• Local Councils as Courts of First Instance for Children in Conflict with the Law: Uganda (+)

    The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for the creation of Local Councils as part of the decentralisation of power. Local Councils are the lowest units with administrative, legislative, and judicial powers on behalf of central governments. Local Council Courts have the authority to handle petty offences to the criminal code. The Children’s Act also gives the local councils the responsibility to safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of children. However, a situation analysis conducted in 2000 by DCI and partners revealed that Local Council courts were not handling petty offences as stipulated by law, as Local Council committees tended to prioritise cases other than those involving children in conflict with the law. As a result there had been a high influx of children’s cases of petty crime into the formal legal system.

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