Nominees for judges revealed

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st February 2008 03:00 AM

FORMER minister Owiny Dollo, permanent secretary Ralph Ochan and several senior judicial officers are among the 16 people named by President Yoweri Museveni to be new judges.

FORMER minister Owiny Dollo, permanent secretary Ralph Ochan and several senior judicial officers are among the 16 people named by President Yoweri Museveni to be new judges.

Court of Appeal judge Galdino Okello is suggested to move to the Supreme Court, sources said, adding that one High Court judge would be elevated to the Court of Appeal to replace him.

On the list are four senior judicial officers, two top justice ministry officials, the deputy director of prosecutions and private lawyers.

The nominees include Joseph Murangira, Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, Lawrence Gidudu, Masalu Musene, John Kwesiga, Owiny Dollo, Jane Kiggundu, Zam Zam Nagujja, Alex Nkonge, Choudry, Ralp Ochan and Irene Mulyagonja.

Murangira is the registrar of the Court of Appeal, while Lawrence Gidudu is the Chief Registrar Courts of Judicature. Masalu Musene is a High Court Registrar.

Ochan has served as the foreign ministry permanent secretary. Byabakama is the deputy director of public prosecutions.
If cleared by the parliamentary appointments committee next week, Mugenyi’s role will change from prosecuting suspected criminals to trying them.

Zam Zam Nagujja is currently at the IGAD secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She also served under the UN in Afghanistan and as a state attorney and
director of legal affairs in the NRM Secretariat. She holds a Masters law degree of the University of Manchester, UK.
Jane Kiggundu recently took over as acting Solicitor General after the interdiction of Lucian Tibaruha, who is being investigated for alleged mishandling of cases. Kiggundu also once acted as the administrator general.

John Kwesiga is a private advocate in Kwesiga and Company Advocates. Ms Alex Nkonge is currently acting secretary to the Uganda Law Review Commission. She previously headed the Electoral Commission’s legal department.
Irene Mulyagonja is a private lawyer with Kakooza and Kawuma Advocates.

Owiny Dollo, a private advocate, was a junior foreign affairs minister and a Member of Parliament. He was recently among the lawyers from the Acholi region who the LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony invited to Garamba to enlighten him about the International Criminal Court.

The names of four other nominees are yet to be established. The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi, yesterday declined to reveal the list of nominees.

To be a justice of the Supreme Court, a person must have been a justice of the Court of Appeal, or a judge of the High Court or practised as private lawyer for 15 years.

A person qualifies for appointment as justice of the Court of Appeal if he has been a High Court judge or has practiced as an advocate for at least 10 years. To become a judge of the High Court one needs 10 years of legal practice.

Currently, the Supreme Court has two vacancies following the death of Justice Arthur Oder and the retirement of Justice Alfred Karokora. For two years, the Supreme Court has not heard constitutional appeals for lack of satff.
The High Court has about 20 vacancies.

The Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki and the Principal Judge, Justice James Ogoola, have blamed the backlog of cases, which is in thousands, partly on the shortage of judges.

The Judiciary has four layers: the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, which is also the Constitutional Court, the High Court and the Magistrates’ courts.

By Anne Mugisa, Hillary Nsambu and Edward Anyoli

Nominees for judges revealed

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