Category Archives: Uganda

Framing Corruption: Do our frames limit our effectiveness?

Diana Chigas, JD, argues that the way we are framing the problem of corruption in fragile states is limiting our vision and leading us to ignore the key drivers to corruption. In particular, Diana discusses what she observed during her research in northern Uganda regarding reactions to the ‘moral frame’ through which corruption is commonly addressed. Continue reading

When Cows Facilitate Court, the Culture of Gifting and Corruption in Modern Courts

– In this post, Juliet Harty Hatanga, who has ten years of experience working with the Courts of Judicature of Uganda, discusses two cases in which the social norms of corruption and the culture of gifting challenged her ethics and training as a judicial officer. She argues that, despite the challenging cultural environment, it is well within the power of judges to make sure that justice is done – and seen to be done – at all times. –

In December 2006, I joined the Uganda public service as a judicial officer and was posted to work in Lira as a magistrate. At the time, most of the government infrastructure responsible for upholding the rule of law had totally broken down. I recall that most of the internally displaced people camps were beyond full capacity. The majority of people preferred to stay in the camps where they were assured of some form of protection from the Uganda Police, in spite of a government disbarment in the peace recovery and development plan program. Continue reading

What Dynamics Drive Police and Judicial Officers to Engage in Corruption

-Use the systems maps below to follow the police and judicial officers’ experience of corruption in the precincts and courts of Northern Uganda.  These maps, based on research conducted in Gulu and Lira in early 2016, explain what drives their behavior, what enables it, and the relationships between these factors.-

In survey after survey, police in Uganda are consistently ranked the most corrupt state institution, with the judiciary following in the top three.  Crime such as theft, burglary and robbery are experienced by a large swath of citizens, particularly those in vulnerable groups and rural communities; while corruption has proven to be highly resilient.  According to the 2013 Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer for Uganda 55% of respondents felt that the level of corruption had increased a lot over the past 2 years. Continue reading

What Dynamics Drive Citizens to Engage in or Accede to Corruption

-Uganda has almost every institution, law, procedure, and body that one expects to find in a robust criminal justice system, as well as an impressive array of anti-corruption laws, institutions, and initiatives.  Despite this strong framework, corruption in criminal justice proves to be robust and resilient in Northern Uganda, with bribery at its heart.  This week we look at one set of dynamics that feed this vicious cycle;  the people’s perspective.- Continue reading

Three Lessons about Corruption in the Police and Courts in Northern Uganda

– This week, Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church presents three non-intuitive insights about corruption in Northern Uganda: (1) Citizens perceive that all justice must be bought. (2) Corruption serves many important functions. (3) Corruption in the police and courts does not diminish legitimacy of these institutions. These are some of the key lessons from her new paper Facilitation in the Criminal Justice System in Northern Uganda, co-authored with Diana Chigas. Continue reading to see how those perceived realities may affect the effectiveness, or relevance, of certain anti-corruption initiatives. – Continue reading