Early Morning Brief No. 1: Legislators, please read policy briefs

Dear Legislators, some of you are focusing already on your re-election campaigns and are busy dishing out ambulances and the like; and are self-congratulating yourselves for being for the people. As you are focused on that which is not your role, your negligence of your role is causing major strife among us the people.

The Right Honourable Speaker Jacob Oulanyah instructed you to do research and to base your submissions in parliament on evidence, including numbers and statistics for which the source is known and can be fact checked. Well, some of you might have misunderstood the Speaker.

Source: Daily Monitor

Legislators, you need not carryout your own primary data collection. The main gist of the Speaker’s instruction was more towards institutionalising a norm in parliament of legislators finding out what relevant research has already been done on the subject in discussion and to familiarise with all sides of the arguments for and against a particular position.

So, for example, a good starting point for legislators is to find and to read peered reviewed policy briefs that have been authored in a manner that meets high academic standards.

Case in point, as we discuss the traumatizing and tragic events of murders in Karamoja, in Masaka, and elsewhere in our country, and in dealing with victims and survivors, an important policy brief that legislators should read is:

“Justice and Peace after war – Conceptual difficulties in the discourses of Transition and Reform”, by Dr. Laury Lawrence Ocen, published as “Makerere Institute of Social Research Policy Brief No. 4.,” in October 2015, Makerere University.

The PDF is available to download FREE through this link

In the brief, Dr. Ocen presents a valid argument against the tendency to focus on a criminal settlement and to claim success when we have identified and punished the offender. He points out that in many cases the lines are not clear cut and the one labeled the “the offender” could actually also be among “the victims” and vice versa.

Furthermore, in the brief, Dr. Ocen does present a solid argument for us to adopt the culture of emphasising resolution through a “political settlement”; and which leads to “political justice” – reparation, truth telling, open accountability, and reconciliation.

Indeed, the search for “political justice” should be the focus of the ongoing discussions surrounding the “no bail law”.

Sadly, some of you, legislators, are just there and not taking those discussions seriously, but, be warned, in the longer-term the potential of such a bad law to bite you too is high.

4 responses to “Early Morning Brief No. 1: Legislators, please read policy briefs”

  1. To me I think the legislators should do more readings of articles published by researchers like for instance the above mentioned by Dr.Laury Ocen.

    Primary data collected from the local community would not be enough because some information might be given out of emotions,that’s why the legislators have to be serious about the speaker’s emphasis of them doing research before going to the floor of Parliament to debate.

    If the no bail bill is to succeed, some people will suffer for a crime they didn’t commit and again the bail bill being into existence has also caused damage to victims as the law has been manipulated on several occasions whereby victims see their culprits enjoying same liberty with them in most cases because the culprit has money, that’s why it’s very important for the legislators to do uch reading on articles published by researchers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To me I think the legislature should debate very careful looking at all corner’s including they themselves because this laws won’t only work on others but at some point it will be applied to their relatives and case in point if the one denied bail is not the real carlpprit but an able to plead not guilty because of financial issues, it won’t be good I think consultation should be made starting from the local courts of the LC1 and clan before the final conclusion other wise we might end up like in the French revolution where someone learned nothing and forgot nothing.


  3. Dr Ocen in his policy brief presented a sound academic background with well researched ideas, that I think our MPs should look at developing their reading culture before any Parliamentary debates to allow them make quality and necessary deliverables to the State and their respective electorates.


  4. Make laws that are in the interest of the general public and not because its favorable by virue of being in a public office or a legislator otherwise history might repeat it self .
    I think legislators should debate basing on facts collected from citizens because they are the voices of the citizens and it’s because of their voters that they are in parliament…. They represent the will of their voters.
    Voters should be consulted first before the no bail bill is passed
    For some reasons, legislators don’t care who the no bail law will affect because they think they are above the law but tables also turn and they might be affected by the same law that they themselves passed for their own selfish reasons. It could be that someone out there is suffering or paying for a crime he /she has not committed just because they lack the finances necessary to hire a good lawyer.How many more innocents souls will be punished unjustly if the no bail law is actually passed ???

    Liked by 2 people

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