Dr. NAKIBUULE GLADYS KISEKKA, the Second Female Recipient of a Doctor of Laws, of Makerere University

Dr. Nakibuule Gladys Kisekka was awarded a Doctor of Laws (LL.D) of Makerere University, during the Makerere University 74th Graduation Ceremony, held on 29th January, 2024. Dr. Nakibuule became the second female to be awarded a Doctor of Laws (LL.D) of Makerere University. Her doctoral thesis was titled:’ An Accused’s Self-Incrimination to End Trial? Plea Bargaining and The Right to a Fair Hearing in Uganda’. The case study illustrated the tension between plea bargaining as a judicial innovation aimed primarily at reducing court caseloads and the accused’s constitutional right to a speedy trial alongside other cardinal fair trial guarantees. See attachment for details on her research.

Dr. Nakibuule (L) receiving he LL.D award during the the Mak 74th Graduation Ceremony, being conferred upon her by the AG. Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R), also Vice Chancellor, Makerere University

Dr. Nakibuule’s Academic Background

Dr. Nakibuule also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Legal Studies, Atlantic International University, 2016. Her Doctoral Thesis was entitled: The Impact of Plea Bargaining on the Criminal Justice Delivery: A Case Study of the Uganda High Court Criminal Trials. In that research she underscored how it is paradoxical to justify plea bargaining meaningfully in a developing criminal justice system as an administrative or judicial paradigm. Analysing   the plea bargaining piloted cases from 2014 to 2015 at the High Court Circuit of Nakawa then, the study found the new procedure’s value addition to Uganda’s criminal justice efficiency wanting. It called for de-legislation of the laborious criminal justice processes, such as the committal proceedings, among other processes that delay criminal trials. However, the continuous plea bargaining implementation gaps, some revealed by that study, necessitated further research and informed, among other reasons, her further research in the area culminating in the Doctorate of Laws captioned earlier.

She was awarded a Honorary Doctor Honoris Causa, in April 2018, by the Common wealth University, Belize. She attended Makerere University, School of Law for her Bachelor of Laws programme from 1986 to 1989 and graduated with an Honour’s Degree in Law awarded on March 23, 1990. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center on June 07, 1991. She holds a Masters of Laws (LLM) in International Criminal Law, Leiden University Netherlands, 2000.

Dr. Nakibuule being conferred upon a Doctor of Laws by the Ag. Chancellor, Makerere University

Dr.  Nakibuule has also academically progressed in other disciplines, including: a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA), ESAMI, 2012; a Masters Certificate in E-Learning & Digital Marketing with distinction, London Graduate School, 2018; a Post-graduate diplomas in International Law & Organization for Development from the Institute of Social Studies, Graduate School of Developmental Studies, Hague 1999; and in Law & Justice from Copenhagen Business School, 1996; She attained Mediation Skills training from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine School of Law, Malibu California in July 2010. She also holds a certificate in an e-learning series on Information and Communication Technology in Education from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Bangkok, March 20, 2018, alongside several other global certificates in judicial capacity enhancement courses.

Dr. Nakibuule (R) being congratulated by Prof. Damalie Naggita, her supervisor for the Doctoral Thesis

Her Professional background

She has been an Advocate on the Roll since March 03, 1992.  As a young attorney, she interned at Ssegendo & Co. Advocates in 1990, and also served, briefly, as a State Attorney in 1990 -1991 under the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda.

Dr. Gladys Nakibuule jubilating after LL.D award

Research Competencies

Dr. Nakibuule is currently establishing her academic path by conducting ongoing studies that impact knowledge through publications and lectures, as well as working on numerous women’s projects. She has diverse professional research, and social competencies. In 2000, she researched on Child Combatants, examining their predicament as to whether they are Villains or Victims; and How to draw the divide. This study contributed to the discourse of the rights of the child in armed conflict under the international criminal law. In 2012, she carried out a juvenile delinquency management research study premised on making street children entrepreneurs. In 2015 she conducted a national study on rationalising magisterial areas and High Courts Circuits in Uganda, which informed the gazetting of the respective jurisdictional areas in Uganda in 2016. While at JTI between 2016 and 2018, and 2020 to date, she has created linkages with several global and local institutions, and other JLOS partners, through training, research and law reporting. She is also a member of diverse professional bodies. These include; the Uganda Judicial Officer’s Association (twice as Vice President), National Association of Women Judges in Uganda, Federation of Women Lawyers, Uganda (FIDA- Uganda). She was the Vice President Makerere University Ph.D. Students’ Fellowship in 2015- 2016. 

Dr. Nakibuule (R), being congratulated by Dr. Busingye Kabumba (L), Director, Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law, Makerere University

Dr Nakibuule is an upcoming author. In 2017, she published with Author House, (USA) her Doctoral Thesis on the Impact of Plea Bargaining on Uganda’s Criminal Justice Delivery.  In August 2020, she published with Cogent Social Sciences, Journal an article entitled: ‘Plea bargaining as a human rights question’ as part of her research for her ongoing Doctoral in Law program, Makerere, University, Kampala, Uganda.

Dr. Nakibuule (C) with mentors, family and friends, after the Doctoral award.

Her Aspirations

Dr. Nakibuule aspires to promote judicial economy to enhance economic transformation through access to justice for all. Mainly, she hopes to achieve her above objective through advocacy for reduction of the court case- time and case- cost by using ‘fast tracking’ trial management tools such as: ‘plea- bargains’; ‘mediation’; ‘pre-trial bundle filing’; tracking ‘e-filing’ where possible using Electronic Court Case Management Information System(ECCMIS); ‘operationalizing court recording facilities’; ‘bring- up weeding system’; ‘timely- decisions’, proper financial accounting, and reengineering a criminal justice gender-sensitive approach that broadens the women’s space in development.


She is a board member of several NGOs dealing with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.In 2016, and founded ‘Arise Nurtures’, a project for single mothers’ economic’ sustenance in Manyago, Entebbe Uganda.  

Dr. Nakibuule being congratulated by her sons, after the Doctoral award