Essay on criminal procedure

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“Uganda’s criminal laws give judicial officials discretion to decide on the cases they wish to handle and empower them to make phone calls to accused persons to appear before their courts.” With the aid of authorities discuss the veracity of the above statement.
With reference to the Black’s Law Dictionary a judicial officer is a person who holds an office of trust, authority or command. Judicial officers such as judges and magistrates have discretion to decide on cases they wish to handle however they are limited to Jurisdiction. There are three types of jurisdictions and they are; Territorial jurisdiction, Local jurisdiction and power to try cases.
Firstly, in accordance to territorial jurisdiction, section 4(1) of the penal code
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Only the High court has powers to try the offence of terrorism under the Anti terrorism Act.
The original jurisdiction of a chief magistrate’s court is governed by section 161 (1) (a) MCA. A chief magistrate may try any offence other than an offence in respect of which the maximum penalty is death. Example of these are murders, treason, rape, aggravated robbery, etc. However, a chief magistrate may pass any sentence authorized by law under section 162(1) (a) MCA. This means that he can pass a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life and can impose a fine of any amount.
A magistrate grade 1 may try any offence other than an offence in respect of which the maximum penalty is death or imprisonment for life. Under 162 (1) (b) MCA, as amended provides that a magistrate grade 1 may pass a sentence of imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or a fine not exceeding four million, eight hundred thousand shillings or both. In Uganda vs Nicholas Okello (1984) HCB 22, The charge in this case was for attempted defilement contrary to section 123(3) PCA cap 106 of which the maximum sentence was 18 years imprisonment. The magistrate 1 tried this offence and sentenced the accused to 18 years imprisonment. He appealed
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