Welcome Remarks by Hon. Kahinda Otafiire at the 21st Annual JLOS Review
The Honourable Chief Justice of Uganda
The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda
The Honourable Principal Judge
My Lords, Justices and Judges of the Courts of Judicature
Your Excellency, the Head of delegation of the European Union and Chairperson of the JLOS Development Partners Group
Your Excellences, Heads of Diplomatic Missions to Uganda
Honourable Members of Parliament
Heads of JLOS Institutions
Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees
Members of the JLOS Coordination Committees
Distinguished invited guests in your respective capacities
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you all to the 21st Joint Annual Review of the JLOS Sector for the financial year 2015/16.
This review focuses on the fourth year of implementation of the third JLOS Strategic Investment Plan (JLOS SIP III) which is also the 16th year of the JLOS Sector Wide Approach arrangement. The theme of this year’s annual review is “A pro people justice system: Building public trust”. This ties in well with the Sector undertaking under SIP III, to address the issue of vulnerability to enhance access to justice for the marginalized and eliminate all forms of bottlenecks in accessing JLOS services.
The JLOS Sector has grown over the years from nascent formation phases in 1999, harnessed synergies under the sector wide approach to now one of the most effective and integrated sector arrangements. As many of you may recall, we started with the SIP I phase from 2000 to 2004 with a focus on structural developments and formation, SIP II that covered 2005 to 2010 focused on consolidation of gains and achievements under SIP II. When we developed and commenced the SIP III, our strategic focus was to have a strategic policy shift to focus on deepening reforms and entrench pro poor people centered justice. To-date, the Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) has grown to 18 institutions across civil and criminal justice spheres.
The JLOS Sector report will be presented at both the outcome and output levels in line with the JLOS SIP III indicators and performance bench marks. The report portrays the achievements of the Sector from implementation of programs and interventions by the 18 Justice institutions.
The Sector has registered improved coordination right from the District level where District Chain linked Committees are operational, enhanced the quality of justice services delivered to the public, and increased geographical coverage as a result of opening up of new service delivery points. You will for instance observe from the presentations that will be made today, that the sector’s coverage of districts increased by 7% from 75% in the previous year, to now 82%. In practical terms, the Police has expanded its presence to all sub-counties in the country, the High Court Circuit has been expanded to 19 circuits, and Chief Magisterial areas increased over two fold to 81.
I recognize and extend gratitude to the JLOS Development Partners that have stood by us and provided both technical and financial support towards the implementation of many of the Sector’s programs and interventions. In addition, I also recognize the crucial role played by various Non-Governmental Organizations such as the Legal Aid Service Providers’ Network, in complementing the Sector’s interventions. As partners in development, we believe that our success is a shared success and this underpins the purpose of our convergence today.
I take this opportunity to thank all JLOS institutions for the effort made over the past financial year. Special mention goes to the JLOS Secretariat and the Sector Policy Planning Units. Substantial achievements have been registered despite the number of challenges and limitations encountered.
I once again thank you for setting time off your busy schedules to be part of this year’s annual review. I look forward to a constructive dialogue with a view of achieving our common goal of ensuring justice for all.
I invite the Honourable Chief Justice to give his address.
Hon. Kahinda Otafiire
MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS