Practice Relating to Rule 158. Prosecution of War Crimes
Uganda’s LOAC Dissemination Directive (2006) provides: “All incidents of possible, suspected or alleged violations of IHL are promptly reported, thoroughly investigated and remedied by corrective measures.”
Uganda’s Geneva Conventions Act (1964) provides:
(1) Any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether within or without Uganda commits or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions … commits an offence and on conviction thereof [shall be punished].
(2) Where an offence under this section is committed without Uganda a person may be proceeded against, indicted, tried and punished therefor in any place in Uganda as if the offence had been committed in that place, and the offence shall, for all purposes incidental or consequential on the trial or punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in that place.
Uganda’s ICC Act (2010) states:
(1) A person is liable on conviction on indictment to the penalty specified in subsection (3) who, in Uganda or elsewhere, commits a war crime.
(3) The penalty for a war crime is imprisonment for life or a lesser term.
In the Annexure to the Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation signed between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement in 2007, the contracting Parties,
[h]aving signed the Principal Agreement by which the parties committed themselves to implementing accountability and reconciliation with respect to the conflict;
[h]aving established … that there is national consensus in Uganda that adequate mechanisms exist or can be expeditiously established to try offences committed during the conflict;
[r]ecalling their commitment to preventing impunity and promoting redress in accordance with the Constitution and international obligations, and recalling, in this connection the requirements of the  Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and in particular the principle of complementarity;
Now therefore agree as follows:
Inquiry into the past and related matters
4. The Government shall by law establish a body to be conferred with all the necessary powers and immunities, whose functions shall include:
(b) to inquire into human rights violations committed during the conflict, giving particular attention to the experiences of women and children;
5. In the fulfilment of its functions, the body shall give precedence to any investigations or formal proceedings instituted pursuant to the terms of this Agreement. Detailed guidelines and working practices shall be established to regulate the relationship between the body and any other adjudicatory body seized of a case relating to this Agreement.
Legal and Institutional Framework
7. A special division of the High Court of Uganda shall be established to try individuals who are alleged to have committed serious crimes during the conflict.
8. The special division of the High Court shall have a registry dedicated to the work of the division and in particular, shall make arrangements to facilitate the protection and participation of witnesses, victims, women and children.
Investigations and Prosecutions
10. The Government shall establish a unit for carrying out investigations and prosecutions in support of trials and other formal proceedings as envisaged by the Principal Agreement.
13. Investigations shall:
(a) Seek to identify individuals who are alleged to have planned or carried out widespread, systematic, or serious attacks directed against civilians;
(b) Reflect the broad pattern of serious crimes and violations committed during the conflict;
(c) Give particular attention to crimes and violations against women and children committed during the conflict.
14. Prosecutions shall focus on individuals alleged to have planned or carried out widespread, systematic, or serious attacks directed against civilians or who are alleged to have committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
Provisions of General Application
23. … the Government shall ensure that serious crimes committed during the conflict are addressed by the special Division of the High Court; traditional justice mechanisms; and any other alternative justice mechanism established under the Principal Agreement, but not the military courts.