Bail-in itself is an agreement between the accused together with his or sureties and the court guaranteeing that the accused will pay a certain sum of money fixed by the Court if the accused fails to attend the trial on a specific date. The origin of Bail follows the legal principle enshrined under Article 28, the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, which states that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. In addition to this, the laws provide that the right to bail is not automatic, but rather, it is at the discretion of Court.
This means that as an accused, it is not automatic that when Bail is applied for in Court, it will be granted. The laws provide for several principles that should be considered before Bail is granted by a court and these are;

  1. Age of the accused
  2. The character of the accused
  3. The gravity of the offense ( what kind of punishment does the offense carry)
  4. If the person is a first-time offender
  5. Are there any possibilities in delays in the trial
  6. Possibilities of the person influencing the trial process

Before the trial starts, the person’s relatives or friends should get sufficient sureties that are a person of good moral standing in society, for example, religious leaders and Local leaders and request them to come to appear in Court with proper identification that is the national ID. The procedure is different depending on the level of Court.

High Court:
The procedure in the High Court is complicated since it requires drafting and filing documents. It is proper and prudent that an accused finds a lawyer to represent him or her, and in case he or she cannot afford, they can use legal aid for assistance.

Magistrate Court:
In a lower court, one can ask for Bail orally (by word of mouth), and this is very simple. The charges and rights are read, and the accused is allowed to ask for Bail, which he or she can then do. The Court will then go ahead and ask for the sureties if any, and if the sureties meet the requirements, then Bail is granted.

A police bond is similar to Bail with regard to its effect. The difference lies in the fact that under a police bond, the police officer in charge of a police station has the power to release a person taken into custody without a warrant if it is not practicable to take that person to Court within 48 hours of arrest. This is given by the police officer in charge of a police station.
In conclusion, therefore, Bail is not automatic, and where the Court does not grant it, one can appeal to the next Court.

If Courts refuse to grant a person bail, then this person can appeal the decision to a higher court, e.g., High Court.