By Hillary Nsambu
The Supreme Court will on a date to be set rule whether to stop the Chief Magistrates and Grade One Magistrates from presiding over cases in the Anti-Corruption Court until a constitutional appeal challenging the magistrates conscription as High Court judges is finally heard decided.
Justice Bart Katureebe headed the coram. Other members were Justices Jotham Tumwesigye, Dr Esther Kisaakye-Kitimbo, John Wilson Tsekooko and Christine Nakaseeta Kitumba.
A Kampala lawyer Davis Wesley Tusingwire is challenging as unconstitutional the drafting of the magistrates into the Anti-Corruption Division, because it brings them at par with the High Court judges, which violates the Constitution.
Fred Muwema who represented Tusinggwire strongly submitted that it was necessary for the court to stop the functions of the Anti-Corruption Court for the time being until the appeal is heard and finally disposed of as it raises very pertinent issues that needed the interpretation of the law.
Muwema argued that the Constitution did not provide assistants to judges as it was being argued by the Attorney General.
However, Senior Principal State Attorney Phillip Mwaka opposed the application, saying that the magistrates were recruited into the Anti-Corruption Division to assist the judges and to help the accused persons have expedited trials.
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Supreme Court to rule on magistrates’ rule over corruption cases