Fine tuning Uganda's sentencing guideline framework : lessons from sentencing guideline systems in selected common law jurisdictions

  • Juliet Kamuzze

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study explores the different approaches that could be adopted in designing meaningful sentencing guidelines for Uganda. The study argues that the primary function of sentencing guidelines is to enable a public articulation of meaningful consistency. The study also argues that sentencing guidelines modelled on a limiting retributivism model offer the most appropriate liberal approach to achieving meaningful consistency in sentencing. The primary aim of the study is to offer an integrated set of proposals for the improvement of Uganda's sentencing guidelines and statutory sentencing framework. This is accomplished by means of a literature review and empirical analysis of guideline systems in selected common law jurisdictions as well as an analysis of Uganda's first set of voluntary sentencing guidelines. The insights drawn from the literature review and experiences in other jurisdictions assist in identifying theoretical and normative weaknesses in Uganda's sentencing guidelines and in finding an integrated set of proposals for their improvement. The study specifically focuses on how some structural features of a sentencing guideline can be designed to articulate meaningful consistency in sentencing including: the guidelines' binding nature, scaling offence seriousness, sentencing ranges, aggravating and mitigating factors, departures, the role of previous convictions and discounts for multiple offence sentencing. The recommendations made in the study are particularly intended for a Ugandan context, although the set of proposals can also find application in any jurisdiction seeking to develop sentencing guidelines. The study offers an immediate practical guide to policy makers in Uganda and will be of great and particular interest to the judicial system in Uganda.
Date of Award23 Mar 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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