By Christine Byiringiro Ayebazibwe
JUSTICE in Uganda, like in any other society, is centred on the principles of fairness and equality. This is aimed at effective management of the country.
With the adoption of the 1995 Constitution and enactment of various laws, the Government pledged to abide by the rule of law in advancement of her national objectives.
This undoubtedly pointed to strict adherence to the doctrine of separation of powers where each of the three arms of government, that is the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary were mandated to operate independent of the others in the execution of their duties. Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for the independence of the Judiciary; clause 1 and 2 thereof require that the Courts shall be independent and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority in the exercise of judicial power and no person or authority shall interfere with the courts or judicial officers in the exercise of their judicial functions.
Regrettably, the adherence to the Constitutional provisions, as well as other subsidiary legislations providing for judicial independence continues to decline because some of the institutions and individuals charged with their enforcement have themselves violated them, been compromised or their efforts frustrated and this has created apathy among the citizenry.
Despite the requirement in the various legislations for equal and fair treatment of all citizens - that even powerful personalities in the public and private sectors should be subjected to the provisions thereof, there seems to selective application of the law.
Delivery of justice in Uganda is also greatly hampered by allegations of corruption in the Judiciary. The inadequate funding to the judiciary, which coupled with all other factors, has created the kind of environment that under looks fair and balanced application of the law difficult.
The state can ensure effective delivery of justice by creating a clear boundary between politics and service delivery. The sector should also be strengthened by adequately funding it.
The writer works with Uganda Debt Network