Principal Judge roots for mediation to resolve disputes

Nov 16, 2023

“Judicial officers and stakeholders should embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as mediation as a way of enhancing access to justice,” he advised.

Flavian Zeija, The Principal Judge speaking during the court’s open day at Isingiro Chief Magistrates Court. (File Photo)

Michael Odeng
Journalist @New Vision

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The Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, has implored judicial officers to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as mediation in resolving disputes, saying it enhances access to justice.

Zeija made the remarks during the court’s open day at Isingiro Chief Magistrates Court on November 15, 2023.

“Judicial officers and stakeholders should embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as mediation as a way of enhancing access to justice,” he advised.

Court mediation is a private process where a neutral third person helps the parties involved in discussing and trying to resolve the dispute. Whereas there can be mediation, the process can remain voluntary in that the parties are not required to agree.

The Principal Judge said court open days offer the public an opportunity to interact with judicial officers to understand their justice needs, bottlenecks, and aspirations.

“We also get a chance to hear your feedback, both positive and negative. Negative feedback helps to identify areas that we need to improve to be able to serve you better,” he noted.

Zija observed that the Judiciary uses the occasion to sensitise the public about the various services offered by the institution as well as services offered by other actors in the chain of administration of justice.

“We value and take your feedback into account when making critical decisions for the administration of justice in the country. I, therefore, thank you for actively participating by asking candid questions and making comments about services offered by the Judiciary and other stakeholders,” he commended.

The Principal Judge urged judicial officers to regularly interact with court users, and stakeholders listen to their concerns affecting access to justice, and take remedial actions.

After the event, the Principal Judge planted a ‘tree of justice’ at the court in commemoration of the day. Zeija also inspected the exhibition stalls set up by different justice actors.

The Mbarara High Court Deputy Registrar Nanteza Zulaika, sensitised the public on their rights and and the court system.

In attendance were Deputy Court Inspector Samuel Twakyire, Chief Magistrates; Patric Bamuhiga, Andrew Kabombo, Shelagh Agnes Nantaawo, Julius Mwesigye, and Moses Mfitumukiza.

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