Pepperdine University School of Law will host six members of the Ugandan judiciary from May 21 through 29 for a series of discussions on plea bargaining. The group includes James Ogoola, the chief judge of Uganda’s High Court, in addition to three criminal court judges, the registrar of the criminal court, and the registrar of the war crimes court.
Throughout the week, the judges will meet with district attorneys, public defenders, judges, law professors, and law enforcement officers in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Uganda currently does not utilize plea bargaining, but is planning to introduce it into its criminal justice system in an effort to help alleviate Uganda’s case backlog and prison overcrowding. The discussions will focus on best practices in plea bargaining in the state and federal system.
In April, the Ugandan government allocated funds to allow members of their judiciary to come to the United States on a study tour hosted by Pepperdine’s School of Law. Jim Gash, associate professor of law and associate dean of student life, coordinated the study tour.
“We are honored to host such a distinguished group of jurists as they seek to provide the highest level of justice possible to the citizens of Uganda,” says Gash. “We are eager to learn from them, even as we seek to provide them with an inside view of plea bargaining in the United States.”