Mobile court scheme aims to bring justice for refugees in Uganda

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Congolese refugees arrive in Uganda. (© UNHCR/G.Katende)

A mobile court scheme has started to bring justice for refugees who have been victims of crime in Uganda, says the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

The agency launched the project with the Ugandan government on Monday at the Nakivale settlement in the south-western part of the country.

UNHCR says the mobile court's first session was overseen by a Chief Magistrate who heard a number of cases, including robbery, land disputes, attempted murder as well as sexual and gender based violence.

According to UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards thousands of people are expected to benefit from the mobile court scheme.

"It aims to benefit some 68,000 refugees and 35,000 Ugandan nationals by providing them with quicker access to justice and legal assistance. This 'mobile' court model is the first of its kind in Uganda. Our hope is that the mobile courts will speed the rate at which cases are heard, and serve to deter crime by bringing lawyers and a magistrate directly to both refugees and Ugandans in the settlement." (26")

UHNCR says the courts will hold three sessions a year, each lasting between 15 and 30 days and hearing up to 30 cases per session.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'16"

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