JUDICIARY Latest Features

Appeals Court to Mediate 61 Appeals in a Day
Hon. Justice Kiryabwire

Kampala: The Court of Appeal is set to handle at least 61 cases in a day through Appellate Mediation, the newest alternative dispute mechanism (ADR) in Uganda.

Two Hon. Justices of the Court - outgoing Deputy Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Steven B.K. Kavuma and Hon.Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, who heads the Appellate Court Mediation, - will on September 11, 2017 handle 31 cases and 30 cases, each, respectively.

This will be the Court's maiden attempt at Appellate Mediation, a mechanism popularly used by the courts in the developed world to give quick justice to the people.

The Judiciary Deputy Registrar, Mediation/Public Relations Officer, HW Vincent Emmy Mugabo, said the pilot is in respect to miscellaneous applications which form the highest backlog in the Court of Appeal. "If dealt with, they will make the work of the Court of Appeal in respect to the handling of the main suits easier," HW Mugabo said.

On the cause-list for mediation include the high-profile cases of: Electoral Commissionvs. Hon. Erias Lukwago, Bob Kasango vs. Paul Nalukoola Muwanga, Uganda WildlifeAuthority vs. Hon. Francis Mukama and Ponsiano Lwakataka vs. Flugence Mungereza and another, among others.

Last year, a team from Strauss Institute of Dispute Resolution, in partnership with Pepperdine University, trained Court of Appeal Justices on Appellate Mediation.

In this procedure,parties that are dissatisfied with the outcome/decision of the High Court will have an opportunity to settle their appeals quickly with the parties they dragged to the Court of Appeal. They are assisted to settle their matters by a neutral person or judge trained in problem solving.

Hon Justice Kiryabwire,speaking during the launch of Appellate Court mediation last year, said mediation was adopted to reduce case backlog.

"Because of the backlog of cases at Court of Appeal, we found out that it is still possible for parties to resolve their disputes without court hearing and making judgment in civil cases. Mediation resolves cases more quickly and allows people to resolve their own cases and reconcile with each other without involving lawyers," said Hon. Justice Kiryabwire.

He said a justice who participates in the mediation process is not allowed to handle the same matter once mediation fails - the matter is automatically allocated to a different justice.

Posted 4th, September 2017
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