Judicial Inroads in the Quest for Police Accountability and Reform: Olara Otunnu Vs Attorney General, Constitutional Petition


There is convergence of thought, world over, on the centrality of the police institution in the criminal justice system. Indeed, one cannot enter the criminal justice chain unless he or she is ushered into it by the police either as a suspect/perpetrator of crime, or a victim of criminal acts. Of concern to this paper, is the entry point of a suspect of a crime in the criminal justice system and the rights and freedoms of this suspect at such a time.

In Uganda, the tag of a suspect of a crime has been controversial characterized by breach of various civil liberties of the suspect. This has rekindled immense public interest due to partly the increasing wave of crime in the country and secondly the use of the law and order institutions such the police to curtail opposition politicians’ political activities. Firstly, the community has been indoctrinated to believe that a suspect of a crime is as good as a criminal regardless of the requirements of the law which emphasizes the presumption of innocence until proven guilty or voluntary acceptance of guilt by the suspect.