentences (Report on Situational Analysis of National, Global and Regional Practices regarding implementation of victim – centered, gender sensitive and human rights-based plea bargaining, UN Women, Emmanuel Kasimbazi and Dora Kanabahita, 2021)
CONTEXT AND RATIONALE
GBV remains rampant throughout Uganda, not only violating the human rights of victims, but also severely undermining the nation’s economic and social development. Domestic violence, rape, and defilement are consistently some of the highest crimes reported to the police in Uganda. High numbers of SGBV cases are reported to the justice system, but there is a low level of case disposal which has led to a significant case backlog. For example, of the 1,335 cases of rape reported to the UPF in 2017, less than 30% were brought to court and 1.5% of those brought to court resulted in a conviction. Of the 14,985 defilement cases reported to the UPF in 2017, less than 31% were taken to court and 13% of those taken to court resulted in a conviction. Of the 15,325 cases of domestic violence reported to the Police in 2018, only 17% were brought to court, only 24% of which resulted in convictions. A slight improvement was seen in the conviction rates for GBV cases in 2019: domestic violence was 28%, followed by defilement at 15% and rape was 2%.
Lengthy procedures and systemic gaps in the justice system and weak legal enforcement further discourage women from seeking help and reporting these crimes. The challenges to case disposal include slow processes, capacity (logistical and technical) challenges, negative attitude and social factors, and the vulnerability of survivors of violence. It is important to note that while delays impact on justice in all cases, this is particularly true in GBV cases, where victims experience significant shame and societal pressure to hide the abuse and pressure from family, community, and the public justice system itself—through violence, threats, intimidation, victim-shaming and negative cultural norms—to withdraw from the system and ‘forgive’ the perpetrator; the issue of “consensual defilement” cases congesting the system pointing towards a need for legislative reform at some point (persons below 18 cannot have consensual intercourse in Uganda without committing a capital offense); weak quality of investigation (transport, equipment), gaps in the collection of evidence; Police using mediation in criminal cases (which is against the law) and; social and cultural norms leading parents to press charges as a means to extort money from the alleged perpetrator. Other than poverty (92%), the main reasons women and girls do not report incidents of violence are lengthy formal justice procedures (87%) and weak enforcement of the laws (79%). Before the onset of GBV sessions the average time taken to dispose of a GBV case was more than 1 month and average time spent by offenders on remand would be 2 years. Swifter justice improves safety, enhance victim participation, and reduces the pressure to withdraw the cases.
Victims of GBV are globally recognized as particularly vulnerable and face grave challenges when coming into contact with the justice system. They can be reluctant participants in the court process because of the deeply personal and intimate character of the offences, the nature of relationship to the defendant and the high levels of trauma suffered. These factors also impact on the evidence given, and thus the outcomes of cases. Insensitive treatment by officials and fear of the perpetrator also affects reporting and participation rates.
Special courts and procedures are a commonly used tool globally to address these issues, provide efficient and sensitive adjudication of GBV cases and enhance justice for women and girls. Moreover, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Kampala Declaration of 2011 mandates partner governments to establish special courts and procedures for dealing with SGBV and the Kigali International Conference Declaration Mandates States to establish one stop SGBV centres as part of the specialist and victim-friendly service delivery approach.
The overall purpose of this assignment is to develop a costed strategy for institutionalisation of GBV courts in Uganda detailing the various costed options and advising on the modality most suitable for Uganda in view of the prevailing context. The strategy should also include the business case for a specialized justice system from entry to exit, that is, the Police to Prisons, for handling GBV cases against women and girls.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Programme Specialist- Access to Justice at UN Women, with technical support from the Permanent Secretary (PS) Judiciary and Chief Registrar, the consultant will:
Key Deliverables/Time Frame/Payment percentage
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s (or equivalent) or higher Degree in Criminal Justice, Law, Human Rights, Gender, International Relations, or related field
Interested qualified individual consultants should submit their online applications not later than 29 June 2021.
Candidates should submit one PDF File attachment containing: