What we do

Evolve is a pro bono criminal justice development organisation. We use the experience and skills of legal experts to promote positive change in the criminal justice sector.

Our aim is to improve access to justice; build the capacity of lawyers, judges and institutions; and promote respect for human rights and the rule of law in criminal justice systems.

We currently focus on criminal justice delivery in Uganda. We work in close partnership with Uganda’s Justice, Law and Order Sector (‘JLOS’) to solve problems and promote criminal justice reform.

Our Work

Access to Justice

Evolve promotes access to justice by offering technical legal expertise in the most serious criminal cases, to ensure that capital inmates receive fair, speedy and impartial decisions.


We have assisted in over 500 capital cases to date.

Life Sentencing

The Law Revision (Penalties in Criminal Matters) Miscellaneous (Amendment) Act 2019 will introduce a new life sentencing regime, once it has been gazetted.

Evolve is working in close partnership with the Sentencing Guidelines Committee, and other JLOS stakeholders, to ensure that new High Court Guidelines implement this new act, and to sensitise on its implications.


Evolve builds the capacity of people and institutions by delivering training and mentoring interventions in areas of criminal law and procedure.

Death penalty

Evolve promotes awareness of international safeguards surrounding the death penalty, and works to ensure that constitutional and domestic safeguards are consistently applied in all Ugandan courts.

Evolve continues to engage in advocacy, and provide consultative technical advice, on the scope of the death penalty in Uganda.

Mental Health

Many mentally ill inmates are currently detained without prospect of release. Evolve is working at the highest levels to secure redress for them by returning them to court, either so that they can be released - in some cases after up to 20 years of imprisonment - or so that they can face trial. 

File Tracing

Many defendants remain on remand or without access to the appellate courts for inordinate periods of time due to missing or incomplete case files. Evolve works to track these files down across Uganda.

Sentencing Guidelines

Evolve is working in close partnership with the Sentencing Guidelines Committee, the Ugandan Judiciary, and other JLOS Stakeholders, to draft, deliver, and monitor the next generation of High Court, and Magistrates' Court Sentencing Guidelines. 

Making Change

Over 500 Capital Inmates have been assisted with sentence or appeal
Re-sentencing of 270 Kigula Beneficiaries prepared
Of those 270, less than 28 received the death sentence
30 Social Workers trained on pre-sentence and social enquiry reports
79 lost files traced, allowing 107 defendants’ cases to proceed