JUDICIARY Latest Features

Judiciary Leadership Interfaces with Parliamentary Budget Committee

KAMPALA: The Judiciary has asked government to increase funding to the sector for proper dispensation of justice to Ugandans.         

While meeting the members of the Budget Committee of Parliament, the Judiciary Leadership led by the Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bart M. Katureebe, said that with the current funding, the institution cannot effectively handle its mandate.

The interface took place at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala.

The Chief Justice said while funds were availed for the automation of courts and construction of Mini-JLOS Centers through the Justice Law and Order Sector basket funding, there were still challenges of inadequate facilitation both in terms of financial and human resource.

"The Judiciary cannot effectively discharge its mandate without adequate resources and tools. It is for this reason that I am requesting you to further assist the courts in the spirit of Article 127(3) of the Constitution..."

He said this Financial Year the Judiciary suffered a budget cut to the tune of six billion despite the appointments to fill vacancies in the judicial ranks and attempts to extend judicial services closer to the people by operationalizing the newly gazetted Courts.

"This has increased the already unbearable pressure on the existing resources in terms of additional rent requirements and facilitation for the newly operationalized Courts such as Amudat in Karamoja.

The Lower bench lacks the basic tools such as Transport for visiting locus in quo which is mandatory in land justice and legal reference materials. Most courts lack court recording facilities which is a precursor to automation of Courts," he said.


The Chief Justice said at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal levels, the staffing are nearly satisfactory. He said there are only three vacancies at the Court of Appeal.

"However, for the Court of Appeal, the established structure of 15 Justices is not sufficient. It is recommended that the structure be raised to 25 Justices.

Greater challenge exists at the High Court level where the recruitment of 30 more Judges has had not been realized due to lack of funds.

The Judiciary has eight High Court Divisions and 20 Circuits. Only 15 of the Circuits are operational. The other Circuits at Luwero, Rukungiri, Iganga,Tororo and Moroto are not operational.

"The Divisions and Circuits are grossly understaffed; as almost all Circuits have one Resident Judge, yet the recommended number is a minimum of two Judges per Circuit," the Chief Justice said.

Case backlog

He said the Judiciary still faces a daunting challenge of case backlog as evidenced by the high number of pending cases as at 30 September 2018.

He mentioned some of the innovations used by the Judiciary to improve case disposal as Alternative Dispute Resolution such as Mediation, Plea Bargaining and Small Claims Procedure.

"We have also made more effective use of the session system. However, there was a drop in performance in the FY 2017/2018 due to industrial action that took place in the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions(ODPP)."

The slow case disposal in the face of increased filing rate leads to growth in case backlog is a result of the limited number of Judicial Officers, especially at the High Court and Magistrates Court which bear the biggest workload in the Court system.

Court infrastructure

According to him, only 79 out of 154 Courts are housed in Judiciary-owned buildings(51.2%), with the rest in rented premises, including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He said they need Shs.105 billion to construct the premises for the two courts.

He said at least Shs20 billion is needed to purchase vehicles for the judicial officers to expedite land cases.

MPs pledge support

Hon. Amos Lugoloobi, the Committee chairperson said they will make sure the Judiciary is given the required funds to dispense justice to Ugandans.

Posted 29th, November 2018
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