Gladys Kamasanyu is a Chief Magistrate with the Uganda Judiciary and a recipient of the International Advocates Animal Law LLM Scholarship. She is currently the head of Africa’s first and only specialized wildlife court, the Uganda Wildlife Court located in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. In 2016, Gladys along with two other judicial officers were tasked with establishing the Court on the ground. She was highly involved in advising the Uganda Judiciary Administration on how best the Court could operate. She was also involved in stakeholder meetings and getting the Court up and running. In 2017, the Uganda Wildlife Court was officially launched and is running.
She has since been involved in wildlife capacity building programs organized by international and national civil society organizations. She has attended several trainings both as a trainer and trainee. In May 2019, she led a team of four delegates from Uganda and attended an Executive Policy and Development Symposium on Transnational Crime-Wildlife Trafficking and Model Law, organized by the U.S. government at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), in Roswell, New Mexico.
Gladys has successfully adjudicated many high-profile wildlife cases involving a number of illicit wildlife products like elephant ivory, pangolin scales, live pangolins, rhino horns and hippopotamus teeth. She has over time gained a wealth of experience in the area of wildlife crime and other crimes against animals.
Gladys is also the founder of Help African Animals, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Uganda registered both in Uganda and the United States of America. She registered Help African Animals while she was pursuing her LLM in Animal Law. The desire to permanently contribute to animal protection drove Gladys to start Help African Animals. Help African Animals protects animals through the legal system by raising awareness and building capacity about wildlife crime and other crimes against animals, their nature and effect, the laws protecting animals and penalties for violation of the laws. The organization also conducts court monitoring through following up on court cases involving wildlife and animals generally, and collecting data about them. The data that is collected is used to improve animal protection not only in Uganda but the whole of Africa since animals and in particular wildlife know no border.
Gladys is a CALS Ambassador under the Global Ambassador Program (GAP). During her GAP year, she will focus on putting together a compendium of all laws protecting animals in Uganda and distributing the compendium to stakeholders involved in the fight against wildlife crime and other crimes against animals in the country. This will go a long way in increasing awareness not only of the laws but also offenses created therein, elements needed to be proved to make a good case, and penalties for violation of the laws.
Gladys also holds a Master of Laws degree from Makerere University, Uganda (January 27th 2020), a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, Uganda (2006), a Bachelors of Laws Degree from Makerere University, Uganda (2005), a post-graduate Diploma in Public Administration and Management from the Uganda Management Institute, Uganda (2015), a post-graduate Diploma in Social Justice from Makerere University, Uganda (2014) and a Diploma in Managerial Problems and the Courts, the market and the courts, Democracy, Human Rights and the Courts from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (2011).
Gladys is a holder of a certificate for training on Transnational Crime-Wildlife Trafficking and Model Law from the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), Roswell – New Mexico (June 2019), and many other certificates for training in wildlife crime.
Gladys’ strong passion for animal protection and the desire to expand her knowledge in the field of animal law drew her to the LLM in Animal Law. She has no doubt already used the knowledge she acquired to build more capacity and awareness on animal-related issues in Uganda. She also influences policies that afford better protection to animals in Uganda. Gladys is driven by the belief that animals don’t speak, let us speak for them.