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Chief Justice warns judicial officers against stalling cases

By Edward Anyoli

Added 3rd October 2016 03:42 PM

People’s confidence in the judiciary and their decisions is integral to the judicial system

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People’s confidence in the judiciary and their decisions is integral to the judicial system

The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has warned judicial officers of all courts to discourage the practice of frequent issuance of interim order sought by litigants and lawyers to ensure speedy justice.

Speaking to registrars and magistrates at a workshop organised by the judiciary at Royal Suites in Bugolobi in Kampala, Katureebe said the problem of unnecessary interim orders is the most challenging task faced by the judiciary and they should invent a new process for quick disposal of cases.

Katureebe said it is the judiciary's task to ensure that deprived sections of society are not denied justice adding that access to justice should be all pervasive.

“Those interim orders are causing a lot of concern we may have to come up with a solution. We shall soon have a client charter between the judiciary and the people we serve,” Katureebe said.

Katureebe said people’s confidence in the judiciary and their decisions is integral to the judicial system. He said court users and members of the public have a right to expect that judges and magistrates will behave impartially, courteously, ethically and to the highest standards of judicial conduct.

In a bid to weed out the corrupt officials in the judiciary, the Katureebe called upon the registrars and magistrates to report those who are corrupt amongst them to the authority.

“My advice to all of you is to be your brother’s keeper,” Katureebe said.

Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine said the judiciary is at cross roads where on the one hand it is progressing but on the other hand there are poor and vulnerable sections of society who are neglected and not getting justice. He said judicial officers should be at the forefront to dispense justice.

He warned that action will be taken against judicial officers over unduly stalled cases, saying this is aimed at ensuring the delivery of justice with ease and in a timely manner as required of the judicial officers.

Justice Bamwine said magistrates and other judicial officers are demotivated by lack of growth in the judiciary, with many stagnating in the same positions for years.

He further noted that while it is right to judge every case on its own merits, the inconsistency in some court judgments is too conspicuous, adding that this is creating a general outcry among the people. 

Responding to the principal judge’s concerns, Mubende court chief magistrate, Hellen Ajio said there is also pressure on judicial officers to deal with case backlogs which in most cases is not a fault of their own but caused by the court users who unnecessarily seek for constant adjournment, among other things she noted that there are lack of facilities to speed up trials.

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