Demystifying the Order from Above
Lubogo, Isaac Christopher
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The law of criminal procedure lays down the machinery by which suspects are brought to court, tried and if found guilty, punished. Criminal procedure can also be defined as the means by which criminal law is enforced and involves the balancing of the liberty of the citizen against the interests of the community as a whole. The scope of criminal procedure extends over a wide perimeter from prevention and investigation of crime to prosecution and punishment of the offender.1 As far as human rights are concerned, every Ugandan citizen has a right to liberty. This presupposes that the freedom enjoyed by the citizens can only be limited according to the provisions of the law and anything done without heeding the same is said to be arbitrary. The Uganda Police Force is mandated under Section 4 of the Police Act to; protect the life, property and other rights of the individual, maintain security within Uganda, enforce the law, ensure public safety and order and detect and prevent crime in the society. In order to fulfill this mandate the Police is legally empowered to conduct arrests, searches and institute criminal proceedings. However, the in manner in which the Police has conducted numerous arrests over time, has left many Ugandans sceptical as to whether the Police is indeed a custodian of law and order. Many have witnessed brutal arrests of politicians, on television and in newspapers over time and even more recently when Police was dispersing people from political consultative sessions of presidential opposition candidates like Amama Mbabazi and Kiiza Besigye. The question that continues to linger is how should these arrests be conducted under the law? This book analyses the aspect of arrests by the government. It discusses the procedure of an arrest as enshrined in the laws of Uganda, the rights of an accused person, a suspect and even a convict. The book in principle analyses the time before an arrest is carried out; the time and manner of the arrest; and the events that follow the arrest. The book discusses the Miranda rule that guarantees that persons detained by police will not be interrogated in a way that places them at a disadvantage. The book also explores the aspect of searches on people’s property; how and when these searches should be conducted in accordance with the law.
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