Judiciary introduces new scheme for petty cases

By Vision Reporter

THE Judiciary has introduced a process through which courts will try cases involving small amounts of money, the Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki, has said.

By Hillary Nsambu

THE Judiciary has introduced a process through which courts will try cases involving small amounts of money, the Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki, has said.

He recently told participants at a workshop in Kampala that the process dubbed: ‘small claims procedures’ would be launched by January 1, 2009 and it will be tried for two years before being implemented.

Odoki said the mechanism was aimed at enhancing access to justice through quick dispute settlement.

Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire of the commercial division of the High Court, said the new process would provide easy, simple and faster methods for adjudicating small disputes, which he said affect the majority of Ugandans.

He added that the move would enhance the efficiency of courts and reduce the backlog of cases.

The judge said the small claims would not exceed sh10m and would be handled by commissioners, who may be Grade One magistrates, members of the ‘Justices of Peace’ or advocates of seven years’ experience, who would be appointed by the Chief Justice.

He added that litigants (parties) would not be represented by lawyers, which, he said, would reduce costs and legal fees that had hitherto scared them away.

Judiciary introduces new scheme for petty cases