Bail - Justice Centres Uganda


Bail is where an accused person is released from prison before their trial  BUT that person is required to come to court on the days when their case will be heard. Bail is only given to accused people by the court.

Every accused person is entitled to apply to the court for bail while waiting for trial. However, the decision is up to the court to give or not to give bail.

You apply for bail for simple offences (threatening violence, obtaining money by false pretence, malicious damage to property) at the Magistrate’s Court where the trial is taking place. For serious offences (murder, rape, defilement, aggravated robbery) the accused applies for bail in the High Court.

As a condition for bail the accused must:

  • have a permanent home.
  • have substantial surety(ies).
  • be in position to report to court without escaping from Uganda or going into hiding.
  • promise not to interfere with investigations being carried out by the police.
  • not threaten or conflict with the complaint or any of the witnesses once bail has been granted.
  • have not committed offences more often since the criminal record of the accused person will also be considered.
  • not commit serious crime. The more serious the case is the less chances the accused has to get bail.
  • The court will also consider how harsh the punishment for the crime is once the person is convicted.

There are two forms of bail: (1) The Cash Bail is paid immediately at the court after the application has been accepted by the court. (2) The Non-Cash Bail only needs to be paid when the accused fails to appear in court.

How to get the bail money back? 

After the conclusion of the case you need to write a letter to the concerned Magistrate/High Court asking to pay back the bail money.
You attach: (1) the corresponding bail form, (2) the receipt which was given to you by court, (3) a copy of the accused’s ID. Then you wait for the response from the judicial officer.