Dobbs, a commissioner of the Commonwealth, who is in Uganda to do what was described as a rapid assessment of the JSC’s crucial needs in which they have common interests.
Retired judge of the courts of England and Wales Dame Linda Dobbs has assured the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of the Commonwealth Commission's assistance in in its quest to fulfil its mandate in areas that require urgent attention.
Dobbs, a commissioner of the Commonwealth, who is in Uganda to do what was described as a rapid assessment of the JSC's crucial needs in which they have common interests. She is also here to make assessment upon which the Commonwealth Commission would base its assistance to the JSC.
Dobbs' meeting with the JSC followed a request by the Chief Justice, as head of the Judiciary, Bart Magunda Katureebe, in which he requested the Commonwealth Commission to come to Kampala and assess for itself where the JSC needed its urgent attention.
Earlier, welcoming Dobbs to the meeting, the chairman JSC, who is also a High Court judge Benjamin Kabiito, identified at least three areas that needed urgent attention that include training and orientation of the judicial officers, particularly for those that are going to be appointed to the different level of the Bench.
Kabiito also told the visitor that the JSC would need urgent attention in strengthening its capacity to manage and resolve the numerous complaints that are filed against the judicial officers at different levels and how to gain public confidence; not only in the Commission but; also in the whole Judiciary.
Flanked by members of the JSC, Kabiito further told Dobbs that they would also need assistance, as a commission, what they needed to do when selecting eligible people who would apply to serve as judicial officers in future.
He said that as a matter of urgency, they are charged with a critical duty to select and recommend for appointments two Justices of the Supreme Court, for justices of the Court of Appeal and Constitutional Affairs and 16 High Court judges. "We need to complete the exercise at least by the end of July this year," Kabiito told the gust.
Commissioner Norah Matovu Winyi, who also represents the Uganda Law Society at the Commission, said that in the last five or so months they have been in office, they have been engaged mostly in reviewing the performance of the judicial officers as a whole and what the public expected from them.
She also said that as part of its priorities, the Commission would be much preoccupied with concretizing the Judiciary and identifying areas that needed urgent attention including how the court would minimize the huge backlog of cases in the different courts.
The JSC presented visitor with gifts.