JUDICIARY Latest Features

Family Division holds Scientific Bar-Bench Meeting
Hon. Justice Matovu(seated) chairing the Bar bench meeting at Family Division

The Family Division in Makindye on Friday (June 19, 2020) held a scientific Bar-Bench meeting, a quarterly interaction held to exchange ideas, to share successes as well as address challenges encountered during justice delivery.

The head of the Division, Hon. Justice David Matovu, welcomed members to the first meeting of the year saying most of the activities of the Court had been affected by the partial lock down because of COVID-19.

He said in spite of the challenges, the Court write Judgements as well as peruse some of the pending case. "For example, Hon. Justice Namundi sent me 11 complete files to deliver judgments and rulings...we have been equally doing the same thing".

Key among the matters discussed were the rampant increase of forged court documents such as certificates of no objection, decrees and grants. Baseless and malicious complaints against court officials and delayed disposal of matters.

One of the advocates, Godfrey Musinguzi, decried delayed communication from court incase of emergencies, intimidation by Judges, poor time management by both officers of court.

It was proposed by Dr. Harriet Diana Musoke that more mediators be deployed at the Division. She urged magistrate courts to give protection orders. She further appealed to the courts to give grace period to advocates whose Practicing Certificates expired during the lock-down. 

Dr Musoke further proposed that the Court should grant interim custody since divorce matters since they take long to be concluded. 

Mr. Innocent Ngobi added that in order to preserve the dignity of parties and alleviate corruption, divorce files should use initials. 

On the issue of forged documents, the Administrator General, Mr Charles Kasibayo, said there was need for a computerized system in order to send details of the output to court and court doing the same at least weekly. He urged the Judges not to be intimidated by false allegations but rather be vigilant because there are many fraudsters.

Hon.Lady Justice Ketrah Katunguka implored the lawyers to approach the Judges whenever there are challenges. "We are one though we sit differently. There is no need to go talking in corridors...come letís talk". She further asked the advocates to always follow up their matters and adjust to the new rules because failure to do so would be portrayed as delayed justice.

On her part, Hon. Lady Justice Susan Okalany promised to fix all matters before her in session mode, following a first come and first serve basis save for emergencies. "That's how we shall get rid of backlog," she said.

It was agreed that the Division's WhatsApp forum would be utilized to effectively communicate court business.

HW Festo Nsenga, the Court's Deputy Registrar called for the streamlining in the allocation of cases to avoid overwhelming one Judge. He further proposed cause-listing of cases affected by the lock down and other factors to ensure that they are handled.

Advocates were urged to apply as volunteers in Mediation as it is one of the ways to ensure dispute resolution. 

While there was a suggestion to utilize online innovation to conduct court sessions,it was observed that the mode is associated with huge expenses such poor network. It was noted that this would also be a challenge in cases such as identification and adoption where parties are required to physically appear before a Judge.  

Equally present at the meeting were Hon. Justice Joseph Murangira and Makindye Chief Magistrate HW Prossy Katushabe.

Posted 22nd, June 2020
  • Share